Fears are ripe that the Nigerian elections could well be rigged by the incumbent President, Buhari. This is at the backdrop of recent moves by the Nigerian President who arbitrarily “suspended” the seating Chief Justice

[highest ranking judicial officer]

, Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen on alleged corruption charges without recourse to relevant sections of the Nigerian constitution which forbids such arbitrary actions. Buhari has since named a replacement for Justice Onnoghen.

Similarly, President Buhari has also come under severe criticism over his choice of Service Chiefs and appointments which negates Nigeria’s long standing practice of appointments based on the Federal Character principle. Buhari has appointed only people from his clan as Service Chiefs including the recent appointment of a new Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, following the retirement of the former Inspector-General, Ibrahim Idris whose role in the recently conducted State elections in Nigeria is riddled with claims that he helped rig the elections in favour of the President’s political party [APC]. This trend further raises questions if elections could be free and fair in Nigeria in the atmosphere of blatant disregard of constitution and extant practice by the President.

By far, the biggest and perhaps, the most shocking action of President Buhari was his decision to arbitrarily remove the head of the judicial organ, Justice Onnoghen. Section 292 of the Nigerian constitution clearly forbids such dictatorial actions; citing a two-third majority of Nigeria’s legislative organ requisite for such circumstance.

Other known aberrations in the build up to Nigeria’s elections include President Buhari’s niece, Amina Zakari who mysteriously found her way into the electoral body, INEC in 2015 and successfully served as an electoral officer in the elections which President Buhari won in rather controversial circumstances. Amina Zakari is set to serve yet again as collation officer in the upcoming elections; a move which analysts situate as dangerous and unhealthy for the country’s nascent democracy, raising questions on respect for the principles of natural justice and the Latin dictum “Nemo judex in causa sua” [no person can judge a case in which they have an interest].

The EU, United States , United Kingdom and other nations recognizes the key role Nigeria plays in the sustenance of democracy in Africa and have expressed deep concerns over the recent happenings in the country.

The EU Electoral Observation Mission Nigeria 2019 strongly condemned these ill-timed actions by the Nigerian President and advised that the legal process provided by the constitution should be adhered to strictly. Furthermore, the US through its embassy in Nigeria issued a statement condemning President Buhari’s decision to suspend the Chief Justice: “We note widespread Nigerian criticism that this decision is unconstitutional and that it undermines the independence of the judicial branch. The foregoing undercuts the stated determination of government, candidates, and political party leaders to ensure that the elections proceed in a way that is free, fair, transparent, and peaceful – leading to a credible result. ‘We urge that the issues raised by this decision be resolved swiftly and peacefully in accordance with due process, full respect for the rule of law, and the spirit of the Constitution of Nigeria. Such action is needed urgently now to ensure that this decision does not cast a pall over the electoral process.” The opposition and international community are concerned over the deeply worrying situation in Nigeria where the President has all but transformed himself into a thin demigod likened to Nigeria’s military dictator Sani Abacha and Hitler of Germany.

Also, the UK and other international observers have issued stern warnings to all electoral offenders and their families including visa restrictions.

The international community is encouraged to observe and act promptly to resist any attempt of rigging the elections by the present government in Nigeria as it is crystal clear that they have been rejected by the people. President Buhari should be called to order to reverse his undemocratic decisions and halt his megalomaniac instincts and obscene acts of desperation to cling to power.

Nigeria is at yet another crossroad again and all hands are required to be on deck to save her democracy from the hands of dictators and tyrannical leaders.

United Nations European Union African Union ECOWAS United Nations Security Council United Nations Human Rights U.S. Embassy NigeriaAmnesty International Nigeria Amnesty International Amnesty International Africa NATO CNN Africa BBC News Africa CNN Politics BBC Politics CNN Connect the World The New York Times Fox News Insider Fox News Voice of America – VOA Voice Of Nigeria Africa Independent Television Channels Television BEN TV TVC News Nigeria. The White House White House BriefDonald J. Trump Friends Who Like Donald J. Trump Nigerian SenateNigerian National Assembly Professor Yemi Osinbajo Atiku Abubakar Atiku Abubakar Foundation Abubakar Bukola Saraki Ike Ekweremadu

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