May 5, 2023. Peoples Gazette – The Archbishop Emeritus of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, says it does not make sense for Bola Tinubu to be sworn in as president while his victory is challenged in court.
“You started by saying the elections have come and gone. I am saying this because, according to the electoral law, the elections are not over until it is over,” the cleric said in an interview with Channels TV aired on Thursday.
His comments came a few weeks before the swearing-in of Mr Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress, scheduled for May 29.
Mr Onaiyekan pointed out that there “are cases in court that have not been disposed of. That is why we’re in an anomalous situation.”
He added, “We have a declared president-elect whose election is being challenged, and the courts are handling it. I think I’m entitled to take the position that I’m still waiting for the courts to tell me who won the election.”
The Catholic cleric said that “is why I say we’re in an anomalous situation” and “I’m one of those who have been saying it doesn’t make much sense to be swearing in people when they are still in court.”
Mr Oniayekan called for the reform of the electoral system “so it would be easier for winners to emerge according to the wishes of the people.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announced Mr Tinubu, the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, as the February 25 presidential election winner, defeating Atiku Abubakar of the Peoples Democratic Party and Peter Obi of the Labour Party.
Shortly after Mr Tinubu was declared president-elect by INEC, Mr Onaiyekan described the presidential outcome as “tragically questionable results.”
Messrs Abubakar and Obi are in court to contest the APC flag bearer’s electoral victory.