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Supreme Court Verdict: Nobody is celebrating Judges Anymore… – Okutepa, SAN laments

Foremost Senior Advocate of Nigeria and one of the counsel to the Labour Party, JS Okutepa, SAN has lamented the state of the nation and the helplessness of the Nigerian Judiciary noting that Judges are no longer celebrated as it was in the past.

In a press statement made available to BarristerNG on Friday, Okutepa stated that only those benefiting from the kind of justice system in place in Nigeria are the ones happy with the supreme court judgment.

The Senior Lawyer was reacting to the verdict of the Supreme court dismissing all the grounds of appeals filed before the apex court challenging the February 25th Presidential Elections.

According to Okutepa “Those who are benefiting from the kind of system we operate in Nigeria cannot feel bad at the system that produces the kind of leaders we have had over the years. These leaders and or rulers had killed and are still killing merit, honesty, intergrity, commitment and dedication to good cause and they have replaced these good qualities with political yes men and women, nepotism and reckless political sycophants.

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“Again, those who have benefited and are still benefiting from the kind of justice system we operate are always happy at the kind of some judgments coming out of our courts in political cases. While there are some judgments that have helped shaped and checked political excesses in the time past, some judgments had raised more questions than solving the political and socio-economic problems of Nigeria.

“These judgments in most cases have hardened the hearts of these rulers and they believed that their political excesses cannot be checked by the judiciary. To them there is nothing that can chalk what they do. Challenging them is a waste of time. To them the judiciary cannot hold them accountable. Those who are familiar with historical jurisprudence know that no matter how badly our elections were conducted only very few have the judiciary agreed to upturned.

“When judgments are delivered in electoral cases drums are rolled out in celebrations by those who know what the true positions are. In most cases some of these judgments hardly contain remedies that meet the justice required in the judgments being celebrated by those who are beneficiaries. Those celebrations are done to taunt others. They even see honest observations as Sabotage.

“For instance many reasonable Nigerians are finding it difficult to understand the relegation of IRev to the background in our electoral jurisprudence by Nigerian Judiciary.

“This is not a matter of emotion. We need to have rational conversation here. INEC introduced IRev to checkmate manipulations of election results. We all know what politicians do in manipulations of electoral results.
We hear their confessions on national TV and in parliament.

“IRev was introduced to curb these manipulations. It was a good innovation. But now we turned round to say these innovations matter not and that results can be manually collated without recourse to those on IRev. Why was IRev introduced. It was introduced, again as I said to curb electoral manipulations of results.

“The argument that manual collation can be done without recourse to scanned copies of polling unit results on IRev does not appeal to me and most reasonable Nigerians in the least. That INEC can use its copies of the results, those with security agencies and parties agents and recourse can only be had to IRev copies when these other sources are not available, clearly undermined the reasons for IRev in the first place. If manual collation was still the only option why spending humongous amount of money to put IRev in place. We are just not ready to do what is right just for political purposes.

“Most if not all the pink copies of these polling units results are not legible. Many parties agents are chased away from polling units by political supporters and thugs. These are notoriously known facts in our electoral processes. That INEC staff get compromised and can change polling results are facts that political actors know too well and most Nigerians know it. Our courts cannot pretend not to know it.

“Just as the the judex take judicial notice of many press conferences by politicians and some legal practitioners, our judex ought to appreciate and take judicial notice of these shenanigans of political manipulations by our political actors hence the need for IRev. Even the copies given to security agents suffer the same fate. How many of the security agencies keep the copies of their own results. How many security agencies have copies of results.

“Assuming these security agencies have copies of these results, they become public documents. How do you get these copies before you prepare and file petitions as required by law. How do we feel good that subpoenaed witnesses must have their witness Statements frontloaded along with the petition. How feasible and possible is that. How do you subpoenaed a witness within court orders. Are judges always available before petitions are filed.

“Nigerians are not stupid. They may not be lawyers but they know the facts and the truth. Let us use our judicial process to hold institutions accountable. But where the judiciary is seen not to hold institutions accountable as it ought to do, we cannot make people to praise them. Judgments and judicial decisions ought to solve current and future problems and not to encouraging it.

“While it is our duty to protect and defend our judiciary and other institutions, it is equally our duties and responsibilities to see that the institutions act in manner that does not endanger the democractic growth and development of nation. The principles of law propounded by our judex in electoral jurisprudence were propounded and are being propounded by the judex for the maintenance of the status quo.

“How has these principles of law advanced the growth and developments of Nigeria. I see none.
I see these principles as promoting electoral frauds and thuggery in our body polity to the prejudices of genuine democracy based on the will of the people. These principles have emboldened politicians to engage in political rascality and have relegated Nigerian people to state of helplessness and castrated them in the instalation of leadership of their choices.

“Many will speak rubbish in support of some of these shenanigans of principles but the truth remains that we will all suffer the consequences of the destruction of democracy in Nigeria. It is time we unite to see that no person of questionable capacity in democratic processes is installed in power. Those who corrupt their ways in democratic journey to power cannot fight and eradicate corruption as required by the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We must unite to set standards of conduct for our political leadership recruitment.

“Nigerians are not getting the desired leadership benefits from the leaders installed and are being installed by the principles of law propounded by our judex. We are all living witnesses to what goes on in some states in Nigeria. Nothing works in those states. Killings and thuggery have retarded democratic growth in those states.

“We presumed correct things that we all know are not correct. We presume right official acts that we all know are not right. We make certain documents inadmissible even when we know those documents contained the truth of the facts stated therein. Judex closed their eyes to things that are available and see them not because it did not come through what they decided not to be proper channels. Yes that is what they, judex, are trained to do.

“But judex are not slaves to principles that do not advanced the greatest good of all. Judex have capacity and authority to change those principles and depart from them in the interest of justice. Judex must be bold and courageous to correct errors. That is why judex can take judicial notice of facts that are too notorious. Is it not time that our judex take judicial notice of political manipulations and interferences in our electoral processes by the politicians and then bring them to book. Is the principle of Sui generis in our electoral jurisprudence not working injustice and enthroning democratic despotism and dictatorship.

“Is that principle not emboldened political rascality in our politics and political class to the prejudices of good governance and democratic growth and prosperity. Can’t our judex see and hear that our democracy and governance have assumed somehow development that are anti-people and growth.

“I feel Nigerian judex need to listen to the feelings of Nigerians and see that all is not well. Nobody is celebrating them anymore except those who get judgments. And the reason is simple. People no longer understand the basis of the decisions of the judex. People seem to think that the judiciary needs to do more to hold institutions of government accountable. People feel that the way things are going the judiciary is not doing well to live up to its judicial powers duly donated to it by the constitution.

“One is tempted to ask, where and when did we get this negative aspect of sui generic rule of construction or interpretation in electoral jurisprudence from. Why are we not using the same rule to enhance democracy and hold political actors accountable instead of stamping their malfeasances in electoral process. We can do it. We need to have the will and it will be done and sovereignty will return to the people not those who forced themselves on the people using inducements as political tools,”he stated.….CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>

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Bunady

JOLOWO BUNALAYEFA PIUS is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for BUNADY NEWSLITE GLOBAL ENTERPRISE (Bunady.com). He started his Blogging/Journalism career at God's Own Wireless Company 2012. He's a graduate of Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko Ondo State, with a major in History And International Studies. You can contact him for press events, advertisement promotions on Email: contact.bunady@gmail.com

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