According to Lord Denning MR, when a Judge sits on trial, the Judge is also on trial. I will add, when a lawyer is trying a matter, the entire world is also trying the lawyer and the judgement of the court of public opinion is usually long-lasting.
Edo State has been in the eye of the storm for obvious reasons, the 2020 Governorship election in the state. And the two dominant political parties are not sparing anything in their bid to outdo one another, using SAN’s and the judiciary to obtain conflicting interim and exparte orders from every where on the same sets of facts, from courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction.
However this does not mean that there are no honest and hardworking Judges, SANs and lawyers who are doing everything possible to uphold and protect the sanctity of the judiciary, but unfortunately, the ones granting these orders are the face of Lawyers and Judiciary people would remember for a long time.
Against that backdrop, concern Nigerians and stakeholders have consistently warned SAN’s and the judiciary not to lend themselves, as tools to politicians, at times like this. But it seems that call fell on deaf ears, with the number of conflicting orders emanating from the courts in respect of the Edo Election and politics of 2023
On both sides there are accusations and counter accusations of procured court orders here and there. Na like this our courts and elections go de de?
It took the Supreme Court’s intervention to save itself from fatal fall on its finality after the judgement in the Governorship tussle in Imo and Bayelsa States, politicians, lawyers and Judges alike are at it again.
Whilst some will argue that the court must adjudicate on matters brought before it, I dare say that our courts are not that jobless to entertain every frivolous complaint, especially those bordering on conducts of membership or no membership, should primaries hold or not, candidature or no candidature, rather INEC should be empowered to monitor and guarantee compliance with the rules.
Unfortunately, once these elections cases are instituted other cases in the same court takes the back seat, since by the provisions of the electoral act, election cases, which are usually time bound, must be disposed of timeously. But must every decision of a political party be a subject of litigation? You and I know it’s all about personal interest and any contrary expectations must be challenged.
No wonder the politicians will stop at nothing to discredit one another and even resort to name calling, as Wike has referred to members of his party NWC as tax collectors, I wonder who is the tax payer?
Rather than some of these Judges and senior lawyers, as Ministers in the temple of Justice to refuse the lucre of politicians to be part of these shenanigans fueled by the greed of a few, to not only destroy the judiciary, but our democratic journey, I see them being ferried about in private jets to and from courts in Abuja, Benin and Port Harcourt, But if I may ask, who is paying for this expensive hobby? Please if you know the answer don’t keep it to yourself.
With the expensive nature of these court cases against our current financial reality, one would have expected that mediation would be a better way out of the impasse, especially given the fact that, the politicians wants us to believe that our interest is at the core of their crises. Who be fool? We all know it’s stomach infrastructure
If PDP is without a Nationally recognized leader are able to find a middle ground, in their quest to capture Edo state, one would have expected, even a better approach from the APC, as I would have expected the President to timeously call his party men to order or help provide the much needed direction in the crises, while I was doubting if he is indeed even aware of the crises, he did intervene and when he did, he poured fuel on the already existing fire.
Are you sure our President is truly in charge? Or he is being used by proxies to destroy his own house? Time alone shall tell.
The saddest part of all of these
is that, the politicians are doing a very poor job of showing the younger generation how politics should be. And the youths having learned all the wrong things about politics and governance will unfortunately misinterprete same as the roadmap to relevance in the Nigerian political space. What a shame.
I would therefore advocate, that as voters, we should rise above the lies and sentiments thrown at us by politicians about the urge and desire to serve the people, and consistently interrogate every manifesto, campaign promise and benchmark same against precedents and anticidents. We should refuse to be used as pawns to fight visible and invisible political opponents, in a battle that’s is not about us, knowing fully well that they will always settle and re-align tomorrow after the dust of the elections are over. Lawyers and judges should strive to write their names in gold in the sand of time as those who assisted the country develop and deepen democracy and not those that destroyed it. That way, posterity would be kind to our memories and generations unborn, otherwise, soon people will rather resort to self help than going to court. That’s it’s not already happening.
For it can only be well, when we act well.