As Nigeria prepares for presidential inauguration on May 29, 2023 amid unresolved election petitions, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), says election petitions can be concluded within seven days if the tribunal adopts a more proactive approach.
“There is a context in which I have recommended we should finish the petitions as fast as possible, and I think seven days is a good time to go,” he said.
He, therefore, for the umpteenth time called on the Presidential Elections Tribunal to resolve all pending petitions before the inauguration date to reduce political tension.
Agbakoba, in an interview on Arise Television’s “The Morning Show” on Wednesday monitored by Persecondnews, said resolving all the disputes before inauguration will take away the question of legitimacy of the president-elect, Bola Tinubu.
According to the former NBA president, it is unfair for a petitioner not to get justice while the president-elect will be sworn in.
He said: “The fact that the Constitution provides a time limit doesn’t mean that time limit must actually run. So the context of my call is that the polity is overheated.
“The judicial philosophy of Nigeria is about 100 years old. Nigeria is not known for speed. Why should we use 360 days to do something that is very simple?
“The question is not whether it is doable, but rather whether it can be done. The election was in February, what is the difficulty in resolving these cases before May 29?”
Agbakoba also called on the 10th National Assembly to implement and legislate on the recommendations made by the Justice Uwais Report of 2007, adding that it time to demystify electoral petitions.
Speaking on the issue of alleged interim government plot, Agbakoba said there is no room for an interim government in the 1999 Constitution.
He stated that he was not concerned about the claims of what would be an unconstitutional government as there was a reason for it.
“The cause for all these cries for an interim government and the response by Lai Mohammed and the DSS is because they want Mr. Tinubu to be inaugurated by May 29 irrespective of the decision of the tribunal.
“All these issues would die down when the petitions are resolved.”