December 16, 2023

Wike/Fubara fight a threat to democracy — Lawyers

Wike/Fubara fight a threat to democracy — Lawyers

Lawyers are looking at the implications of the face-off between Governor Fubara and Wike on democarc.

By Dayo Johnson

The crisis that has engulfed Rivers State following the face-off between Governor Siminalayi Fubara and his predecessor, the former governor and now FCT minister, Chief Nyesom Wike is unfortunate. The crisis which was brewing for some months finally blew open on Sunday October 29 when some sections of the state House of Assembly were burnt following moves by 24 lawmakers to impeach Governor Fubara.

The governor had also alleged an assassination attempt on him by some compromised police officers, who allegedly shot live bullets as he visited to assess the extent of damage caused by the Sunday night bombing of the Assembly complex by some hoodlums. Governor Fubara asked the 24 state lawmakers who commenced a process to impeach him and were said to be loyal to former Governor Nyesom Wike, to show justification for their actions.

He said, “If Siminalayi Fubara is impeached, I won’t be the first, neither would I be the last. But what is important is that any attempt that is not justified will be resisted. Let them come out and tell Rivers people the offence that I have committed to warrant impeachment”. 26 of the 31 lawmakers later suspended the Speaker, Martins Amaehwule and three others and thereafter elected and inaugurated the leader of the House, Hon. Edison Ehie, as their new speaker. While there were calls for the intervention of President Bola Tinubu and other eminent Nigerians, a new twist was added to the political drama as 27 of the lawmakers defected from the People’s Democratic Party, PDP, to All Progressive Congress, APC. The remaining four lawmakers then sat and declared the seats of the 25 members who defected vacant.

And apparently, to prevent the defected lawmakers from sitting at plenary, Governor Fubara ordered immediate demolition of the Assembly complex giving as reason the need to renovate the burnt sections on the ground that the integrity of the building had been compromised. The governor on Wednesday, presented the state 2024 budget before the four-member faction of the Assembly which sat at the Government House which was approved and subsequently signed into law. On their part, the defected 25 lawmakers led by Amaewhule held a parallel sitting at the auditorium of the Assembly quarters and passed some bills. Amid the crisis, four commissioners, including the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice had resigned from office.

Lawyers in the country have however expressed concern over the worsening political crisis in Rivers State with many of them warning that if not properly handled, it could have far reaching consequences on the nation’s democracy. While urging President Bola Tinubu to intervene in the political impasse and douse the tension in the already charged state in the interest of the country’s fragile economy, they also called for an end to godfatherism in the political system so that the people would be able to freely elect their governors and representatives. The cost of the impasse in Rivers would run into billions of Naira. The poor people of the state would likely bear the brunt, not the politicians.

A real danger to our democracy- Miakpo Emiaso, Retired President, Area Customary Court, Delta State

“What is happening in Rivers State is not new, it happened in Edo State. The demolition of the State House of Assembly is a demonstration of the impunity with which the Nigerian politician runs government affairs. “They over-personalize their offices and once they get to office, they are not bound by any law or regulations. That is a level of rascality that our politics has now degenerated into. It is a real danger to the rule of law and a real danger to the Nigerian citizenry.” On the defection of 27 members of the State House of Assembly to APC, the law says that they should lose their seats because what has happened in Rivers State is not a reflection of the state of the political party. You can only cross the carpet if there is a crisis in your political party.

“The timing of their crossing in Rivers State does not reflect any visible crisis within the PDP that will necessitate that kind of crossing and as such, the 27 members of the House of Assembly that crossed have sacrificed their seats because they have not crossed at a time that they can cross. “Again, this is Nigeria; people have crossed in this kind of circumstances and nothing happened.

They did not lose their seats. That is why some of us keep on insisting that there is no alternative to running a government guided by the rule of law. Whatever it is that we want to do with the government, there is a legal room for when it can be done and how it can be done. But we have a country where we ignore the rule of law and do things the way we feel and that is a real danger to our democracy.”

Professor of law, Epiphany Azinge, SAN, described the developments as a threat to our Constitutional Democracy, while also faulting the demolition of the House of Assembly complex by Governor Fubara. Prof. Azinge, said: “The unfolding drama in River state portends danger for our still fledgling democracy but at the same time redefines who we are as a people—patently fraudulent. “In as much as we must condemn all indices and designs of God fatherism as anti-people and anti-majoritarian rule, we must not fail to denigrate acceptance of offers from Godfathers knowing that you will renege from the agreement. “That smacks of bad faith and also must be condemned. Anyone who accesses reigns of power through the back door is certainly not an honourable man and must never be trusted with power. “So also is the predecessor who believes that a man in power can ever be expected to subordinate himself to the whims and caprices of another who is out of power is certainly not a student of Power-Calculus. These are the moral concerns. “But there are constitutional and legal dimensions. The power tussle in the State Assembly deserves serious inquiry. Why should the Assembly structure be demolished in a democratic regime. “Is that not treasonable and an attempt to undermine the principle of representative government which is an inherent concept of democratic government. Who determines majority and minority members? Can an impeachment proceeding commence outside the parliament?. Can the budget be passed by minority members and can parliament meet in Government house? “There are a host of legal issues waiting to be addressed. The judiciary must be circumspect in descending into the arena. A host of the issues can be viewed from the Constitutional prism of political questions and the judiciary should be wary of intervening. But the clear cut constitutional issues must be addressed speedily and decisively in order to avoid constitutional logjam that can upturn the whole constitutional structure in Rivers state and possibly necessitating a state of Emergency and consequential appointment of a Military Administrator until normalcy is restored and possibly fresh elections conducted for both parliament and governorship positions.”

According to Chief Ken Ahia, SAN: “The situation in Rivers state is quite precarious. It requires careful and immediate handling. It portends danger to the rule of law. The constitution is quite clear on the consequences of cross carpeting. “Judicial authorities are there. Immediately, a legislator decamps to another party the consequence is the loss of his seat except where there is a division in the party. At the moment, there is no known division in PDP. “If one is created now, it would be after the fact. My take of the whole matter is quite simple, the House of Assembly of Rivers state as presently constituted is constitutional. “INEC should conduct fresh elections to fill the vacancies created by the reason of the defections. Any attempt to bully the governor or the House of Assembly may lead to anarchy.”

Likewise, Mr Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, said: The happenings simply point to the fact that we have not made much progress in our democratic process. This is basically because the happenings are a renaissance of the power play we have constantly and variously had to grapple with from one end of the country to the other since 1999. “It is clear enough that the touchstone of our own brand of democracy is empowerment of individuals rather than institutions. By reason of this position, there is perennial struggle for dominance and control among political gladiators from state to state, and at the national level from time to time. “What we are witnessing at the moment is nothing unprecedented and, without any speck of doubt, nothing that will not continue in our political landscape. The impression I am left with is that the citizenry are not accorded the right pride of place in the political game across the length and breadth of our nation.

“Were it otherwise, all the disturbing and disquieting occurrences everywhere would not have been. In other words, if only the motivation for public office were to be service to the people, the desperation and unthinkable actions would not have come to play. “It is hoped that the ugly situation in Rivers will sooner than later be put paid to for the good of the state in particular and the nation at large.”

Mr Kunle Adegoke, SAN said: “The development in Rivers State in which a number of legislators constituting the majority of the lawmakers in the state decamped from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressive Congress (APC) really portends a negative implication for our democracy.

“Whereas, it is the law that where a legislator decamps or abandons the platform on which he was elected and now opts to join another political party, that legislator has forfeited his claim to the seat that he was occupying by section 109 (1) (g) of the 1999 Constitution provided that he can keep the seat if he is able to justify why he has to abandon that particular political party. “So, it is a condemnable thing for a member of a House of Assembly to abandon his political party while still representing the people of his constituency on the platform of that party. The people of his constituency actually voted for him on the basis of the political party he belongs. He can therefore not rubbish the rights of that political party for whatever reason and go and join another political party. “It is common in Nigeria that politicians prostitute around anyhow. But the constitution does not allow that. It is not something that should rather take time. It is an instant consequence that, that member is regarded as having forfeited his claim to the seat of the constituency that he is representing. “So, it shouldn’t be allowed. The fact that it is APC that is reaping from this illegality should not befuddle our conscience as not to able to condemn what is wrong within the polity. Today, APC might be the beneficiary of this illegality, tomorrow APC might be the victim of same illegality. “I believe that all men of conscience should rather condemn this. Even the top echelon of APC should tell those lawmakers to go back to their political party. If anyone of them is not ready to abide by the dictates of the constitution, he should be prepared to forfeit his seat while INEC replace him through another election,” he added.

Also contributing, Dr Kayode Ajulo, SAN described the happenings and occurrences in River States as one of the numerous cases existing in Nigeria’s politicking and politricking attitudes.

“In other words, it’s just another attempt of the politicians portraying and toiling with the aisles of our democracy, as overtime these ones have been in the habits of playing selfish interest games with the governance unremorsefully and unapologetically. “Having practiced for over two decades and being a pro-democracy advocate, without any gainsay, all of the above narratives only portray doom, obliteration and destruction to our staggering democracy, and the reason I tagged it staggering is because in all genuine sense, our democracy this day thrives on irregularities and is largely at the risk of survival as same struggles for its life and well being in the midst of several daily obstacles. My position to the gory saga in River State is one that portends a depletion in the standards of Democracy in Nigeria, and I must state categorically that these happenings would be an eye opener to our promiscuous and philandering politicians.

Also, a senior lawyer, Mr Fred Nzeakor, said the present happenings in Rivers State has shown that democracy is in coma in the state. According to him, “I think it is very embarrassing and shocking that democracy is in coma in Rivers state with what we are seeing. What is happening in Rivers State cannot be described as democracy any longer. It can rightly be declared as civilian dictatorship.

“And it is so embarrassing because Rivers people must not allow themselves to follow a particular trajectory, a trajectory that started during Nigerian civil war of 1967 through 1970 when out of all the states of Nigeria, only in Rivers State did the Ibo people lose their property and it was called abandoned property. “You will see that there is no love lost among the leaders of Rivers state. Instead of showing brotherhood, brotherly love, love to one another, what you are seeing in Rivers is brotherly brutality. “For instance, between 1999 and 2007, Governor Peter Odili was in charge. He did everything he did. He brought his ‘boy’, Rotimi Amaechi and made him governor. And how did it end: he couldn’t go to Rivers state because Rotimi Amaechi ran him out of town. Rotimi now nominated Wike to be Federal Minister of State for Education. What did he get, Rotimi run out of town by Wike. Now, Wike has brought in Fubara and before you say Jack, there is a problem. And up till today, nobody has told the good people of Rivers State the sins of Fubara , the governor.

“And you now tie it back to 1967-1970, the spirits and the ghosts of those who lost their property are still haunting Rivers State. And I can tell you that the elders of Rivers State need to go back and begin to teach their children and young ones about brotherly love instead of brotherly brutality which is what we are seeing in Rivers State. “Recall that the commercialisation of kidnapping started in Rivers and today, Nigeria has not gone out of it, and it has festered around the whole country and no one is safe. And by what has happened, it means that whatever is happening in Rivers state has a way of affecting the peace of Nigeria. And like the elders will begin to tell you, that the wild wild west started like this, from one corner of the country and before you know it, it affected other parts of the country. “While deliberate efforts must be made to begin to solve these challenges in Rivers State, on the side of the people of Rivers, they need teach their children from cradle what brotherly love means so that they will now carry it through to their politics, their policies and to their administration and everything that goes on in Rivers state.

It portends danger for our democracy— Paul Alobi Nyambi

“The situation in Rivers State portends danger for our democracy. A situation where actors in the democratic space are more interested in wielding power and influence at the expense of the masses is regrettable and anti-people. It directly affects governance and inevitably prevents the people from enjoying the dividends of democracy. “A few days ago, the Rivers State government suddenly embarked on a demolition of the Rivers State House of Assembly Complex, apparently, as a strategy to frustrate any opportunity for the House of Assembly to conduct its plenary sessions. “It is imperative to note that all the political actors in this show of shame are motivated by selfish interest, greed for perpetual relevance in government and inordinate political ambitions. I foresee a situation where Rivers State may have to stay without a functional House of Assembly for a long time due to this macabre dance by the selfish political actors.”

Tinubu’s silence portend grave danger for Nigeria -Iniruo Wills

“It’s a danger not only for our so-called democracy but as a nation. If the President and his security intelligence machine have not figured that out yet, then that would be very disappointing. With the epidemic of security crises across the country, the latest being the incursions by Cameroun-Ambazonian insurgents into our South Eastern flank on kidnap missions, it’s incredulous that President Tinubu would maintain a splendid silence while a few crackpots manufacture a silly new national emergency that can throw the country into a tailspin and render the Federal Government’s 2024 budget a pipe dream.”

Godfatherism impeding our democracy – Enabuna Timidi

“It is not a good development and it brings underdevelopment. Now there is no focus on governance because Governor Fubara is presently preoccupied with the thinking that the 27 House of Assembly members who defected are going to impeach him. “We have not seen the last of this crisis. The effect of godfatherism is so enormous, with our years of our democratic practice we are still at this level and the godfathers are still there doing all manner of things.”

Happenings in Rivers recipe for disaster – Ogunbiyi Olajuwon

“The political crisis and drama ensuing as a result of political differences between the FCT Minister and his protégé, the governor of Rivers State, is a recipe for disaster if not curtailed immediately. “The recent events show how weak and vulnerable our political system is. Our democracy needs to be strengthened and we must build strong institutions around it. There is too much concentration of power in the executive arm of government which is not doing the current system any good.”

Our democracy takes care of those in position- Ozinko Ozinko

“Democracy in Nigeria is practiced at the whims and caprices of individuals who are in power and the main driver is pecuniary interest. It is seen as personal property where godfatherism thrives to meet personal whims. A man occupies a position and on leaving office brings in a puppet to enable continuity, to pull the strings and continue to receive financial returns from the person who succeeds him. It is unfortunate that Wike who is a lawyer should be at the centre of the melodrama that is going on in that state. “Fubara seems to have a mind of his own and that should be the path a leader who wants to serve the people should tread, not sheepishly returning the treasury of the state to one person. He is accountable to the people at the end of the day and should keep the fight so long as it is within the ambit of the law. Our democracy has refused to grow because it is a variant that takes care of those in position and not those who elected them or the masses. That is the reason the ordinary people have become so detached from the elected persons except those who are picking from their crumbs. I daresay this variant of democracy cannot go far.”

Weak institutions bane of our democracy-Eric Omare,

“What the happenings in Rivers State imply is that our institutions are still weak. First, the crisis wouldn’t have arisen if someone somewhere had not had the thought that he made everybody in Rivers State and therefore things must be done according to his wishes. If the members of the House of Assembly and even the governor had contested elections and won without the undue influence of former Governor Wike, there wouldn’t have been any problem. So moving forward I think that starting from party primaries, the influence of sitting governors and president must be reduced if we must move away from the negative effects of godfatherism.”

It’s systemic failure in Rivers— Festus Ogwuche

“It portends systemic failure, ethnic rivalry and disaster. And it’s a huge threat to peace and stability in the state. “Till this moment, I’m yet to be convinced of any justifiable reason for the demolition of the State House of Assembly. The fact remains that there’s no legislature existing in Rivers State at the moment and pulling down that structure does not give any more symbolic meaning than the stark reality of the law. The situation has gone beyond one that calls for judicial intervention, unless one is convinced that due process can be invoked to fill in the vacant seats left by the defecting members and the judiciary cannot also sanction the deliberations and approvals of a-four-member legislature that is far short of the required quorum. “The gladiators are at daggers drawn and there appears to be no end to their ego tripping. “Meanwhile the citizenry are at the receiving end of these wasteful and useless inanities that offer no good to popular expectations.”

It signals doom for our democracy—Barr Ngozi Achilefu, Plateau State Chairperson, International Federation of Women Lawyers, FIDA.

“If the people have chosen who will lead them, whoever is a predecessor should act as a mentor. “If the sitting governor has a challenge, he can consult him for counseling. What is happening in Rivers portends doom for democracy in Nigeria, it spells out the fact that there is no democracy. “There is nothing like democracy in what is playing out in Rivers.”

This is a bad omen — Barr Yakubu Bawa, former Chairman, Nigerian Bar Association, Jos Branch

“I must confess that what is happening in Rivers State portends a bad omen and it’s a clear indication that we’re not really in a real democracy. In Nigeria, there are no indicators of the features of good democratic government or governance. Things are done in a very disorderly manner because of vested interests, because people feel that their interest is not going to be realized, they can go outside the provision of the law and do whatever they like and you begin to wonder if we are in a Banana Republic, where people do things the way they want and nobody brings them to account for their actions. “So, it is a sad thing, it’s quite unpalatable, and it is not good for our democracy. What is happening in Rivers is quite lamentable.”

All parties should shield their swords —— Barr Ralph Monye

“Former Governor Wike is deploying political thuggery and bullying by trying to prevent Governor Fubara from governing Rivers State freely and this should be resisted. “The decision of the PDP members of the House to defect to APC was ill-advised. Demolition of the Rivers State House of Assembly by the State Government is rascality. “Submission of the 2024 Budget to just a four-member Assembly was based on the Doctrine of Necessity that should have been avoided. But carrying on like that in a state that needs leadership for a period longer than this portends danger that will do all the parties no good. It portends a bad omen for our fledgling democracy and all the parties should shield their swords in the best interest of the State”.

It’s unhealthy for Nigeria’s democracy – Maimuna Ikwulono, NBA Chairman, Makurdi branch

“What is happening in Rivers State is an unhealthy development. It think our leaders should be able to resolve their differences and work together, because as leaders the followers are watching.”It is not an example of good leadership. “Their actions portend dangers to our democracy because in a democracy it is said to be government of the people. People will elect you and will be watching what you are doing whether rightly or wrongly and you will still come back to this same people. It all boils down to bad examples of leadership and to that extent, definitely it will affect our democracy.”

It has exposed need for genuine constitutional reform ——Prince Christopher Muo

“The crisis in Rivers has just exposed just the constitutional and legal loophole which can be used for and against any regime or government in Nigeria. It has unraveled the fault lines that were deliberately inserted into the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, and the fault lines have been used by those who know the legal secret to subvert the constitution and execute civilian coup at all levels of governance. “The take away lesson is for genuine constitutional reform, not jejune and selective constitutional amendments. A constitutional amendment to rotate the presidential office among the six geopolitical zones and indigenous people of Abuja. “A constitutional reform to provide six regional Supreme Courts and a Federal Supreme Court. Constitutional reform to rotate the governorship of a state among the three senatorial zones in the state. A constitutional reform to rotate the Chairmanship of a Local Government among the communities in the Local Government. To employ equal numbers of persons from each state into the military, paramilitary, police, security agencies and all Federal Government MDAs.

Barr Evans Ufeli, Executive Director, Cadrel Advocacy Centre : ”The 27 lawmakers who defected from PDP to APC in Rivers State didn’t get sound legal advice before they embarked on this self- inflicted tragic assignment. There’s no division in the PDP or the other constitutional conditions met in the case under reference as stipulated in section 109 (1)g 1999 constitution whatsoever, that could have warranted that very unintelligent move by 27 persons. “The supreme court already settled that case before now and to think that 27 lawmakers will with their eyes open walk into that web mindlessly, thereby foisting a fait accompli on their own political career is to say the least most unfortunate. These men have lost their seats.”

Barrister Gbenga Oke :It’s brigandage and reigns of thugs. It’s not uncommon for people to disagree and even push for impeachment, it’s totally out of place for a supposed governor who took an oath to uphold the rule of law to just wake up to bulldoze and destroy the building that is housing the parliament of the state ( House of Assembly) – the symbol of democracy, it’s unacceptable. There must be a way to punish Fubara for desecrating that sacred building and for the wanton waste of the resources of the Rivers people, particularly after his reign as Gov. Unfortunately, we have them in leadership positions everywhere.

Tope Temokun: “Rivers is in state of self-destruct and heading on a path of state of emergency because the state may soon become inoperable if both factions don’t sheath their swords. Wike and Fubara politics merely exemplifies the same political brigandage which has over time evolved as the political culture of the political ruling class in Nigeria, as represented by the two dominant political parties which are twin brothers and two sides of the coin. The fact that President Tinubu has always constituted himself into a mediator when political anarchy is being unleashed onto the people is also an attestation to the fact that both political parties don’t see the crisis more than a family affair. Law and legality are supposed to be at the foundation of every constitutional democracy and conventional politics but here we are attending to our bleeding from politics of show of raw strength and naked rugged physical powers where the president now presides as an interested referee. The legislators who have defected in defence of their loyalty to Wike have now cut their nose in order to spite their face and have, in law, lost their seats and the few four loyal to Fubara will now constitute themselves into the unconstitutional minor majority left to decide on the fate of the unrepresented majority of the constituents from the constituencies that just lost their representations. Regrettably after the politicians have bespattered every available space now with their shit, it’s the judiciary that is called upon to come with their bare hands to clean up the bodies of their mess. We are in a logjam.


Femi Emmanuel Emodamori: ”We had witnessed a prelude of what is playing out in Rivers State today in Edo State sometime in 2020, when Governor Obaseki aided some members of the Edo State House of Assembly to take over the affairs of the House and prevented other members from being inaugurated, and therefore disallowed them from exercising their constitutional mandate. It is the peak of political hooliganism caused by what you may either call god-fatherism or disloyalty, depending on your own perspective. But as a lawyer, I regard a situation where 4 out of 32 members of a House of Assembly would be sitting to conduct the affairs of the House right inside the Government House or the Governor’s official quarters, as an aberration. Let me also add that the demolition of the State House of Assembly by the Governor clearly amounts to gross misconduct or an impeachable offence under Section 188(11) of the Constitution, based on the Supreme Court decision in Inakoju v. Adeleke (Ladoja’s case) where the Court listed instances of gross misconduct to include ‘interference with the constitutional functions of the Legislature and Judiciary by an exhibition of overt unconstitutional executive power.’ On the other hand, the thoughtless defection of 27 PDP members of the House of Assembly to APC could be a valid ground for declaring their seats vacant, based on the provisions of Section 109(1)(g) of the 1999 Constitution and the Supreme Court decision. My concern is that in the case of Rivers, declaring the seats of the 27 members vacant would never solve the problem. Even if INEC calls for fresh elections into those seats today, the 27 members may re-contest on the platform of APC, and should they still return to form the majority in the House, they could elect a new speaker, impeach the Governor and Deputy Governor, and take over the governor’s seat through the Speaker. There may be no end in sight yet, unless the principal actors close ranks.

Mr Remi Alli: “The crisis in Rivers State is a re-enactment of similar negative political developments in other states in the past. Prominent amongst these was the Adedibu-Ladoja face-off which culminated in the Supreme Court case of Inakoju vs Adeleke. In short, our democracy will be strengthened by the ‘crisis’ between Wike and Fubara.”

Mr Bamidele Salewon: ”Danger. Constitutional crisis. This is Wike that in time past condemned defection. I pray this crisis will not consume Rivers state and by extension Asiwaju government.

Mr Taiwo Adediran: ”It shows that we are yet to mature democratically in this country. It is also a reflection of the danger of godfatherism in politics. Cross carpeting by the legislature is violation of the Nigerian constitutional provision in Section 109. And if the crisis degenerates to a situation where property and lives are in danger, the President is empowered constitutionally to declare a state of emergency in Rivers State. Hence, the two fractional groups will have to be very careful and also caution themselves of further steps they will take in this regard. Even though the President can intervene politically in order to solve the problem, the President cannot force his decision on them but if the crisis becomes uncontrollable and it leads to loss of lives and property, the President has power to declare state of emergency in the state and an administrator will be appointed to govern the State.

Furthermore, four or five members of the House of Assembly can’t take a valid decision on behalf of the House because they didn’t form a quorum. Legally therefore, the four or five members sitting to carry on the business of the House are committing illegality but that shows the extent of our lawlessness in this country.

Fehintola Adeola: ”The Wike/Fubara’s political brouhaha is the manifestation of one of the negative political cultures that refused to go away from Nigeria’s body polity. It has impacted on the people in form of those who lost their lives, limbs and the real impacts of dividends and services not delivered in terms of infrastructure and social services that are meant for the people including state of insecurity that will drive away investment from the state. All these are bound to negatively impact on the people. “The only way is that the people should shun money politics and make their choices without the influence of a godfather who is only interested in his own personal interest and not collective interest of people and this is exactly what is happening in Rivers State and will definitely not help our political development in a positive way.”

Mr Peter Idowu: ”It is a dangerous signal, highly barbaric and anti-democratic tendencies that could rupture the foundation of democracy.

Moruff Balogun: ”Political crisis in Rivers State is not a new thing in the history of democracy in Nigeria. In fact, I can tell you boldly as a legal practitioner that our Constitution even envisages crisis in our politics. If not, the essence of having judicial arm of government which is principally saddled with the duty to interpret the law and dispute/crisis resolution through litigation would be largely defeated. In as much as we; especially the politicians have political differences, there would continue to be crisis and the court will continue to adjudicate in line with Section 6(6) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As amended). Many prominent and well-meaning Nigerians have said it over time that until we collectively wage war against the idea and unnecessary imposition of the idea of godfatherism in Nigeria, democracy as a system of government can never breathe well, let alone having breathing space in Nigeria. 

*Samuel Oyadongha; Ise-Oluwa Ige; Ikechukwu Nnochiri; Peter Duru; Egufe Yafugborhi; Deola Badru, Shina Abubakar, James Ogunnaike & Laolu Elijah; Henry Ojelu; Marie-Therese Nanlong; Emma Una; Ochuko Akuopha; Chioma Onuegbu; Emem Idio; Davies Iheamnachor & Chimaobi Nwaiwu also contributed to this report

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