Constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozhekhome has reacted to the Supreme Court declaration of Hope Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress as the duly elected governor of Imo State.
The apex court sacked Emeka Ihedioha, ordering the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to issue a certificate of return to Uzodinma.
While also ordering INEC to withdraw ihediaoha’s, it added that Uzodinma must be sworn-in immediately.
Reacting to the judgement, Oekhome who has been a critic of the federal government pointed in his article that with Uzodinma who came fourth in the poll emerging winner, INEC is independent. He added that they would have saved the judiciary the stress by getting their acts right.
Read the article below.
The Supreme Court is the final court of the land. That is why it is called the apex court. Once it settles a dispute, it becomes final for all times. Anyone who is disappointed or dissatisfied can only appeal to God Almighty.
In governorship election matters, it constitutes a full panel of seven Justices to hear it, in place of five Justices of the Court of Appeal that hear a governorship election petition.
As the apex court itself once famously declared in ADEGOKE MOTORS CASE, “the Supreme Court is final in the sense of real finality. It is final not because it is infallible; it is infallible because it is final”.
In the Hope Uzodinma v Emeka Ihedioha’s case, it has spoken. I believe in the Rule of Law and its sanctity.
I also believe in total and absolute obedience to court orders, however unpalatable to the loser, to avoid chaos and anarchy. Obedience to court orders is one of the inescapable building blocks of constitutional democracy.
There is ordinarily a presumption by the society that the Supreme Court, being the final court of the land,is supposed to be right in its decisions, after rigorous and painstaking perusal of cases brought before it between feuding parties.
However, the next stage is for legal pundits, analysts and academicians, to dissect the judgement thoroughly, to decipher if it met the justice of the case, having regard to the available facts. I do not have these facts, not being one of the counsel in the appeal.
They must interrogate whether the judgement actually delivered justice according to law. After all, the law is but a handmaid instituted by man to deliver justice.
The two are Siamese twins. One without the other is bare and vacuous. One area that needs critical analysis and interrogation is what makes a candidate that came 4th in an election to be declared the winner of that election.
Another area that requires an urgent answer is why INEC has so failed the nation that presidents and governors are now being packaged and delivered for the country and states, against the clear choice of the electorate at the polls.
If INEC got its acts right, the Judiciary’s frequent interventions would have been greatly minimised. Today, INEC is neither independent, impartial, nor well equipped to count the electorate’s votes and also allow such votes to count.
That is the sorry state we are in today, especially since 2015. May God help Nigeria.