The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate in the November 11 election in Kogi State, Senator Dino Melaye, has accused the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and the judiciary of being the greatest threat to democracy in the country.
Melaye declared that he will not approach the tribunal over the outcome of the election, which he said was characterized by fraud, during a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja.
Melaye, flanked by members of the PDP and his campaign team, said the judiciary is supposed to be the last line of defence of democracy and the rule of law.
“However, the judiciary itself has been on trial due to its tragic and glaring inability to inspire confidence and trust in its handling of electoral matters.”
He said that as things stand in Nigeria, no discerning observer, no matter how chartable, can avoid the conclusion that the judiciary seems to have become a willing and potent tool in the hands of powerful forces that are bent on subverting democracy in Nigeria, adding that the common saying that the judiciary is the last hope of aggrieved citizens is now an empty slogan because “the judiciary is rapidly turning to the lost hope of the people of Nigeria.”
Melaye also called on all opposition political parties to “forthwith boycott all future elections unless and until the current INEC is dissolved and a new set of nonpartisan Chairman and Commissioners are appointed.
He said further “Participation by opposition political parties in future pre-written election results under a morally and ethically challenged Prof. Mahmood Yakubu Electoral Commission amounts to giving legitimacy and credence to the continued rape of democracy in Nigeria.”
On why he would not approach the tribunal, Melaye said he would not dignify a “captured judiciary by filing a petition over the Kogi Governorship election, where the majority of the results were written before the election day by INEC officials under the watch of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who has now earned the unenviable position of the most incompetent person to preside over the Election Management Body in Nigeria.
“Why should any reasonable Nigerian go to the tribunal when the judiciary has been captured and members of a political party openly dare the would-be victims of their infernal rigging machine to go to court?”
He said governors are now brazenly applying the same method of constituting the State Independent Electoral Commission (SIEC) with party members and supporters to INEC at the federal level. “We have already witnessed a repeat of local government elections at the state level with the writing of results before elections in Kogi and Imo States.
“The capture of the judiciary portends that citizens may resort to self-help, and that is dangerous for our society. Democracy dies when political elites repudiate or reject the norms and values on which democracy is practiced and the judiciary is captured and unable to do electoral justice,” he said.