There is Justice of the Court; and Justice of Posterity
As the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal delivered its judgment on
Tuesday February 26, 2008, one thing that stuck to my mind in those four
long hours is: can these justices look at tomorrow in the face and
declare that they have done the right thing?
Chief Ahamba, Counsel to General Muhammadu Buhari captured the essence
of the day when he told the court after the judgment that “conscience is
a bag that everybody carries his own”.
If only it were allowed, we would have asked the judges where they voted
in the day of the presidential election and how the election was
conducted in their locality.
However, the judges insisted that their judgment should be based on the
evidence put before them by the petitioners and lawyers to INEC and
Yar’Adua also made a fetish of this.
Since our judges are from the moon and did not see any evil on the
Election Day, the people of Nigeria leave them to their conscience, if
they have any.
It is important to remind them and lawyers to INEC and President
Yar’Adua however, that their concurrence on the charade called April
elections will determine the fate of electoral politics in Nigeria for a
long time to come, especially if it receives the seal of the Supreme
Court or if General Buhari and Alhaji Atiku Abubakar succumbs to the
campaign on them not to appeal the controversial judgment.
The court has givenINEC a blank cheque on the administration of election
so such that by 2011, INEC may give us toilet papers as ballot papers
and no court will fault election on that ground. Next time, INEC can
exclude a candidate until 24 hours to the election and as long as his
name is printed on a fake ballot paper, he will be deemed as having
contested the elections. This judgment will guide elections that all
family members and lawyers may decide to contest in the future.
However, as Abubakar Rimi said on his conviction for corruption in 1985,“there is the justice of the court and there is the justice of
posterity. What we had on Tuesday was justice of the court designed to
please PDP, INEC and their lawyers. The judgment of posterity will come
on every body at God’s own time and in that, even the justices of the
court will stand in the dock!
By: Abdallah Shaibu