As Nigerians brace up for the commencement of the legal battle that is set to trail the outcome of the February 25 presidential elections in the country, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Prince Tonye Cole has endorsed the calls being made for the judiciary to conclude all matters of election petitions before the swearing-in of the President-elect into office.
Speaking during an interview on ARISE TV's 'The Morning Show' on Thursday, Cole, who contested for the office of the governor on the platform of the APC in Rivers, argued that just as it is common practice for INEC to ensure that all litigation matters relating to the legitimacy of a candidate at the party primaries are resolved before going into the election, the Judiciary can also produce a judgment on election petitions before a President-elect is into office. According to him, this will ensure that the President, when eventually sworn into office, will not be bogged down by litigations challenging his legitimacy.
He said; "I completely agree with calls for the judiciary to conclude litigation hearing before a President-elect is sworn into office. One of the things that INEC did correctly in the last election cycle, was that they ensured that all litigations and disputes from the primaries are sorted out before you go for the elections, and that was a good thing. That way, you are assured that the candidate coming out did not have anything illegal hanging over their heads.
I think this ought to also be done for those who have won or lost elections. The judiciary should wrap up these cases quickly so that when a candidate is sworn into office, he knows that he is going in there and nothing will hold him back. So, I one hundred percent agree with the need for the Tribunal to look into litigations and close the cases before anybody is sworn in."
SOURCE: YouTube (Forward video to 3:32:36).
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