With the salacious details of what happened in Ekiti in April 2009, when the shambolic re-run polls happened thumbing in at the state election tribunal headed by Justice , there is every need for the guilty to be afraid that the end of another impostor is neighing. Nigerians never expected less. They watched distraught and awed as the PDP broke every rule in the book to impose a person that was never voted into office as the governor of Ekiti State, all because they fancied themselves as nature's Janus who must get the choicest lump of meat in the national soup pot. In fact,†Nigerians would have been disappointed if the details of the legendary rape of the electoral process that made the shenanigans of April 2007 look like a mere kindergarten aside were not laid bare for the whole world to see the ugliness in PDP's crooked democracy. However one manages it, there is no way the ugly manifestations of April 25, 2009 in Ekiti would have come out better than the picture of shame, odium and dirt that now spew forth from the Ekiti tribunal. They are all confirmations of what Nigerians knew happened in Ekiti State and I wonder which judge will be impervious to such details in a bid to satisfy the animalistic cravings of the PDP.
I was shocked by a report of a clandestine move to remove the chairman of the tribunal for admitting most of the materials the AC candidate presented and deciding to ignore the obviously frivolous objections the PDP lawyers have been employing to circumvent Dr. Kayode Fayemi's case. Although the Attorney General, Michael Andoakaa has issues a denial of this allegation, I know that most Nigerians value his words two for a penny and indeed, have come to see him as the face of scavenging with the office of the chief law officer of the federation. His name has been tied to too many scandals that Nigerians don't know what to believe in Andoakaa's words again and this is a serious indictment of a person who occupies an office that is efficacious in the trust and confidence it engenders on the people, and not only members of the scheming cabal called PDP. So Nigerians watch interestedly as the Ekiti tribunal plough through the wreckage of the historical electoral pillage in Ekiti that gave Oni his present mandate. They are watching for tell tale signs of PDP's infamous predilection to manipulate and twist events for its own good, as has become the norm in Nigeria in the last ten cheqeured years.
In my earlier article that preceded the shambolic Ekiti re-run polls, I had weighed the practical chances between the AC candidate, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and the PDP candidate, Segun Oni and concluded that the game belonged to Fayemi considering that he had a huge advantage going to that re-run polls and the voters sentiment on the ground. However, after observing the thinly veiled desperation the PDP hierarchy, from the president to the last man in Ekiti displayed in the run up to the election, I counseled Fayemi to keep his forensic faculty that helped him got the first election invalidated intact because he may still need it after the re-run polls. In saying this, I knew that the PDP had gone beyond redemption and will adopt any foul means to claim another soiled territory. I knew that the desperation the high echelon of the PDP was showing on the re-run polls warned of another horrific electoral charade and if that should happen, Fayemi should be prepared once again to approach the courts for justice. As tiring as that circuitous journey had been, that is the only option Fayemi has against the determined insistence of the PDP to commit plain fraud with the electoral process as seen in Ekiti.
For now, every rational person knows that Fayemi's task at the tribunal is very easy and this is even made easier by the fact that he leads comfortably in the vetted results from over 95 per cent of Ekiti State. All he needs to do is to show that the 18,000 votes that were recorded in eight wards in Ido Osi were mere forgeries from the minds of a criminal party and its agents in INEC and the security agencies and no more. He is doing that brilliantly and this is the reason for the fear about manipulating the tribunal. Nigerians know that a party that can bold-facedly own up to the Ido Osi result is capable of any foul tactics to justify that crooked result. Stretched further, Fayemi †stands to widen his advantage if he questions such other obviously cooked results from Ijero and some other places where PDP's demonic fury was in full sway. This is no rocket science about this task and even the simplest of minds can do this. Added to his pluses is that he has the love and approval of the masses. This is rewarding him by the sheer volume of voluntary information he is now presenting before the tribunal. It will take more than sheer human strength for the PDP to ignore the impending rustication. Given the magnitude of interest the party mobilized for the Ekiti re-run, nothing is impossible for the PDP to try to swing victory to its side at the tribunal.
As the situation stands now, the Ekiti issue is far beyond the fixing ken of any fraudulent official or agent of any party. The Nigerian judiciary should take cognizance of this fact and not agree to anything that will further dent the image of the country's judiciary. Nigerians are watching with keen interest to notice any footwork that may speak of manipulation of the Ekiti tribunal and for the PDP, the only option it has is to prove how it got a massive 15,000 votes in eight wards in Ido Osi. It is just as simple as that and I wonder how they would do that with all the facts Nigerians know. I wonder how they will do that considering the ugly report that preceded the final declaration of their soiled and dented victory.
I will like to let the country's judiciary know that more than any other exercise so far observed in the wonky electoral process the PDP has forced on Nigerians, the Ekiti electoral re-run stands out as the most bizarre. Equally, it was the most observed and the most noted because of the circumstances that birthed it. The developments at the tribunal, the way and manner it conducts its present business and the eventual outcome will either for good or for ill determine its integrity in the long run. How to explain to Nigerians that the PDP really won the April 25 re-run in Ekiti State is a near-impossible task that will certainly rub off negatively on any judiciary, more than the muzzled manner some controversial resolutions are being awarded to the PDP. It is true that Nigerians have been forced to live with so many controversial adjudications that mock the fact from the various tribunals but the Ekiti case will be a topping of the series of purchased judgments that have come to infest this democracy.
The Ekiti re-run poll is one case Nigerians believe was settled before it even began. This is because of the observed circumstances that happened during the polls. The deadly battles against electoral observers, pressmen, monitors and other independent assessors of the re-run polls were aimed at the kind of hare-brained roguery that produced the Ido Osi forgery. I do not think the facts are contestable and if we have agreed to tag along with the facts that really happened, the Ido Osi result was a phony fraud that is not worth the paper on which it was written. Even from an ephemeral perspective, the result from the eight wards of Ido Osi cannot pass even the most elementary test of credible and acceptable electoral results. I know that Fayemi is quite capable of proving this. He is doing that already so I counsel that nothing should be done to swerve the natural course of justice in this case.
The present Ekiti re-run case is one that leaves little chance f manipulation for the PDP and its hideous army of fixers and indeed any other person. Equally it leaves little room for even the most unscrupulous knight of justice because everything worked like in an open sesame, right before our very eyes. It is an abiku that morphs to hunt whoever tries to change its course. So let that famed fixer and manipulator keep off and allow the people of Ekiti to have whoever they voted for since 2007 to govern them. †Let all the facts be placed on the table and let the tribunal, with all true sense of justice and patriotism, determine who won the election in Ekiti State. Let the AC come out with their proof and let the PDP come out with theirs and let Nigerians know what happened. There should be no hanky panky about it if this is the case; I see no reason why the Ekiti case should not be used to advertise the new face for the judiciary, far from the marshy image it is having now. The Ekiti tribunal and the Appeal Court represent the judiciary in this case and everything must be done to preserve the integrity of the judiciary especially in the face of the desperation of the PDP to keep what does not belong to it.
Peter Claver Oparah.
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