The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2023 election, Atiku Abubakar, says judges in the country are no longer appointed based on merit but on nepotism.
Atiku stated that the judiciary has become the “lost hope of the common man”.
He added that the appointment of electoral officials has also been hijacked by the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), saying the recently-nominated Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) were members of the ruling party.
The former Vice President said this at a press conference in Abuja on Monday, October 30, in reaction to the Supreme Court judgement which affirmed President Bola Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election.
Atiku said: “The position of the Supreme Court, even though final, leaves so much unanswered.
“Even the rebuke by retired Justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad is a confirmation from within the apex court that all is not well with the Supreme Court.
“The court and indeed the judiciary must never lend itself to politicization as it is currently the norm with nearly every institution in Nigeria.
“By the way, the strong rebuke of the apex court by the revered Justice, who had meritoriously served for more than four decades, should not be swept under the carpet.
“The alarm raised by Justice Muhammad and recently, former INEC Chairman, Prof Attahiru Jega, offer Nigerians an explanation into why the electoral and judicial system have become the lost hope of the common man.
“Judges are no longer appointed based on merit but are products of the interplay of politics and nepotism.
“Worse still, the appointment of electoral officials has also been hijacked by the ruling party as seen in the latest nomination of Resident Electoral Commissioners where card carrying members of the ruling party and aides to politicians in the APC are being appointed into INEC.
“When two critical institutions like the court and the electoral commission are trapped in an evil web of political machination, it becomes next to impossible for democracy to thrive.
“As a stakeholder in the presidential election of February 25, I, along with other well-meaning Nigerians have done my bit in ensuring that our democratic process enjoys the privilege of full disclosure of the character deficiencies of the current political leadership.
“I also believe that even if the Supreme Court believes otherwise, the purpose of technology in our electoral system is to enhance transparency and not merely as a viewing centre. We have to move with the world and not be stuck in time.”