January 27, 2020

ZAMFARA POLLS: Putting review of judgments to test


By Musa Gusau

Zamfara State chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC, is still crying for justice regarding its outstanding appeal before the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

They want the court to reconsider reviewing the last judgment delivered on May 24, 2019, which we regard as a miscarriage of justice.

It is an accepted democratic norm all over the world to condemn some judgments considered to be bad.

The criteria used in deciding if a judgment is bad are not merely based on high profile cases or people involved. There could be issues of prosecutorial misconduct.

Regardless of whether or not a judgment scales the criteria for goodness allowable in law, the public may be tempted to not accept it until it is tested in courts of superior jurisdiction.

This is perhaps part of the reasons why most suits, especially on elections get to the final bus stop.

In Zamfara State, the Supreme Court ruling on the gubernatorial, Senate, House of Representatives and state Assembly election petitions, supposedly runs contrary to the expectations of a large section of the public.

Already, the APC in Zamfara State has filed an appeal against the judgment of the Supreme Court, seeking a review of the last judgment which gave victory to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in all categories of elections.

APC and its candidates appealed for the review of the judgment citing several instances of miscarriage of justice by the court and relying on several grounds and judicial authorities.

Without prejudice, Nigerians are awaiting the outcome which could further enrich the nation’s law report archives.

The heat at the moment is generated by the expectation of a priceless jewel called fairness. Anyone would be forgiven if he or she concludes that this is one of the most challenging moments in the democratic history of Zamfara State.

Before the controversial victory of governor Bello Matawalle and other PDP candidates, there was suspicion that some ”Zamfara Bigg Men” were opposed to the quest for justice.

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It is undeniable that there is a growing level of anxiety over the kind of justice to be served. The judges that would be in the case review of the appeal truly has a daunting task in ensuring that undiluted justice is served. All eyes are on them to change the course of history from avoidable anxiety to satisfaction.

As the clock ticks, it is hoped that fairness will be the new name of the apex court’ on the matter.

Respected opinion leaders and other stakeholders in Zamfara are expectant.

Win or lose, the APC has made its case loud and clear and whichever verdict comes next, the beat goes on to the next level. This is a clarion appeal for the review of the judgment.

*Gusau, Secretary of Concerned Citizens of Zamfara, writes from Gusau


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