By Kalu Nwokoro Idika
The presidential election has come and gone with the attendant political tension and acrimony it ended up creating for Nigerians in all tier of the political system. It further aggravated the already unstable and hostile relationships that exist among the three nations that constitute the political enclave known as Nigeria. The election, in a way, incubated and hatched several political alliances that unfortunately could not pull a serious stunt which could have possibly alter the pathetic narrative that has become an integral part of the Nigerian political system.
Now, this is neither me attempting to blow matters of local importance into unnecessary prominence, nor am I in any way being a wet blanket. But I am simply stating in clear terms how pointless it will be if Atiku Abubakar should remain unyielding and proceed with the deluded idea of regaining his mandate in the Court. Similarly, it will be another miscalculation for anyone who is in Atiku’s train to believe that the court as presently constituted in Nigeria can salvage the broad day light electoral fraud that took place on the 23 of February 2019.
I have no intention of dissuading Atiku Abubakar, but it’s obvious he does not stand a chance to emerge victorious from the court. He cannot get the justice he seeks from the Nigerian court. No matter how bitter this statement might sound to his sympathisers, it is nothing but one of the truths that could be told of the Nigerian judicial system. Sadly, this truth was born of nepotism, selfishness and the gross lack of federal character as seen in the ruling class. Having said that, we already know that the Nigerian political system is structured in such a way that principled and honest individuals do not stand a chance of living a life of integrity and leaving a good legacy for others to follow. It is a system that champions and exalts mediocrity at the expense of competence. Hence, the spoilers should be made to have a taste of their own poison.
The Nigerian Judiciary system is in the pocket of the executive. Yes, I said it. And that’s another truth of what the 1999 constitution has made of it. It created a god in the person of a president.
The rogue constitution of Nigeria made it possible for the executive arm of government to always exercise influence over the Judiciary. The president has the power to appoint chief Justices of the court and this unjustly paves way for the protection of vested interest in the executive arm of government. Hence, there’s no way the doctrine of separation of powers can thrive in this sham of a democracy where the president is a god; because, he who pays the piper dictates the tone.
Events of the last three and a half years have shown that the little sanity left of the Nigerian Judiciary has been lost. The government of Mohammed Buhari has bullied and intimidated few vocal and fearless Judges into silence for fear of being hurled a non existing corruption charges. Ademola and others were humiliated like common criminals. Judges with track records to reckon with were boxed into submitting to the whims and caprices of the powers that be. If as a judge you are not willing to dance to the tune, then be ready to become a fugitive. This is the sad truth told of the Nigerian legal system. There are a lot of legal irregularities which are being overlooked. The likes of Justice El Kafarati were used to tag IPOB a terrorist organisation. The same Judiciary also ganged up with the power brokers in the executive arm of the government to give stringent bail conditions to IPOB family members who were illegally arrested and charged for terrorism. The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Mr Onnoghen Walter, was illegally kicked out of the office by the president. Whereas there is a chapter of the constitution that clearly states how the Chief Justice of Nigeria should be removed from office. Despite threatening fire and brimstone by some unassertive Nigerians if Justice Walter is not reinstated, the government of Buhari only greeted their hesitant agitations with undaunted silence. Yet nothing has happened.
The goons that dragged Justice Walter to CCT (Code of Conduct Tribunal) for not declaring his asset could not replicate the same in the case of Justice Mohammed Tanko who never publicly declared his assets before usurping office as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. Nigerian Judicial Council, as the highest decision making body in the Judiciary, could not boldly boot him away from office for working contrary to the rules of engagement of the Council.
There are several court injunctions directing the immediate release of Sambo Dasuki, former National Security adviser to the government of Jonathan, and Elzakzaki, the leader of the Islamic movement of Nigeria. None of these court pronouncements were honoured. It was disregarded by the executive arm of government. A clear case of court contempt.
The Nigerian Judicial Council that was supposed to checkmate the political excesses of these lawless actors masquerading under the executive arm of government seems to be helpless and confused, because there appears to be some level of conspiracy and interface between these two arms.
The Nigerian judicial system is full of law merchants who would rather make more money than see justice served. These amoral judges have mastery in subverting due process and justice in Nigeria. Then if the justice system is void of honorable men, who will close this gap and save the mandate of Atiku Abubakar?
I can only tell Atiku Abubakar and his sympathisers that the game is up. Everybody should go home, take a cold shower, eat, count their losses and rest. The battle has been fought and lost. Buhari and INEC were smarter than them. PDP’s present political situation can be liken to the story of the foolish five virgins in the Bible. Going to Court is nothing but an exercise in futility. The power that be has all their stooges planted in those courts PDP will run to. Efforts would be made to frustrate the process and at the end, Buhari will still be declared the authentic winner of the presidential election and nothing will happen.
Peoples Democratic Party and other concerned Nigerians might not like my stand point but that is the only option left for them. The idea of running a parallel government will be very suicidal for the members of PDP. It will warrant a serious clamp down on their chieftains and this may not go down well in many quarters.
Until Nigerians are ready to do the needful, until those actually concerned are ready to stamp their feet down and say: it is enough, PDP and Atiku Abubakar should go home and nurse their wounds. Concede Defeat and save yourselves from another round of heart break. The court can only compound the present predicament. Avoid another level of caricature by accepting to live with that which you helped to create.
The present reality is that Mohammed Buhari has won the election and will be there till the next four years. Atiku Abubakar does not stand a chance in the court and even if he does, where are the Judges that will lead this legal insurrection? Very scarce! The few righteous Judges amongst them have been outnumbered by the multitude of unscrupulous ones. There is no hope in the Judiciary, so accept defeat and go home in peace.
Kalu is a political analyst. You can e-mail him at [email protected]