Despite The Supreme Court Verdict, Who Owns That Vote? Buhari! Atiku! Yar’Adua!

by L.Chinedu Arizona-Ogwu

Motivated by the maintenance of power and unburdened by any real political philosophy – a criticism frequently leveled at Obasanjo and Iwu’s INEC- the Yar’Adua government perpetuated itself by its very existence; formed and promulgated within the walls of the presidential palace, the party transcended mere governments and administrations. With its countless individual fibers of bribery, favour and nepotism, crooked politicians hijacked the government, the government was the PDP party, and neither could function without the other. Like the current clannish climate in the executive, which pits this democracy or Nigerian welfare and security establishment, against numerous other bureaucratic factions, various cliques within this government jostled one another for access to the top. The jaded Nigerian people, meanwhile, fully aware of how their “(s) elected” government worked, were left either to guess or to grease the system and fend for themselves, as if the government had become useful only to itself.

That April 2007 Presidential elections, which makes a mockery of our Constitution, of the courts and, frankly but side-gained, is going into the supreme courts, for final check-up. The inverted commas in the April 2007 votes, say it all. This government wants to remain in power for his personal reasons, and he will do so no matter what, and no matter how. It’s no secret that this government wishes to sit-glue itself to ad-minister supporters to proof-paint the April 2007 unfulfilled election to appear justified.

Beyond the Supreme Court rulings, Nigerians can talk just about as good a game as this regime pays. If we have faith to decide and do justice with Mr. President, we also have the faith to do justice with the chief justice. In a country where we change, amend, abuse, and concoct Constitutions at whims; it has always surprised me why we take Constitutional provisions so very seriously when it comes time to manipulate it. The spirit of the Constitution died long ago, what does it matter now whether the letter is followed or not?

But this government is spending millions of dollars to chide the Supreme Court justices to uphold the April 2007 flawed “election,” No judge could be removed or suspended through an executive order as restraining a judge amounted to removal and his post fell vacant that had happened in the case of the chief justice. His improbable return and subsequent contribution to yesterday’s 23-16 win over like-cases after suffering what appeared to be a severe injury to his right ankle is as much a testament to his physical gifts as it is to his gift of gab.

Has the Supreme Court justices entered into a deal to sell electoral justice to the highest bidder? Recently, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, was nominated as a member of the Federal delegation to annual hajj in Saudi Arabia. Justice Musdapher recently withdrew from the hajj delegation after Baba Galadima of The Buhari Organization (TBO) raised questions about his inclusion in the delegation. Despite Justice Musdapher’s withdrawal; he did not return monies already paid to him by the hajj committee for sundry expenses. He claimed that the fees went into his single trip to a hajj camp in Gombe.

If the Judges go corrupt, then it is GOD who will give one justice when one goes to heaven or hell. It is an Irony that I filed a complaint against the Supreme Court on the democratization of justice. I wish the God will serve HIS justice to Honourable Justice, now enjoying at High Court and selling “Mis-Justice” at a give away price!!

The only solution can be people make a limit. How much money a person needs to betray his own conscience? I often think about a story that a saint refused to take the food as he already got the food for today and he do not want to collect for tomorrow. But I don’t know why people want to generate money for seventh generations. If a careful analysis and investigation is done this government has Black money worth sixth generations.

In Nigeria, the perception among many is that our courts are not independent. Most people believe that our judiciary is manipulated by our political leadership. The view of this writer is that either it is true that the judiciary is being manipulated by our political leadership, or, although not being directly influenced, most of our judges nevertheless make decisions to please our political leadership. There are too many instances of the judiciary’s bias in favor of the government since the assumption of power by the PDP. Most of us would not accept that the judiciary (our judges) is fair and independent only because the Chief Justice has said so recently. We have brains to analyze the decisions that come from our courts, and we would determine the fairness or otherwise of the judiciary based on their decisions but not on comments made by the Chief Justice or anyone from the judiciary.

Amidst controversy sparked off by media reports that the leadership of the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, would soon been sacked, the Electoral Reform Committee, ERC, has denied ever making such a recommendation to President Umaru Yar’Adua. The ERC, led by retired Justice Mohammed Uwais, said it has not submitted any report to the President and was still working to meet its December deadline. The expected report is not likely to contain a recommendation to sack the present leadership of the INEC led by Professor Maurice Iwu, the national chairman, and replace it with an interim body.

Education is important. People need to understand the meaning of freedom truly. If I say boldly Nigeria is still not free. People have mentality that they need to pay to Government officials for work. This mentality has to be removed. It was never a doubt whether I wanted to go back in, it was up to the trainers. So I had to keep on going over there and running and running, trying to fake them out, holding the grimace. I wanted to get back in there. I’m never the type to sit down and not…

The entire material leaves a bitter taste in the mouth about the goings-on in the Buhari/Yar’Adua/Atiku case. There is no manner of doubt whatsoever that there was complicity between them… There can be absolutely no doubt that they were, somehow or the other, more than mixed up in the Buhari/Yar’Adua/Atiku case,” observed the court, which had taken local cognizance of the expose the day after it was aired.

The spate of nullifications coming from the different election tribunals across the country speaks volumes for itself. No just that, each time an election is nullified, INEC always come under heavy criticism of the tribunal. The Supreme Court has on several occasions rebuked INEC for being partisan and not being an unbiased umpire as required of them. More so, Nigerians do not even have confidence in INEC to conduct future elections. It is as bad as that.

We all know the politicians have their fault. But that fault has not and can not subdue Iwu’s inadequacies. If the politicians were faultless as demanded, we wouldn’t have needed INEC to conduct elections. The politicians would have simply gathered together in one day and conduct the election all by themselves hassles free. It’s because of the hassles associated with elections that INEC is mandated, as an unbiased umpire, to conduct elections. But Maurice Iwu cum INEC failed the nation. He became so biased that it was difficult see him as an umpire. He made INEC under him to become an appendix of the PDP. In fact, the Supreme Court in giving judgment involving Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Olusegun Obasanjo reprimanded INEC in strong terms. INEC and the Police told mind their business instead of meddling in matters that do not concern them.

The crucial evidence is prohibited from appearing in this court, subordinate to it for four months from today. However, they are free to discharge their professional duties in terms of consultation, advice, conferences, opinions, etc.

The court should desist from commenting on the conduct of INEC, if they keep denying us justice .Though the exhibit and verdict comes solely on basis of the CDs and transcripts of the sting operation, .The unshakeable truth is that this government is certainly guilty of criminal contempt of court.

Contemplating a fit punishment, the Bench should reason how many in the legal fraternity had had been taken by surprise to find the regime indulging in such “sharp practices. This held many prestigious elective positions in the legal fraternity.

The court knows Aoandoakaa for his legal acumen and trickery skills — perhaps the reason why he was appointed Attorney-General of this country. High expectations over his maneuver may fell apart when his conduct “betrayed the trust that prosecution reposed in him… what he did was perhaps beyond the realm of contemplation of the prosecuting agency.

Chastising the two for their misconduct, we are not dealing with young lawyers who, driven by ambition and desire… transgress the limits or unwittingly or unknowingly commit criminal contempt. We are dealing with senior advocates, who are expected to conduct themselves as gentlemen and role models for younger members of the Bar.

When prosecution and defense lawyers together team up along with corrupt police / public servants and manipulate evidences / records, the court becomes helpless and acquits the accused for lack of evidences even though the presiding judge is of impeccable integrity, honesty, Add to this, if the presiding judge happens to be corrupt and teams up with the criminal nexus, the result of the April 2007 rigged election could be devastating, the rich democracy would swing while perpetrators may get away and the human right will suffer punishment in some cases .

Who will bell these few corrupt among the judiciary, bar, police and public service? Why not prison sentence for two leading advocates on criminal charges of contempt of court, advocating to trash democracy in Nigeria by destruction of evidences? Are they above law? Why favouritism by court to the guilty in awarding punishment to guilty two advocates as they happen to be political influential? Will the court let a common man so leniently for the same charges? In the past cases dealt by these corrupt duo advocates , there are possibilities that the same tactics of manipulation of evidences , prosecution is done to win the cases , to free the flaw vote, why not review of the cases dealt by these corrupt advocates ?

Several editorials were churned out by this sector of the media and everyone was pleased that the press rose, once again, to the arduous task of defending our young democracy. If I am not mistaken, the only voice that was up for the election was that of Professor Maurice Iwu, INEC and the beneficiaries of the flawed elections. Their position could be understood. The honest few among judiciary, bar, police and INEC officials must uphold our constitution, rule of law & bring to book their corrupt colleagues.

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