Late president Musa Yar’adua’s appointed Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mike Aondoakaa, has said his interview with Arise TV was highly distorted and misconceived.
Aondoakaa made the clarification in a statement in Makurdi, Benue State, by his Special Assistant, Abdul Kohol on Tuesday.
The former AGF said the clarifications became necessary following ‘’misconceptions and distortions peddled on social media…’’
“In the March 3 interview, the TV anchor sought Aondoakaa’s opinion on a candidate winning 25 per cent of valid votes of Abuja, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) as a condition, among others, before being declared winner of the presidential election.
“Aondoakaa said the Supreme Court in 2008, gave interpretations as regards the conjunction ‘and’ joining the larger part of the subsection with the smaller part of; which the Supreme Court held to be ‘conjunctive’ in view of the words used in Section 146 (1) of the Electoral Act, 2006, and not ‘disjunctive’; however, Supreme Court has a right to depart from its previous decision, depending on the facts of each case.
“At no time did Aondoakaa state that it was wrong for Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to have declared president-elect, Bola Ahmed, winner of the presidential election.
“Aondoakaa said since the matter is in court, it will be sub judice to delve further into it.
“Aondoakaa further clarified during the interview that decisions of Supreme Court are based on facts/merits of each case before it.
“The TV anchor never asked about validity of the declaration of the winner of the presidential election nor about swearing-in of the winner; and Aondoakaa never alluded to that effect.
“It is mischief and/or ignorance on anyone that tries to introduce untruth in the interview. Such persons should look for another avenue to pour vituperation on the poll processes.
“Aondoakaa could not have said more, being aware of the position of the law, that ‘election results are presumed by law to be correct until the contrary is proved’.
“… there is a rebuttable presumption that results of election declared by a Returning Officer are correct and authentic and the burden is on the person who denies the results to rebut the presumption.’ See Omoboriowo vs Ajasin (1984) 1SCNLR 108; Jalingo v. Nyame (1992) 3NWLR (Pt. 231) 538 and Buhari v. Obasanjo (2005) 7 SC (Pt. 1) 1…per Niki Tobi.
“Aondoakaa holds the president-elect, and the Judiciary in high esteem, and will never comment on matters before the courts…,” he added.