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General News of Friday, 27 October 2023


Electoral issues won’t stop until 1999 constitution is amended – Robert Clarke

Robert Clarke Robert Clarke

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Robert Clarke, said electoral issues in Nigeria will not stop until the 1999 constitution is amended.

Clarke stated this in an interview with Channels Television’s Politics Today on Thursday.

He blamed the 1999 Constitution for the incessant electoral litigations over the years.

Clarke said the 1999 Constitution gave the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) so much power.

His comment comes after the Supreme Court upheld President Bola Tinubu’s election.

Clarke said, “The problem today is that the system we have, except it is rigorously looked into, we will continue for every four years to do the same thing we are doing for the next 20 years. I started with this constitution in 1999; today, in 2023, there has been no difference. Every four years, we do a roundabout in trekking and come to the same point.

“We have filed about six election petitions, and the Supreme Court has never set aside any presidential election in Nigeria. Why should they, when the law says whatever the umpire does is, by law, presumed to be right?

“So, once the umpire, which is INEC, presents documents to the tribunal and says, ‘I have done my job; these are the results; if you are not happy, come and challenge me and bring your own result’.

“That is what is happening. We have to make sure INEC is not given that advantage to present documents, and the court has no option but to accept them as correct.”

“For us not to come back in four years’ time and be talking the same thing that we are doing today, we must amend the 1999 Constitution to remove that section that says to be able to contest an election, you must belong to a political party,” he said.

According to him, all the problems today are being caused by the political parties with their numerous litigations from pre-election to the election as well as post-election.