-Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) – By Austen AKHAGBEME:
The Fury, zest and the emotion with which Justice Amina Augie read out the decision of the Supreme Court on the application of the APC to the apex court to review itself on the judgment on Bayelsa, depicts a long seething desire to preserve the sanctity of the highest and holiest chambers of the land by these keepers of the Temple of Justice.
But the riveting and resonating question is : how do we juxtapose the fact above with the palpable and avoidable injury done to our nascent Democracy, seeing that the court readily threw away the popular votes of the majority of the Bayelsa People all in a bid to salvage what remains of an assumed public disdain for the apex court?
Those with this purview thinks that this amounts to sheer judicial tyranny which is detrimental to the tenets of representative governance. The mere fact that the court’s decision was final “in the true sense of finality” and nothing on earth can reverse it except by legislation, makes the apex court a Law unto itself. This obviously portends danger for Representative governance in our clime. This obviously means that the misrepresentation of facts, wrong computation and clerical errors associated with Elections et cetera, are offences only when the SC sees it to be so. This is truly worrisome and calls for a deep concern by every lover of Democracy and democratization.
Quite unlike Justice Amina Augie who dole out outrageous fines against three learned silks for daring to bring to the honorable court a watery case full of fury but no substance, Justice Kayode Aroowola who read Tuesday’s judgment on the Imo election, was less furious.
On Imo Election, the apex court posited that there is no law mandating the SC to review itself once a judgement is given. This is against the fact that the error of computation of results which gave the declared votes of the APC Candidate, Senator Hope Uzodinma, higher than that of the entire registered voters in the state, is glaring and staring at them in the face. Again, Democracy suffers and was crucified at the alter of a face saving judicial ego, expediency and the “preservation” of the sanctity of the apex court.
There are those who are of the opinion that the best way the apex court can redeem itself against the backdrop of the recent controversially land marked judgments, is the refusal to rescind her decision by reviewing itself at the whimsical excuses of desperate politicians. This could have caused a chaos, as some parties were already asking for a review of previously heard and forgotten judgements of the past.
One of the characteristics of the justice system we inherited from our colonial masters is that, there must be an end to all litigation no matter whose side the pendulum swings.
But Nigerian politicians are an interesting lot. The attempt to dare the apex court to review itself was one huge joke taken too far. Again, whether or not “the joke” was really taken too far against the backdrop of its detrimental and damaging effects of the SC decisions on our nascent democracy, is a matter of conjecture.
- Austen AKHAGBEME is a Culumnist with Blank NEWS Online