Ahead of the May 29, 2023 handover due date, Igbo leaders under the auspices of the Igbo Patriotic Forum have cautioned against the swearing-in of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu before the apex court judgment, saying it might be an invitation to anarchy if done.
The Igbo leaders advised that the judiciary must be allowed to conclude hearing on the presidential election petitions before swearing in a new president of Nigeria.
The forum which made this known yesterday at a press conference presided over by its chairman, Chief Simon Okeke in Abuja, condemned what it called a delayed tactic being employed by the presidential election petitions tribunal.
Okeke said the constitution never said the president must be sworn in on May 29, and the present administration should ensure that the right thing is done by allowing the judiciary to conclude its work before any swearing-in can take place.
He said; “Following the controversial February 25 2023 presidential and National Assembly elections and the consequent unprecedented tension and criticisms that trailed the INEC announcement of the presidential election results, the country’s judiciary is on trial.
“Since INEC failed to meet most of its set guidelines including the failure to transmit votes as promised, from the polling units to fit central server, the announced presidential results have been challenged by five of the major political parties in the country including the Labour Party and Peoples Democratic Party.
“We, therefore, call on the country’s judiciary to consider the general interest of the millions of Nigerians, as well as the cooperate existence of Nigeria in handling these electoral petitions to avoid a miscarriage of justice that may precipitate a serious crisis in the country.
Since the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) allows anyone aggrieved after the announcement by INEC of the general election result to go on appeal from the tribunal to the Supreme Court to determine the final winner of the election, it stands to reason that no one should be sworn in as the winner before the apex court pronounces who, in its opinion, is the true winner of that election.”
Okeke, further said common sense requires that until the apex court pronounces who the winner is, the election is only midway and not over yet, saying swearing in anyone as the winner is premature and nothing other than announcing the result of the match in the middle of the game.