The Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the November 11 Governorship election in Kogi state, Senator Dino Melaye says he will not challenge the outcome of the election.
Dino, who came third in the election said he has lost confidence in the nation’s judiciary, hence his decision not to file petition at the Kogi State Off-cycle Governorship Election Petition Tribunal.
He said at a press conference held in Abuja, that both INEC and judiciary are two institutions that have been taken over by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Dino cited the situations in Kano and Plateau States where he alleged that the judiciary is being used to take away the mandate freely given to opposition parties.
He said electoral bodies and judiciary are the pillars of democracy in other parts of the world, regretting that same cannot be said about the two institutions in Nigeria.
According to him, both INEC and judiciary have become biggest threats to Nigeria Democracy.
Full Text of the Press Conference addressed bby Senator Dino Melaye :
” WHY I WILL NOT GO TO TRIBUNAL
INEC & JUDICIARY : THE BIGGEST THREAT TO DEMOCRACY IN NIGERIA
“1. The Election management body like INEC and the Judiciary are the sustaining pillars of thriving democracies around the world.
“2. The constitutional duty of INEC is to conduct periodic free, fair and credible elections and declare the popular will of the people as expressed through the ballot but under the watch of Prof Mahmood Yakubu we are witnessing a new phenomenon in which election results are prepared before the day of the election.
“3. The Judiciary is supposed to be the last line of defense of democracy and the rule of law: Regrettably, however, the Judiciary itself has been on trial due to its tragic and glaring inability to inspire confidence and trust in its handling of electoral matters.
“No discerning observer, no matter how chartable, can avoid the conclusion that the Judiciary seems to have become a willing and potent tool in the hands of powerful forces that are bent on subverting democracy in Nigeria.
“Not surprisingly, low whispers about the need for the Judiciary to examine itself and reinvent itself turned to strident calls from many highly respected individuals and originations in the country, especially after the Judicial abracadabra in Plateau and Kano States.
“4. A Democracy without the Rule of law and a courageous Judiciary has in it an inner virus that will lead to its destruction.
“The common saying that the judiciary is the last hope of aggrieved citizens is now an empty slogan because the judiciary is rapidly turning to the lost hope of the people of Nigeria.
“5. That is why l, Senator Dino Melaye Will not dignify a captured judiciary by filing a petition over Kogi Governorship election where majority of the results were written before the election day by INEC officials under the watch of Professor Mahmood Yakubu who has now earned the unenviable position of the most incompetent person to preside over the Election Management Body in Nigeria.
“Why should any reasonable Nigerian go to the tribunal when the Judiciary has been captured and members of a Political Party openly dare the would-be victims of their infernal rigging machine to go to court.
“6. Why should other political parties and Nigerians participate in future elections with the consolidation of grip and total control of INEC through the appointment of APC card carrying members as Commissioners into INEC who will recruit APC supporters as poll officials?
“All recognized individuals of proven integrity from south and Northern part of this country applauded by Nigerians for their commitment to credible elections as Commissioners have all been eased out of INEC.
“The way the so-called State lndependent Electoral Commission (SIEC) is constituted by Governors with party members and supporters is what is now being brazenly applied to INEC at the Federal level.
“We have already witnessed a repeat of Local Government elections at the States level with the writing of results before elections in Kogi and Imo States.
“7. What future do we have of democracy when the Judiciary is captured as the world has seen happening across Nigeria wherein the Judiciary is now used to upturn the peoples’ verdicts for APC in Kano, Nasarawa, Plateau, Zamfara and probably many more in the days ahead.
“The capture of judiciary portends, citizens possible resort to self-help and that is dangerous for our society.
“Democracy dies when political elites repudiate or reject the norms and values on which democracy is practised and the judiciary is captured and unable to do Electoral justice.
“8. The Presidential Election Tribunal Judgment was written on partisan stationery.
“The CTC of the Kano Gubernatorial Appeal significantly differed in whole sections from the verbal Judgment delivered by the Appeal Court.
“The three paragraphs of the judgment declared to be “clerical errors” surprisingly and curiously do not have SPELLING ERRORS. Does it mean that “clerical errors” do not have meaning again?
“We all know that it is easier to recite after thought Judgments than to rewrite well-considered written judgments.
“9. In summary we can say that our country and democracy is at its most vulnerable point of decay as a result of institutional capture.
“Today there is nowhere to turn to by citizens for sanity. The Judiciary has become an extended section of a political party doing its bidding and delivering pre-determined judgments.
“The fingers of providence will continue to write its verdict on the walls of our Judiciary as the biggest threat to the survival of democracy in Nigeria.
“10. We are at that terrible situation that led St Augustine to declare that a country is nothing but a band of rogues without the Law. INEC and the Judiciary in particular have betrayed Nigerians and dashed their hopes and aspirations of democratic ideals through judicial sabotage. This is why the peoples’ mandate are being stolen by the institutional rogues.
“11. We can all now see what the scholar, Montesquieu meant when he warned that “there is no greater tyranny than a tyranny that is perpetuated under the shield of the Law in the name of justice”
“12. Fellow Nigerians and Gentlemen of the Press.
In the light of the foregoing, l Senator Dino MeIaye have decided in good conscience not to submit myself to a judiciary that has become an instrument of political tyranny. Just as Pa Awolowo declared after the 1983 rigged elections, when asked why he refused to go to tribunal? Our sage said that he will not because “the judiciary is corrupt and will not do justice”.
” I will not go to court because justice has been murdered by the judiciary in Nigeria.
“13. Finally, may I use this opportunity to call on all opposition political parties of Nigeria to forthwith boycott all future elections unless and until the current INEC constituted by APC members is dissolved and a new set of nonpartisan, Chairman and Commissioners are appointed into INEC.
“Further Participation by opposition political parties in future pre-written election results under a morally and ethically challenged Prof Mahmood Yakubu Electoral Commission amounts to giving legitimacy and credence to the continued rape of democracy in Nigeria.
“Senator Dino Melaye
29th November, 2023