Achebe’s Eneke the bird appears in Osun election tribunal judgement



Achebe’s Eneke the bird appears in Osun election tribunal judgement

Chinua Achebe’s proverbial bird made a rare appearance in court on Friday

Eneke the bird made a rare apprarance in court on Friday as the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal cited the proverbial bird in its judgement.

Eneke is a proverbial bird to which an unforgettable line on survival was attributed in Mr Achebe’s classic novel, Things Fall Apart.

In the majority judgement, read by its chairman, Terste Kume, the tribunal said former Governor Gboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) won the election and not Governor Ademola Adeleke of the PDP, who was returned by INEC.

Mr Kume accused INEC officials of tampering with the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) machines to compromise the election in favour of Mr Adeleke.

“The said conduct of the officials of the 1st Respondent, as shown in this judgement, makes the proactive decision of Eneke, the bird in the Novel, Things Fall Apart, 1958 by Chinua Achebe very instructive. In the said novel appears these words; “Men have learnt to shoot without missing, she has learnt to fly without perching.”

Mr Achebe used the quote by the proverbial bird to illustrate how people were adapting to changes in the society in colonial time Igbo land in now South-east Nigeria.

The tribunal chairman said electoral officials manipulated the BVAS machines but did not cover their tracks.


Mr Kume faulted the synchronisation of the BVAS machines after the election, which INEC had cited as explanation for producing two contradictory sets of data on accredited voters.

The INEC counsel, Paul Ananaba, had during cross-examination argued that the election results in possession of the petitioners were incomplete because it was issued to them before the BVAS machines were synchronised.

The INEC counsel said the petitioners had therefore challenged the outcome of the election with incomplete data.

But the tribunal chairman insisted that the results of the election were still not accurate after the said synchronisation of the BVAS machines.

“We have looked, and evaluated the evidence of the parties as shown in the exhibits before this Tribunal. The contents of the exhibits are clear as day. The said evidence is not from the fertile and creative imagination of learned counsel for the Petitioners, as erroneously submitted by learned counsel for the Respondents in their respective reply addresses on points of law to the issues under consideration,” he said.


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