By inference, what are you saying?
The Court of Appeal refused to follow the laid down rules of this country. They said when the legislature makes a law and say you must follow, they said we have a right to decide not to follow. When the Supreme Court of Nigeria has already said in Yusuf versus Obasanjo that you do not count the day of the reckoning of event. But they said we are not bound by the Supreme Court of Nigeria. We will do what we want to do. This is not fair. This is akin to allowing somebody to play his penalty and the referee decides to shift the goal post because at the tribunal, they told us you have up to 15th of May to file your petitions. We did within time.. A motion was brought that we filed our petition out of time and the tribunal struck it out and said we did not file it within time. On this appeal, almost a year within them, nobody said we filed out of time, only for them to come and the respondent raised it and they said no, donâ€™t worry, we will do the job for you. The respondent raised a motion asking for our dismissal and the motion was defeated, only for them to say no, since you canâ€™t raise it, we the court will raise it for you. Is that not impartial? They raised the point themselves, they decided it themselves and they decided to go against the constitution of Nigeria, against legislation and against the Supreme Court. Is that fairness?
Unfortunately, there is no way you can seek redress again.
I can tell you that the battle is not over because we have a duty towards the people we represent. That is what we will say for now. The battle is not finished.
But the judiciary that you are blaming now has been commended by others. People say that they are the bastion of democracy?
They are the bastion of democracy but what percentage of Nigerians; what percentage of the States? Can you say categorically that the 2007 elections were free and fair? Can you completely say that the injustices meted out in 774 Local Government in Nigeria, there was a free and fair election and it was the peopleâ€™s votes that were there? Where were the judiciary when people who are least qualified with least credentials were presented as Local Government Chairmen, as members of the State Assembly and National Assemblies? Where were they? If somebody believes in the rule of law, will you see somebody with a forged certificate or somebody who doesnâ€™t merit contesting for National Assembly and State Assembly positions coming to contest for that office? They gave birth to the dictatorship we are having today.
The protect the few cliques that hijacked the affairs of this country. The President came out and said nobody is above the rule of law. Is he himself practicing that? How many criminals today are we finding in the helms of affairs of Nigeria? Is that what is going to take us there? People with questionable characters and people with cases of corruption, and so many litigations of criminal cases in and out of Nigeria are today the leaders of Nigeria and we are talking of free and fair election. We need only one thing today in Nigeria and that is to have incorruptible judiciary; God fearing judiciary and everybody will sit up. Do you know why things are functioning perfectly in Ghana? It is because Ghana has tried to close itâ€™s eyes to everything, irrespective of whoever you are and have decided that we will go according to the rules. We donâ€™t have godfathers and we donâ€™t have those who are above the law. You can be president of the country today but once you cross one part, they are going to draw the line and you will be dealt with according to what the law says in terms of punishment. Everybody falls in line, including the business circle, the community, the civil servants and everybody. Before you realize it, everything has shaped up today in Ghana. Itâ€™s a shame for Nigeria.
I want you to take a look back at the previous gubernatorial elections. What do you think went wrong, taking into consideration the fact that the Senate has passed a vote of confidence on Iwu. What do you think was wrong with INEC?
What brought about government of Yarâ€™Adua forming the Justice Uwais Commission on electoral reform processes? Was it not because there was so much condemnation both nationally and internationally by the way and manner the election was conducted? Who was the captain of that election? It was the same Umoru Musa Yarâ€™Adua. The day he was sworn in, he promised Nigerians one thing: that heâ€™s going to revisit the system of election in Nigeria. He himself agreed and testified to the fact that there is something faulty about the election that brought him into office. Here we are today.
We make moves and you are saying no. Maurice Iwu has become untouchable. I am not surprised that the members of the National Assembly could come out and pass a vote of confidence on him because he holds the whistle. If today they kick him out, he will blow the whistle. From the first man to the last man, what percentage of the National Assembly members can beat their chest and say yes, I came out, I contested and I have the mandate of my people who voted me into office and Iâ€™m qualified for that office. We Nigerians know about it. Our problems can never be over until we begin to address situations as they are.
Let us begin to address it from you. Itâ€™s time for electoral reforms. What areas do you really want them to reform?
If you want my true and honest opinion, as far as this issue of electoral reforms are concerned, I think we are just going round the circle. I think the government of the day is not sincere about it. I will challenge you on one thing: what percentage of the State Members of Assembly are PDP? Go round the whole 36 States, including Abuja and find out how many members of the PDP are there. How many Local Government Chairmen in Nigeria today are PDP? More than eighty percent of them. Members of the State Assembly, more than eighty percent. What members of the National Assembly today are PDP? More than eighty percent from the ruling party.
How many Governors in all the 36 States of the Federation, including FCT Ministers that are PDP the ruling party? More than eighty percent. The President is from the PDP. If the party in power, from the grassroots to the highest hierarchy believes that there is something that needs to be changed, they donâ€™t need to go about this. All they need to do is to sit down within the party hierarchy and begin to say we owe Nigerians a change. We need to forge ahead. Letâ€™s start with the various State Assemblies. You the Governor, this is what needs to be done. Pass it in your various houses and we move it to the National Assembly and pass it. They donâ€™t need anybody. Itâ€™s something that could be done in three weeks and we begin to amend that law and if the President is sincere about it, he doesnâ€™t need to campaign to anybody because they have all the apparatus within the PDP, from the Local Government level to the highest level.
Will that not be encouraging this system they call the winner takes all?
Because they have the majority, if they are sincere that there is something wrong with Nigeria and they wish to make a sincere change, they have the majority to pass the votes. They have the majority to sponsor it and get it through. They donâ€™t need all these running round the nooks and crannies of Nigeria. To talk to who? You have the bread, you have the knife and the butter. Do you still need somebody to feed you? What are you waiting for? It means you are not hungry.
They feel it will look like a one-sided thing because itâ€™s not an electoral reform that is from the people.
Already the election is a one-sided thing. Nigeria has been hijacked by a clique since 1999 till date. We are being ruled by a clique. You either belong to that clique or you are booted out.