The Nigerian presidential election has come and gone with it’s attendant political tension and acrimony for Nigerians in virtually all tiers of government. It further aggravated the already unstable and hostile relationships existing amongst the three predominant ethnic nationalities that constitute the geo-political entity called Nigeria. The election in a way, incubated and hatched several political alliances that unfortunately, could not pull serious stunt that could have possibly altered the pathetic narrative that has shamefully become an integral part of the Nigerian political system.
This is neither obviously attempting to blow matters of logical importance into unnecessary prominence nor in anyway presenting a wet blanket over an issue. But it is simply stating in very clear terms, how pointless it will eventually be if Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the presidential flagbearer of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), should remain unyielding and proceed with the deluded idea of regaining his stolen mandate in the Court. Similarly, it will become another miscalculation for anyone in Atiku’s train to believe that the Nigerian court as presently constituted can salvage the broad daylight electoral fraud and robbery that brazenly took place on Saturday 23rd February, 2019.
My purpose here is not to dissuade Atiku Abubakar but it is quite obvious that he does not stand the chance of emerging victorious from the court. He cannot get the justice he seeks from the Nigerian court under the prevailing circumstance. No matter how unpalatable this might sound to his sympathizers and admirers, it stands out as one of the bitter truths that must be told regarding the Nigerian judicial system. Sadly, this truth was conceived and born out of nepotism, selfishness and gross lack of federal character as clearly seen amongst the ruling class. Having said that, we already know that the Nigerian political system is structured in such a manner that principled and honest individuals do not stand the chance of living a life of integrity, thereby leaving good legacies for the upcoming ones. It is a system that champions and exalts mediocrity at the expense of competence and trust. Hence spoilers should be made to have a taste of their own poison.
The Nigerian judiciary system is really in the pocket of the executive. Yes, it is! And that is another bitter truth behind what the 1999 constitution has succeeded in bequeathing to Nigerians, creating a god in the person of a President. The rogue constitution made it possible for the executive arm of government to always exercise undue influence over and against the judiciary and even the legislature. The President wields enormous powers to the extent of unilaterally appointing Chief Justices of the Courts which unjustifiably paves the way for the protection of vested interests within the executive arm of government. There is absolutely no way the doctrine of separation of powers can thrive in such a shambolic democracy as what obtains in Nigeria where the President is a god. This is so because he who pays the piper, clearly dictates the tone.
Events of the last three and half years have undoubtedly proven that the little sanity left of the Nigerian judiciary has totally been lost. The government of Muhammadu Buhari has successfully bullied and intimidated few vocal and fearless judges into silence for fear of being hurled a nonexistent corruption charges. Justice Ademola of the Federal High Court amongst others, were humiliated like common criminals for professionally carrying out their legitimate duties. Judges with track records of reckoning, were tyrannically boxed into submitting to the whims and caprices of the powers that be. If as a judge any is found unwilling to dance to dictated tunes, then such should be prepared to become a fugitive. This is certainly the sad truth about what obtains in the Nigerian legal system. There are lots of legal irregularities that are being overlooked. The likes of Justice El-Kafarati were used to tag the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), a globally recognised and acclaimed most peaceful and enlightened mass movement ever known in modern history of freedom agitation, a terrorist organization. The same judiciary also wilfully ganged up with the power brokers within the executive, to hand down stringent bail conditions to IPOB family members who were illegally arrested, incarcerated and charged for treason. The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was illegally kicked out of office by the President on trumped up charges, whereas there exists in the Constitution, a chapter that vividly stipulates how a Nigerian Chief Justice could be removed. Despite threats by unassertive Nigerians, Justice Walter Onneghen yet remains not reinstated till date. Buhari government only reciprocated their hesitant agitations with undaunted silence and impunity. Nothing has happened.
The goons that dragged Justice Walter Onnoghen to the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), for want of asset declaration could not replicate the very same in the case of Justice Mohammed Tanko (Onneghen’s successor), who equally never publicly declared his assets before usurping office as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. The Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC), which is the highest decision making body in the judiciary, could not even boldly kick out Mohammed Tanko for blatantly contravening the rules of engagement of the Council.
There are several court injunctions directing the immediate release of Colonel Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan and El-Zakzaki, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. These court pronouncements have yet remained arrogantly dishonored. These were disregarded by the executive arm of the Nigerian government which are clear cases of contempt of court. The Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC) that is supposed to uncompromisingly checkmate the political excesses of these lawless actors masquerading under the executive arm, seems entirely helpless and confused because of some seeming level of conspiracy and interface between these two separate bodies.
The Nigerian judicial system is full of law merchants who would rather make more money for selfish aggrandisement than see justice duly served. These amoral judges have mastery in subverting justice in the country. If the justice system is this bastardized and void of honorable men, who will then bridge the gap and help recover the stolen mandate of Alhaji Atiku Abubakar? I only tell Atiku Abubakar and his cream of sympathizers that the game is really up for them. Everybody should go home, take cold showers, eat, count their losses and take some rest. The battle has already been fought and lost. Buhari and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), were much smarter in the game than them. People’s Democratic Party (PDP’s) present political situation can easily be likened to the story of the foolish five virgins in the Bible who waited for their master that long without enough oil in their lamps. Going to court tantamounts to an exercise in futility. The powers that be have all their stooges planted in those courts that the PDP will definitely run to. Undoubtedly, efforts would be made to frustrate the process and at the end, Buhari will still remain the declared authentic winner of the shambolic presidential election and nothing will happen.
The People’s Democratic Party (PDP), and other concerned Nigerians might not applaud my position on this matter but this is the only option left for them. The idea of running a parallel government will be very suicidal for the PDP membership. It will warrant an unprecedented clampdown on the party’s chieftains and invariably, cause some other negative effects in the larger society.
Until Nigerians are ready to take a definitive stand, put up resistance and say: “enough is enough”, PDP and it’s presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, should just go home and nurse their wounds. Humbly concede defeat and save yourselves from another round of heart break. The Nigerian court under this government, can only compound the present predicament. Avoid the hassles of another level of caricature by accepting to live with that which you helped to create.
The reality on ground is that Muhammadu Buhari has won the election and will be there for the next four years. Atiku Abubakar does not stand the chance in the court and even if he does, where are the judges that will defiantly lead this legal insurrection? Very scarce! The very few upright judges in the pack are greatly outnumbered by the unscrupulous majority. There is certainly no hope in the Nigerian judiciary. So humbly accept defeat, go home and have your peace.
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Radio Biafra Media