Sun, 10 Sep 2023 Feature Article

Promoting Justice Through Legal Avenues: A Response To Professor Isaac Albert's Advice on Challenging Election Results

Psychologist John Egbeazien OshodiPsychologist John Egbeazien Oshodi

Published on September 9, 2023, in the Daily Post under the title "Don’t waste resources to challenge Tinubu’s victory – Scholar advises Atiku, Obi," this article initiates a thought-provoking discourse prompted by the recent affirmation of President Bola Tinubu's victory by the Presidential Election Petitions Tribunal, following a contentious election.

Professor Isaac Olawale Albert, a scholar in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Ibadan, has offered invaluable guidance to prominent opposition figures, Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi.

This discourse reignites discussions about the paramount importance of upholding justice, even when confronted with potential challenges and resource limitations, within the dynamic political landscape of Nigeria and the broader context of Africa.

Challenging election results isn't just about resources or excitement; it's about self-defense and safeguarding democratic values. It ensures that political parties and individuals protect their interests, have their voices heard legally, and uphold fairness and justice, no matter the outcome.

The debate over whether to challenge election results or accept them is a complex one, and different individuals and groups may have differing opinions on the matter. Ultimately, the legal system exists to address such disputes and provide a resolution based on the rule of law and the constitution. It is through these mechanisms that justice, fairness, and the democratic process prevail, whether one wins or loses their legal battle.

Encouraging the use of legal remedies is vital to promote justice and fairness within a democratic society. It signifies a dedication to the ethical and moral principles of justice, highlighting that seeking justice through legal avenues is more than just winning a case; it's about standing up for what is right and just. This commitment aligns with the fundamental values of fairness, justice, and the rule of law, providing personal fulfillment to those who champion these principles, irrespective of case outcomes.

Even when the judicial system fails to deliver the desired verdict, pursuing justice through legal means establishes a documented record of perceived injustices or justice.

I respect Professor Albert's perspective, emphasizing the need to consider practicality and resource constraints in legal challenges. However, it's important to recognize that the pursuit of justice often extends beyond individual cases and reflects a larger commitment to democratic principles and the rule of law.

Legal battles, despite their resource-intensive nature and occasional lack of desired outcomes, are essential for maintaining democratic integrity. They provide a platform for thorough allegation examination, ensuring accountability and transparency. Moreover, they emphasize the universality of the rule of law, irrespective of social status or influence. Thus, while respecting Professor Albert's perspective, we must also value the role of legal challenges in preserving democratic fairness.

In emerging democracies like Nigeria, individuals and political parties have the right to challenge election outcomes when they have valid reasons. This decision involves considering factors like available evidence and its impact on democracy. It's essential for all parties to make informed, law-abiding, and democratic choices.

Encouraging justice involves addressing self-defense, seeking justice, and emphasizing the natural progression of the legal process. The debate over challenging or accepting election results is complex, with varying opinions. The legal system is designed to resolve such disputes based on the rule of law and constitutional principles, ensuring justice and democracy coexist. Promoting the use of legal remedies is essential for peaceful dispute resolution, trust in democratic institutions, and political engagement. Legal challenges contribute to learning, inform electoral law improvements, and uphold democratic values.

Despite potential flaws or corruption within the legal system, it's crucial to encourage individuals like Atiku, Obi, and Tinubu not to be discouraged from seeking justice, even amid challenges. Pursuing justice upholds democratic principles, ensuring fair treatment and accountability. In African contexts, it acts as a guiding light, leading societies toward fairness, equity, and accountability, fostering trust and progress.

Justice transcends individual personalities and affiliations; it forms the foundation of democracy. Upholding justice guarantees fair and equitable treatment within the bounds of the law.

Promoting engagement with the legal system after an election contributes to the well-being of a democratic society by encouraging peaceful and lawful dispute resolution.

This passage emphasizes the psychological aspect of individuals seeking justice within a potentially flawed or corrupt judicial system. Encouraging justice through the legal system demonstrates a commitment to fundamental democratic principles, including fairness, justice, and the rule of law. Regardless of the outcome, be it a victory or a loss, the legal process ensures the robustness, transparency, and accountability of the democratic process. Individuals must bravely pursue justice, shaping a more equitable future that influences the fate of nations and empowers individuals worldwide. It's vital to consider the principles of self-defense, the quest for justice, and the significance of the legal process. Professor Isaac Albert's advice reflects his perspective, which can vary among individuals. The debate surrounding the challenge of election results is multifaceted, with diverse opinions among individuals and groups. The legal system exists to address such disputes in accordance with the rule of law and the constitution.

In a democratic society, accountability is fundamental as encouraging legal challenges to election results reinforces the idea that those in power are answerable for their actions, promoting fairness and transparency in electoral processes, deterring future misconduct, and legal dispute resolution reduces the potential for conflict, violence, or civil unrest that can result from unaddressed concerns, aligning with Professor Albert's peace and conflict studies background, while also providing insights into electoral process improvements, fostering a continuous learning process and stronger democratic institutions, sustaining political engagement and preventing disengagement or disruptive actions, granting agency and a platform to have their voices heard, validating concerns, acknowledging suffering, and providing a legitimate avenue for resolution, respecting diverse opinions and voices, even in electoral defeat, upholding democratic values, and promoting social cohesion and non-violent dispute resolution, averting social unrest, which all together reflects a commitment to fairness, even if victory is uncertain, fulfilling ethical and moral principles, safeguards interests, ensuring voices are heard through legal means to seek justice.

In democratic societies, justice safeguards freedom and self-protection, challenging election results uphold due process. Discouraging legal avenues erodes trust in the legal system. Transparency, fair elections, and adherence to legal procedures are crucial for African democracy.

This writing underscores the importance of principles, justice, freedom, and due process in challenging election results. Justice demands impartiality, fairness, proper treatment, reasonableness, harm prevention, and remedial actions. Encouragement reflects a commitment to fairness and upholding democratic values.

In African settings, figures like Atiku, Obi, and Tinubu play a vital role in encouraging justice, ensuring fair treatment under the law. Justice is a fundamental right, guiding societies toward fairness, equity, and accountability.

Encouraging justice is a commitment to equality, impartiality, and the rule of law, fostering trust, social cohesion, and lasting progress in African settings, even if victory is uncertain. The pursuit of justice secures rights and contributes to a just and fair society.

The psychological message for all in Africa is clear: Cherish justice, for it is the cornerstone upon which resilient, fair, and harmonious societies are built. Uphold justice, for its pursuit shapes the destiny of nations and empowers individuals to secure their rightful place in the world.

Professor John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State, Nigeria, to a father who served in the Nigeria police for 37 years, is an American-based police and prison scientist and forensic, clinical, and legal psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical psychological services in the USA; and a former interim associate dean and assistant professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings. A former Secretary-General of the Nigeria Psychological Association. In 2011, he introduced state-of-the-art forensic psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C. and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. He has taught at various universities and colleges including Florida memorial University, Florida International University, Broward college, Lynn University, and a contributing faculty member at the Weldios university in Benin Republic, Nexus International University, Uganda, Nova Southeastern University and Walden University in USA. Professor Oshodi is highly regarded as an authority on psycho-prescriptive writings concerning African institutional and governance matters. With an impressive body of work that encompasses over forty academic publications and books, as well as over 300 public opinion articles, he emphasizes the values of truth, ethics, and transparency in his work.

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