It makes neither logical, linguistic, nor political sense to isolate a small part of a whole and arbitrarily elevate its electoral value above others. The verdict of the Supreme Court will bury this nonsense forever.
The tribunal’s ruling on the challenge to Tinubu’s alleged dual citizenship is its worst, and I hope the Supreme Court will give us clarity on it. Sometime last year, I had an impassioned dialogic exchange about dual citizenship with a newspaper editor who has a law degree. It was from him I first became aware that I had been misinformed about the issue.
The petitions are predictably heading to the Supreme Court where they will get a final legal burial. But I am glad that the appeals will help get us legal closure on two thorny issues once and for all: the electoral worth of the Federal Capital Territory and the intent of the framers of the 1999 constitution when they barred dual citizens from running for elective positions.
However, in spite of these precedents, the Federal High Court in Port Harcourt invalidated the candidature of Rivers State APC governorship candidate Tonye Cole on account of dual citizenship. Our courts obviously have no respect for precedents, but I hope the ruling of the Supreme Court on the matter will establish once and for all whether people who were born Nigerian but acquired another citizenship later in life are disqualified from running for elective offices.
Of course, it would also be reassuring if the Supreme Court grants legal protection to the technological safeguards that INEC spent billions to acquire in order to assure voters that it would run a credible poll but whose use the tribunal said was optional and discretionary.
I finally got a chance to read the verdict of the Presidential Elections Petitions Tribunal. Being completely emotionally uninvested in the outcome of the last presidential election (because on the issues that really matter— such as subsidies for the poor—Bola Tinubu, Atiku Abubakar, and Peter Obi are indistinguishable), most of the tribunal’s judgment was unsurprising.
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