By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
In the wake of recent attacks by politicians over some judgements by the Supreme Court, a Non Governmental Organization (NGO), Patriots For the Advancement Of Peace and Social Development, has cautioned politicians against demeaning the apex court, even as it charged the Justices to remain undaunted.
In a statement in Abuja at the weekend, the group commended the Supreme Court Justices for their courage in the discharge of their duties with the barrage of cases coming up for review before the court, noting that the decision of the court remains final.
According to the statement signed by its Executive Director, Sani Abdulahi Shinkafi, the group recalled that on May 24 2019, the Apex court Justices did a thorough housekeeping in Zamfara State.
The statement said “Your Lordships upheld the decisions of the lower Courts to the effect that the All Progressives Congress (APC) did not nominate candidates for the House of Assembly, National Assembly and Governorship elections in Zamfara State in the 2019 general elections.
“Consequently, the purportedly elected candidates of APC in Zamfara State were swept into the abyss of oblivion. It was a landmark judgment that elevated the tenets of our democracy above unbridled partisan politics.
“The judgment elevated the provisions of Section 87 of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) above the reckless shenanigans of the political class. For enriching Nigeria’s jurisprudence and deepening our democracy regarding the acute necessity of conducting primary elections; the Supreme Court deserve enormous commendation, not condemnation, over the Zamfara decision of May 24 2019”.
Shinkafi stated that “the year 2020 has seen Your Lordships, in two landmark judgments, yank the seat off the purportedly elected Governors of Imo and Bayelsa States.
The Imo judgment is significant because it installed as Governor the candidate of APC who came 4th in the results purportedly declared by INEC.
He said however, the appeal before justices revealed to Nigerians and the world at large that 388 Polling Units results were unlawfully excluded and suppressed by INEC in a bid to declare PDP and its candidate winner of the election.
“Your Lordships dutifully collated these 388 Polling Units results and rightfully returned the APC and Senator Hope Uzodimma as winner of the election. Since then, all hell has broken loose.
“Aggrieved PDP politicians have held rallies and protests in streets, embassies and market places. Even the residence of Your Lordships have not been spared. The Supreme Court as a hallowed institution, ably manned by Your Lorships, has been ridiculed and abused, simply because a politician lost his seat.
“A tenured seat of merely 4 years. The Bayelsa judgment arose from a pre-election matter. The trial Federal High Court nullified the joint ticket of the APC Governorship and Deputy Governorship candidates because the Deputy presented forged certificates.
“Being a joint ticket as contemplated by Section 187 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), it is elementary that any virus that afflicted the eligibility and nomination of the Deputy Governorship candidate will also blight his Principal’s eligibility and nomination.
Shinkafi said “We urge Your Lordships to remain steadfast, stoic and undaunted as the apex and policy Court of the nation. The orchestrated attempt by politicians to review Your Lordships’ decision in Zamfara, Imo and Bayelsa is a knee-jerk reaction propelled by desperation and tomfoolery.
“It is quite sad and unfortunate that this is the 2nd attempt to review the Zamfara decision. We understand that on July 22 2019, Your Lordships struck out the Application for Review filed by APC and its candidates in Zamfara. Why will a 3rd Application for Review be filed again over the Zamfara decision?