The Supreme Court and the interment of Nigeria
"aru gbaa afo ya awuo omenala " an Igbo adage which simply means that an evil long upheld easily transmutates into a tradition, or couched in the Kongi way, "one is happenstance, two is coincidence but three is mythical." The Nigerian Supreme Court has not only vivified the above sayings but rendered them palpable. It is only a cretin that will hasten towards the Presidential Election tribunal or the Supreme court for judgement after any presidential election, if there will be another. What took the justices so long to arrive at a convoluted logic of a judgement? When justice and truth is being ambushed and subverted, it must take so long for a logic of subversion to be manufactured, since truth is a constant and doesn't require much time to point it out. Many long knew what will happen and started shouting and warning - like that given to Achebe's Okonkwo " The boy calls you Father, do not have a hand in his death." However, like Okonkwo who thought that a show of strength or an argument against effeminacy lies in cutting the boy down.,Justice Niki Tobi in his combative tone argued that the court will not let the media blackmail it.
The justices must remember that the Nigerian citizens call them "father" but they have decided to cut us down. They are like the elders who were at home while the she-goat gave birth while teetered. And like the reactionary Okonkwo who fails to understand that the world must change, the compromised judges will have their minds scrambled by Agwu, the god of madness and certainly they have committed a moral suicide. The test of strength or valour does not lie in persevering in doing what is wrong or subverting justice rather in the insistence of truth and justice. And only the truth has the power to set an emasculated people free.
A Vapid Logic
In delivering the convoluted judgement, Justice Tobi insisted that "the appellant Ahamba and Buhari) had a duty to prove that the non-compliance substantially affected the result of the elections" and he concluded that he saw no proof to this. On reading this assertion, I recall the statement of the critical Legal Theorists, Duncan Kennedy in an article titled "Form and Substance" 89 Harv.L.Rev (1976) p.1775, warning of the danger of the language of forms. "litigants who have mastered the language of form can dominate and oppress others, or perhaps simply prosper because of it; academics without number hitch their wagon loads of words on the star of technicality." Justice Toby and his colleagues should pardon our ignorance and explain to us the true meaning of the word "substantial" if the non-serialization of the ballot papers which is a fundamental breach of the requirement of the electoral act cannot be said to be substantial in its effect on the election, then we do not know what else can be substantial. Substantial effect is only when the ballot papers are burnt or when people are murdered by thugs? Of course ballot burning and murder occurred but they cannot serve as substantial evidence since unrelated murder or burnt papers can be claimed as evidence. The non-serialization is a substantial breach with a substantial effect as an intrinsic consequence of that breach.
Instead of dwelling on facts , Justice Toby and his colleagues dwelt on the will-do argument of lawyers. That Ahamba said he will call 150 witness and succeded in calling one should not be a major argument in the judgement. What counts is not what the lawyer said he will do but what he did. What evidence did he produce and not the ones he said he will produce. Everybody knew the circumstance that prevented Ahamba from producing as much witnesses as he could. The Justices arguing that the one witness left is not actually a witness since he was not at the polling booth is really mawkish since the witness voted. Anybody that voted is a witness. We do not ask the judges to go to Dugbe market or Eke-ukwu Owerri to collect evidence rather to attend to the ones presented to them and instead of attending to the facts the justices choose to inundate us with mawkish arguments. True, most of Nigerians didn't attend the law school not to talk of being judges, but to refere to Achebe again who said that a masquerade in his place says he does not hear English but when he hears "catch am" (Anthills of the Savanah) he takes to his heels. Indeed, at a stage one punctures the human-bag of stupidity by studying.
Between Justice and Politics
Symbol of justice as a blind-folded lady with weighing scales is chosen not because justice should not see facts rather that justice should not see people. In other words justice should not be an act in favouritism no matter what. "jus eudorum ruat cealorum" Instead of being faithful to justice, our four learned judges choose to play the game of favouritism. "The Aso rock big man should not lose the game! instead let the smaller seats be ceded to pacify some" When such rumors flew in the air many dismissed it as sheer conspiracy but the judgement finally affirmed that the majority of our judges are mere politicians - the Umezeokean type. In an earlier article "Between long-term gains and political expediency" published in www. Kwenu.com shortly after the election, I affirmed that Umezeoke's action points to a politician of the realist cadre. The Supreme court only proved him right that they too are politicians of the same kind. They only teach us that expediency pays more than value. Pecuniary gains worth more than justice.
Many side with the judges given the fact that Yaradua is a better option among the three candidates - Buhari and Atiku. He is the lesser evil! Propotionalism as an argument for justice is dangerous at its best. That Atiku is emeshed in corruption or that Buhari is a self-proclaimed-repentant-
Nigeria is dead! Long live MASSOB, OPC, MEND, etc.!
The Nigerian state is long dead and waiting for an interment. The Majority of the judges have told us that the interment of that state has begun in earnest. Let the agitation to balkanize Nigeria be intensified since the Nigeria state at the highest level cannot guarantee justice. The foundation of the state is already wobbling and foundations once destroyed, leaves the just man with no option. Many Nigerians are patriotic and will like the Nigerian state to flourish and prosper but let the truth be told the entity called Nigeria is incapable of maintaining Justice and all our patriotic wishes will only be mere day-dreams. The only alternative is to encapsulate and tranquilize the wayward child. Nigeria must be brought to her knees now. All attempts towards this must commence in earnest. Anosike Wilson