In my last post, Yar'Adua Holds On To Aso Rock, I posed the following questions:
what evidence was lacking in this Presidential Election case to deprive the Tribunal of the information it needed to fully examine the case? And why, was this evidence unavailable?Discussing the evidence issue, a reader, Akin, commented that evidence from only 4 out of 36 states was presented to the Tribunal for consideration. He went on to point out that,
"... Buhari/Atiku have a case, but they need to present overwhelming evidence to overturn the election in a situation where the numbers would make a difference, they probably need to do that with evidence from at least 32 states to shift the 70% Yar'Adua was purported to have taken."I agree with Akin that Buhari, Atiku, and their respective legal teams should have coalesced enough evidence to make a stronger case. The question I was trying to raise in my last piece with regards to evidence is WHY they failed to provide such evidence.
No lawyer worth a grain of salt will enter a court room with inadequate evidence unless they absolutely had no choice. I choose to assume that Buhari and Atiku hired the best possible lawyers that their millions could buy and that these lawyers are more than competent. So, why did they not have the necessary evidence to present a persuasive case?
As I do not have a crystal ball and I also do not have a direct phone number for either of these attorneys, I can only speculate that one of the reasons why they did not have this evidence is because it was not made available to them in the discovery process. By that, I mean that INEC and other necessary parties may not have provided all necessary evidence. After all, in order for the plaintiffs to make their case, they must have relied heavily on evidence that only INEC could have provided. Additionally, the necessary evidence might simply no longer exist as we know that various hoodlums 'hijacked' and absconded with poll results and God only knows how many other ways poll boxes and ballots disappeared or were destroyed. Or, it could be as simple as Imnakoya, at Grandiose Parlor, calls it - a matter of incompetency.
I bring up these issues because in order to have a credible review process, plaintiffs have to have access to the evidence. Thus, there will need to be stricter requirements (and overview) for the retention of all documents which could eventually become evidence in such Tribunal reviews. I can only hope that the next election process will go better and that if there is a challenge of the results, the necessary information from every state will be available so that justice is not limited.
Please take the time to read Imnakoya's post on the Tribunal's decision.
Hattip to African Loft for providing an audio copy of the Tribunal's decision.