By Mashe Umaru Gwamna
A Constitutional lawyer, Prince Orji Nwafor-Orizu has advised the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) and former Governor of Imo state, Emeka Ihedioha, and his supporters to shun protests in the streets and do the wise thing by going for judicial review.
It could be recalled that the Apex court recently removed the former governor in office and declared the All Progressives Congress, APC candidate, Senator Hope Uzodimma as the winner of the election.
Nwafor-Orizu gave the advice in a press statement he made available to journalists recently in his office in Abuja.
Making his point, the lawyer said he has noticed with concern, the reactions of politicians and their supporters in respect of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in electoral matters.
He added that those calling the Supreme Court Justices all kinds of names or calling on the Chief Justice of Nigeria to resign or be removed because of the judgement in various appeals may be honest, but surely erroneous in their reasoning.
Though he said others in the category might be involved in poliitical partisan propaganda, but was quick to note that the other group might be part of the ‘’Roman Crowd’’ who came to conclusions without facts.
Orji Nwafor-Orizu however said the critics, among others, went too far to refer to the SCN as an APC court, stating that in particular, the PDP and other Nigerians are worried about the decision in the Imo governorship case that removed Governor Ihedioha.
“I am of the firm view that if the PDP and Govermor Ihedioha are aggrieved, they should rush to the Supreme Court for a review. If their case is that there was fraud or the decision was reached per incurriam, the only place to ventilate same is at the SCN and not demonstration in the streets.
“I am certain that if the PDP’s case for review is meritorious, the apex court will grant it. But seriously speaking, from decisions of cases, can it be said that the Supreme Court is an APC court? Let us see. PDP won its governorship cases in the Supreme Court in Sokoto, Bauchi, Adamawa, Benue, Oyo, Zamfara, while the APC won in Kano, Plateau and Imo.
“By numbers, the SCN favored the PDP more than the APC. That is the bitter truth. The apex court may have made mistakes, but they are surely not partisan,” he stated.
In his views, the legal practioner said he has noted that political parties rig election, each according to its ability and location, even as he added that rigging might not have been ruled out in Imo state governorship election.
He therefore said the SCN having not placed secret cameras in both camps during the election, would only use the documents before it to reach its judgement.
The crucial question before any criticism of the judgement, according to him was, “what were: the issues determined and argued by both parties and; the reasonings and conclusions of the the court on those issues?
Noting that criticisms without seeing the copies of the judgement was based on mare sentiments, he said both the APC and the PDP, depending on whose side the judgement is in favour, praised or criticised the SCJs. This he saw as one of the hazards of being a judge.
Urging Nigerians not to drag the SCJs to the arena of partisan politics, for them to do their jobs without intimedation or blackmail, he called on politicians and their supporters to leave the justices alone.