Following the ruling of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2014, which threw out the case brought by Chief Great Ovedje Ogboru against incumbent Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Barr, Chike Ogeah in his reaction says “the judgement has averted violence on our jurisprudence”.
A statement signed by Chike Ogeah Esq. and made available to Blank NEWS Online on Monday, May 26, 2014 reads:
“In its judgment today, May 26, 2014, on the suit brought by Chief Great Ogboru asking the Supreme Court to reverse itself on the already settled issue of the 2011 governorship election in Delta State, the learned justices threw out the case and ruled the suit amounted to gross abuse of court process. More remarkably, the learned justices awarded a cost of N2 million to each of the respondents to be paid for by the counsel to Chief Ogboru.
“By the judgment, the learned jurists of the apex court have once again affirmed its status as the custodian and protector of the rule of law and jurisprudence. Every legal practitioner and, indeed, diligent follower of the electoral process had known that the counsel to Chief Ogboru had embarked on a vain process which intention neither served the interest of the litigant nor the judiciary.
“The suit was intended to inflict violence on our jurisprudence and inflict great damage on the doctrine of “stare decisis”. The fact that the learned justices ruled that the counsel to Chief Ogboru should directly bear the cost of N2 million awarded to each of the respondents underscores the need for counsels to exercise caution in advising their clients.
“Even in the desire to maximize returns from clients that have entrusted their bid for justice to them, upholding the integrity of the judicial institution and protecting the interest of the clients must remain paramount.
“We commend the learned Justices of the Supreme Court for the enduring lessons passed to all legal practitioners by this landmark ruling that will to a great extent ensure responsible litigation and representation in all levels of Nigeria’s courts.”
Also speaking on behalf of the governor in Asaba on Monday, the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, said the case of the governor was like “God’s Case” over which there can be no appeal.
Macaulay said the case and other challenges posed to Uduaghan by his political opponents belonged to God , who he said would deal with them accordingly.
He said Monday’s Supreme Court ruling was a vindication that no man can fight God. He said he hoped that Ogboru and Uduaghan’s perpetual opponents would have learnt a lesson from it and would allow the state to move forward.
“Our case has always been in the hands of God. And like we said, God’s Case has no appeal. That’s what the Supreme Court has affirmed today and we hope Ogboru and his people would have learnt a lesson and realised that it is time to allow the state to move forward,” he stated.
Recall that the Supreme Court had on Monday, May 26, 2014 struck out an appeal filed by Great Ogboru, the DPP candidate in the 2011 Delta State governorship election, challenging the victory of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
The 7-man panel of the apex court, led by Justice Walter Onoghene ruled that it lacked the jurisdiction to decide on the validity of sections of the Constitution on which it based its judgment, saying that such an appeal should go to the High Court and not the apex court.
Represented by Professor Dickson Osula, Ogboru argued that section 258 of the constitution which enabled the court strike out his suit was not validly enacted.
The panel led by Justice Walter Onoghene, said that the suit amounts to a gross abuse of court processes and an affront to the entire judicial system and ruled that the aim of the suit was to cause judicial anarchy by persistently bringing a resolved matter before the court.
The court therefore awarded a cost of N2million to be paid to each of the respondents in the lawsuit, just as it also awarded N8miliion as cost against Dickson Osuala, counsel to Ogboru for what it termed an abuse of the process of the apex court.