In the two weeks preceding the Supreme Court ruling on the Anambra State governorship saga, I had wondered whether evil had not ultimately triumphed over good in our country. Last week, I wrote an article, "The triumph of evil in Nigeria" but which I refused to publish for the simple reason that I asked myself what difference it would make. In Nigeria, things, seemingly, only get worse. I was almost losing faith in the country of my birth.

Since April, I have watched in horror as we went through the now familiar motion of Nigerians being exhorted to exercise their franchise in elections which are subsequently rigged, most unconscionably, by evil men in power. I watched the near-universal condemnation of the conduct of the elections and the rejection of their outcome by majority of Nigerians and, indeed, the international community. I witnessed the feeble attempt at resistance by the masses who thought they could rely on the elite to ensure that the fraud did not stand.

Thereafter, I watched dreadfully, just as it happened in 2003, the betrayal of the masses by the elite. As the primary beneficiaries of the fraud were sworn into office, thanking everything and anything, but Nigerians for their "victory," the elite who did not want to be left outside the power loop went in the dead of the night to make deals with those who stole their mandates.

The name of the game is self-interest.

I{mosgoogle} watched incredulously as the table was being gradually, but systematically, turned against the few who still insist that justice must be done and that what happened in April was one political robbery too many. Increasingly, they were portrayed as the villains; unpatriotic Nigerians who were stalling the country's march on the democracy boulevard by insisting, simply, that the building blocks of Nigeria's democracy must be laid on a foundation of law rather than on the whims of capricious men.

As the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) continues to stall on orders given by the election tribunals to the effect that it should avail those it purloined their mandates the materials with which it did the magic, many Nigerians, noted for their legendary amnesia and fickle-mindedness were beginning to canvass that the new "Lords of the Manor," foisted on them by a contemptuous and disdainful cabal, should be given a chance to prove themselves.

As it happened in 2003, those who stole the people's mandate, having been sworn in and having unrestricted access to the state coffers, in a country where there is little or no difference between personal and public purse, are prosecuting the cases against them at the tribunals with public funds.

Meanwhile, the head of that evil empire, General Olusegun Obasanjo has quietly returned to Ota farm and retired into mind-boggling wealth, which he intends to use, no doubt, to buy loyalty so as to maintain his stranglehold on the polity in the foreseeable future. To add insult to injury, pastors converged to pray for him, telling him how wonderful a leader he was, and how, having conquered Nigeria, he should strive and bribe his way to heaven. The season of anomie, at that moment, looked irreversible because even God seemed to have given up on Nigeria.

Then, out of the blues came the Supreme Court judgement, which on June 14, restored Mr Peter Obi to office as the governor of Anambra State and ended the 17-day nightmare that was Mr Nnamdi Uba's pretentious governorship. And all of a sudden, Nigeria and Nigerians came alive and the thick fog of despondency that was beginning to envelope the country melted.

I must confess that nothing has gladdened my heart in a long time the way this judgement did. The audacious political statement the revered Justices made with the verdict has rekindled the faith of many in the country.

The seven Supreme Court Justices that sat on the panel and gave the momentous judgement may not fully appreciate the impact of the verdict on the ordinary Nigerian, who was beginning to, as I was, lose faith in our long-abused, desecrated, despoiled and violated country. But by that singular act of courage, they effectively gave the disillusioned populace the confidence to face tomorrow, knowing that all hope may not have been lost after all, and that Nigeria is still salvageable.

The judgement is a life-saving shot of adrenaline, as Mr Sonala Olumhense noted last Sunday in the Guardian, to our political system. It goes without saying that the country needed that shot desperately and it couldn't have come at a better time. The celebrations, not only in Anambra State, but the entire country, including Nigerians in the Diaspora and those who never had, and may never have anything to do with Obi and his administration is, in itself, a verdict on the Obasanjo era.

The Supreme Court verdict and the spontaneous reaction of Nigerians have, to my mind, brought two fundamental issues to the fore.  

First, they have exposed the claims to popularity made by political fraudsters whose only claim to leadership is their evil liaison with Obasanjo. For instance, INEC claimed that Uba won the Anambra governorship election held on April 14 with over 90 percent of the votes cast.

He was ignominiously thrown out of office 17 days after he was sworn in as governor and exactly two months after he won that mythical "landslide victory," a period short enough for grateful Anambrarians, enamoured by the selfless services he claimed to have rendered to them while he was working for Obasanjo, to still remember him with nostalgia. Yet, no finger of protest was raised from any quarters over his humiliation.

He was not even man enough to address the same people that literarily begged him, as he claimed, to become their governor despite his reluctance, from Awka. He fled to Abuja from where he addressed a press conference boasting that he would bounce back even when his political nemesis, Obi, was still in London.

Second, it has also exposed Obasanjo for what he is – a mischievous dictator that was in no way better than his predecessors in office. The former president, if he has conscience, should be ashamed that the evil empire he erected is crumbling faster than he ever imagined. If he is still capable of learning any lessons, the fall of Nnamdi Uba should also teach him something about the transient nature of power. Barely three weeks out of power, the hitherto untouchable Uba, the boy in whom his master is well pleased, was booted out of a position which he (Obasanjo) personally reserved for him and single-handedly ensured that he occupied.

If Obasanjo is a man given to introspection, he should be reflecting on the fact that the same jubilation that greeted Supreme Court's ouster of Uba will also greet 80 percent of the 2007 election results, including his own ward, if they were to be upturned today. That says a lot about his legacy of fraud for which he will be eternally remembered.

And that is actually what the election tribunals should do – unravel Obasanjo's iniquitous fiefdom. The Supreme Court has shown that it could be done. The lower courts need to emulate the good example set by the apex court. That is the only way the country will be healed. That is the surest way to move the country forward.

But beyond the issue of annulling mandates secured fraudulently, the courts must also start sanctioning the beneficiaries of such scams. That is the only way to make wilful rigging of elections less appealing to Nigerians.

It is also high time President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua stopped acting as Obasanjo's clone, even though he is one. The jury is still out on what he intended to achieve with his presumptuous pledge to obey the Supreme Court verdict but it was a sad reminder of the nightmare that was the immediate past era when the country had to wait on the president to make up his mind on which court verdicts to obey.

Should the Solicitor-General of the Federation and the Inspector- General of Police wait for the president's directive before implementing a court judgement as the statement issued by Yar'Adua seemed to be suggesting? My answer is a categorical NO!The 1999 Constitution spells out the duties and obligations of the arms of government and the roles to be played by different government agencies.

Perhaps Yar'Adua sincerely believes that the gratuitous pledge is a proof of his administration's determination "to uphold the rule of law in his resolve to reposition Nigeria for peace and prosperity," but in a sense, it is a pointer to the fact that a virulent strain of the culture of impunity which Obasanjo infected the country with may have survived his defunct regime.

As the courts give us reason to be optimistic about the future of Nigeria, we don't need another government where the police will first get permission from the president before enforcing Supreme Court judgement. That era is dead and has been buried with the equally dead Obasanjo regime.