Activist lawyer Jiti Ogunye says the streak of rulings given by the Supreme Court in election petitions on Abia, Akwa Ibom and Rivers have cast a pall on Nigeria’s democracy. The court has ruled in favour of the incumbent governors against the wide perception that the elections were marred by violence and irregularities. The apex court has also given favourable rulings to incumbent governors, among which are Ebonyi, Lagos, Ogun, Oyo and Delta states, where elections were less acrimonious. Ogunye spoke to Punch, in which he described the rulings as one of ‘shock and disbelief’. Ogunye added that the rulings might ‘unwittingly become an anti-technology, anti-innovation and anti-science precedent’ and “sad for our (Nigeria’s) democracy’. He said had the apex court ruled acted similarly in previous election cases, Adams Oshiomhole, Olusegun Mimiko, Rauf Aregbesola and, now, Solid Minerals minister Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti wouldn’t have been governors in Edo, Ondo, Osun and Ekiti state. “Nigerians and the international community were living witnesses to the conduct of the polls in the states where these election petitions emanated and the conclusions were that the elections were terribly mismanaged and marred by violence and malpractices.”
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