In a recent online interactive forum moderated by Rudolf Okonkwo, Prince Adewole Adebayo, the 2023 presidential candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), did not mince his words when he described the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the epicentre of fraudulent activities in Nigeria.
During the discussion, Adebayo recounted how he had forewarned stakeholders about INEC’s lack of sincerity in the months leading up to the February 25 presidential election. He emphasized that INEC had merely deceived the public with its promise to electronically transmit election results.
The legal practitioner raised valid concerns about how trust could be placed in INEC to conduct a credible election when registering a political party, filing reports, or inviting the commission to party conventions seemed impossible without financial inducements. In his words, “INEC is the headquarters of fraud.”
Reflecting on his extensive election campaign efforts that took him to every corner of Nigeria, Adebayo noted that even prominent figures in Nigerian history, such as Obafemi Awolowo and Nnamdi Azikiwe, had failed to secure the presidency during the peak of their popularity. He argued that despite the global recognition of leaders like Azikiwe, the electoral landscape in Nigeria presented formidable challenges.
Addressing why he did not challenge the presidential election’s outcome in court, Adebayo explained that pursuing a legal remedy would have been futile, as courts could only address specific legal issues. He emphasized that most societal wrongs could not be rectified through litigation, a crucial insight that election petitioners needed to grasp.
In a political climate rife with challenges and scepticism, Adebayo’s candid remarks shed light on the complexities of Nigeria’s electoral processes and the need for transparency and accountability in institutions like INEC.
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