…insists apex court justices deserve commendation not condemnation
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
A Non Governmental Organization under the aegis of Patriots For the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development, has condemned what it termed as unwarranted attacks and assault on the Supreme Court by politicians that were dissatisfied with some of its recent judgements.
The group, in a statement on Saturday, said the apex court must remain steadfast and undaunted in the dispensation of justice, no matter whose oz was gored.
It commended Supreme Court Justices for their courage in the discharge of their duties with the barrage of cases coming up for review before the court, noting that the decision of the court remains final.
The group, in the statement that was signed by its Executive Director, Alhaji Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, noted that the apex court had on May 24, 2019, did a thorough housekeeping in Zamfara State through its verdict.
“Your Lordships upheld the decisions of the lower Courts to the effect that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not nominate candidates for the House of Assembly, National Assembly and Governorship elections in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.
“Consequently, the purportedly elected candidates of APC in Zamfara State were swept into the abyss of oblivion. It was a landmark judgment that elevated the tenets of our democracy above unbridled partisan politics.
“The judgment elevated the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) above the reckless shenanigans of the political class. For enriching Nigeria’s jurisprudence and deepening our democracy regarding the acute necessity of conducting primary elections; the Supreme Court deserve enormous commendation, not condemnation, over the Zamfara decision of May 24 2019”.
It noted that the apex court had within this year, also delivered two landmark judgments that unseated purportedly elected Governors of Imo and Bayelsa States.
“The Imo judgment is significant because it installed as Governor the candidate of APC who came 4th in the results purportedly declared by INEC. However, the appeal before Your Lordships revealed to Nigerians and the world at large that 388 Polling Units results were unlawfully excluded and suppressed by INEC in a bid to declare PDP and its candidate winner of the election. Your Lordships dutifully collated these 388 Polling Units results and rightfully returned the APC and Senator Hope Uzodimma as winner of the election. Since then, all hell has broken loose.
“Aggrieved PDP politicians have held rallies and protests in streets, embassies and market places. Even the residence of Your Lordships have not been spared. The Supreme Court as a hallowed institution, ably manned by Your Lorships, has been ridiculed and abused, simply because a politician lost his seat. A tenured seat of merely 4 years.
“The Bayelsa judgment arose from a pre-election matter. The trial Federal High Court nullified the joint ticket of the APC Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates because the Deputy presented forged certificates.
“Being a joint ticket as contemplated by Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it is elementary that any virus that afflicted the eligibility and nomination of the Deputy Governorship candidate will also blight his Principal’s eligibility and nomination. It is very straightforward and not complicated in any manner.
“Why will it therefore astonish anyone that Your Lordships affirmed the decision of the trial Federal High Court? Your Lordships’ consequential orders stemmed from the fact that Governorship election has taken place in Bayelsa State, while the appeal was pending before Your Lordships.
“Hence, it is pertinent that consequential orders must follow in order to give full effect to Your Lordships’ decision. We humbly seize this opportunity to specially commend Your Lordships for the Zamfara, Imo and Bayelsa landmark and courageous decisions.
“Your Lordships have not only enriched our jurisprudence, Your Lordships have also further deepened our democracy.
“We urge Your Lordships to remain steadfast, stoic and undaunted as the apex and policy Court of the nation. The orchestrated attempt by politicians to review Your Lordships’ decision in Zamfara, Imo and Bayelsa is a knee-jerk reaction propelled by desperation and tomfoolery.
“It is quite sad and unfortunate that this is the 2nd attempt to review the Zamfara decision. We understand that on July 22 2019, Your Lordships struck out the Application for Review filed by APC and its candidates in Zamfara. Why will a 3rd Application for Review be filed again over the Zamfara decision?
“Why will Your Lordships permit litigants to have a 2ndand 3rd bite at the proverbial cheery? Has the age long principle that there must be an end to litigation no longer in force? The Latin maxim is famous: Interest Reipublicae ut sit finis litium – There must, in the public interest, be an end to litigation.
“We urge Your Lordships to remain resolute as a policy Court in seeing that there is indeed an end to litigation. If all litigants who lost out before Your Lordships are to be permitted to re-litigate their appeals, under the euphemism of APPLICATION FOR REVIEW, then convicts whose death penalties and terms of imprisonments have been affirmed by Your Lordship should take the front seat. The verdicts against them are matters of life and death”, the statement added.