The Supreme Court is Supreme Again

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The Supreme Court is supreme again. One will not have thought that this refrain will be on the lips of many after a series of assault on the supreme court.

This started over two years again, when the homes of judges were ransacked by a special police crack team and then the judges started to speak in a bit to counter revelations when their home was ransacked. Various luxury items were revealed and people started wondering how did the judges afford these items.

A lot of Nigerians became sick like a parrot and doubted the integrity of the court. Hence when the sledgehammer started to fall on the court judges Nigerians supported the actions; after all they couldn’t vouch for the judges any longer. A lot of people claimed that the initial assault on the judges was just in preparation for a grand political revelation. This revelation was the Walter Onnoghen case and as they say the rest is history.

The supreme court has to restore itself and the barrage of election petitions cases didn’t help. Close to 800 cases inundated the court and the judgement divided a lot of Nigerians. The presidential election petition was one that further heightened the polarity in Nigeria’s polity but the supreme court decision was suspect in many quarters; some claimed the judges were bribed or threatened but the politicians had a lot to say not reaching a compromise. The PDP called it travesty, the APC called it a triumph for democracy. The supreme court was in the center.

Emeka Ihedioha’s case had opened the floodgates for review, when to his dismay a Hope Uzodinma that came fourth was given a judgement by the supreme court to be sworn in as governor. Also the supreme court made bold pronouncements on the Bayelsa case that favored the PDP and made Douye Diri the Governor on Valentine’s Day after David Lyon had rehearsed a day before. I bet Father Mbaka didn’t see that coming.

After these judgements, a plethora of pleas for review followed. At first, the process of making a case for the review was fought out by television lawyers: the Justice Oputa’s fallibility quote was everywhere to the extent that people thought the legal silk has resurrected.

Then a flurry of pleas for review started to pour in, everybody wanted one. Everybody thought the supreme court was having a yard sale and lawyers were quick to look for bargains everywhere.

At first Emeka Ihedioha’s case was sent in but due to filing it would get a verdict on 2 March. Then the deputy governor-elect or prior deputy governor tested the nullification of his election due to certificate issues. All the legal big wigs were ready for this; the APC got Chief Wole Olanipekun and Chief Afe Babalola. This was akin to Ronaldo and Messi playing a five aside against Enyimba. But Amina Augie with the big VAR lense called off any onslaught and slammed the lawyers reaffirming the finality of the supreme court. But will this finality continue?

Rufai Oseni,rufai@rufai.com.ng