Now that the PDP, Atiku and LP, Obi have appealed the PEPC judgement to the Supreme Court—Let us give SC the chance to adjudicate the disputes
By Godson Moneke
Now that the PDP and LP (I have not read of the APM) have appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgement of the PEPC, I appeal to Nigerians to give the revered Justices the required peace to adjudicate the issues before them. This does not preclude any objective reporting of the court proceedings for the benefit of those Nigerians who may not be present during the court hearings. What I would want people to avoid is any precipitate actions that may be seen as intimidation, harassment or goading of the Justices to rule according to your desires. My late grandmother would always advise us to dread someone who hides his actual intentions in the recesses of his mind than the loquacious one whose intentions are always obvious by his many verbal actions. The legendary Williams Shakespeare wrote that ; THERE IS NO ART OF READING THE MIND FROM THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE FACE. I therefore advise that while ALL EYES SHOULD STILL BE ON THE JUDICIARY, the observation can be SILENTLY DONE so that somebody who is obviously self-serving does not blackmail you of INTIMIDATING, HARASSING AND THREATENING THE JUSTICES OF THE SUPREME COURT. It is a familiar playbook of people who want to provoke the Justices against you. It was successfully done in PEPC, don’t allow a repeat again. Justices are human beings who saw what happened, they have consciences and thus there is a LIMIT TO WHICH PECUNIARY CONSIDERATIONS WOULD MOVE THEM. The lawyers of all the parties are to focus and emphasize on SALIENT AND SIGNIFICANT POINTS and leave out issues which are amenable to EMOTIONAL CONSIDERATIONS.
We have given the Justices the powers to determine the outcome of the presidential election because we believe that as EXPERTS, THEY KNOW MORE THAN WE DO. It is unfortunate that institutions which are constitutionally saddled with matters as important and sensitive as elections corruptly mess them up with no retributions from the state. The burden of proof that they have conducted a credible election should naturally rest with INEC. The present scenario where regularity is imputed into their actions even when they are clearly unwholesome is an incentive for their continued recklessness and bad behaviors. Every election ends up in the courts which are then overburdened with election matters at the expense of their regular and traditional functions. The judges are then subjected to temptations such as monetary inducements, threats and blackmail. We must devise an instrument for measuring and evaluating the effectiveness of important and strategic institutions such as INEC. Judges who connive with INEC to disobey court orders which they duly issued do serious harm to the judiciary. The same court which orders INEC flouted cannot turn a blind eye to INEC infractions and still hear the same delinquent and disobedient INEC on the same matter. That connivance by judges as seen in PEPC is scandalous. Nobody can tell you the consequences of the Supreme Court decision on this matter but it is advisable that they remain on the right side of HISTORY. WHOEVER IS THE RIGHTFUL WINNER SHOULD GET IT, THEY SHOULD NOT PANDER TO THE DESIRES OF ANY POLITICAL PARTY. That is JUSTICE!!! That is why they are called JUSTICES and not JUDGES!!! The Supreme Court is a Court of Justice and not a Court of TECHNICALITIES. It is JUSTICE FOR ALL PARTIES INCLUDING THE RESPONDENTS, LET THE RIGHT THING BE DONE.
My misgivings with the PEPC is the STRANGE arrogance which they displayed the day they read their judgement. The PEPC judges were hypocrites and cowards. They chose the area of LEAST RESISTANCE AND ALIGNED WITH THE ESTABLISHMENT WHICH THEY PRESENTED AS SAINTS EVEN WHEN IT WAS OBVIOUS THEY WERE NOT. The constitution and the electoral act requires any aggrieved contestant to seek redress in the election tribunal. Implicit in this, is the belief that the members of the election petitions tribunals should display a high degree of impartiality in their adjudicatory role. For the tribunal members to leave this moral high horse and descend into the valley of absurdities apparently siding with one of the parties in the dispute is very disgraceful. They were like the proverbial paid mourners who MOURN LOUDER THAN THE BEREAVED. There must be a system in place to check the excesses and rascality of the judiciary same way they act CHECKS AND BALANCES to other branches of government . The reason institutions of state misbehave and deviate from their statutory responsibilities is because they do the wrong things for the benefit of the establishment which in return showers them with favors and protections from the consequences of their perfidy. Thus, the vicious cycle is sustained and repeated. It was easy for the PEPC judges to behave recklessly because they believe that no harm would come to them because they had the backing of the establishment. It was a QUID PRO QUO thing!!! What was the NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER DOING IN THE COURT THAT DAY? Even in the occasions where the petitioners are simply abusing the court processes, nothing warrants a judge to use ABUSIVE, DEROGATORY AND MALIGNING words against a petitioner whose only crime was approaching the court for justice because he felt he was wronged. Judges are public servants who are paid with taxpayers money for an orderly society. The position they occupy is a position of solemn trust. It is a position which was conferred on them by the people who have a LEGITIMATE EXPECTATION that their behaviors would always be UPRIGHT. People are encouraged to seek redress in the courts if they feel hurt rather than taking the laws into their hands. It is not in the place of an ELECTION PETITIONS COURT to make pronouncements capable of dissuading aggrieved election contestants from APPROACHING IT. This is exactly what the judges in PEPC have done and it is utterly reprehensible. Election petition is SUI GENERIS and therefore subject to the peculiarities of its specific laws. Transparency in the presidential election petitions is a process. If the PEPC judges said that hearings would not be televised, there was no need for their authorizing for reading their judgement to be PSEUDO-TELEVISED. YOU CANNOT CALL AN EVENT TELEVISED WHEN YOU INSIST THAT YOUR FACES WHILE READING THE JUDGEMENT WOULD NOT BE SHOWN. Your demeanor while reading the judgement is also under scrutiny and go a long way in the APPEAL DECISION OF THE LOSER. With what the PEPC judges did, those who watched the reading of the judgement through the television did not observe the DEMEANOR OF THE JUDGES considering that the petitions are of PUBLIC INTEREST. The unspoken words sometimes convey more messages than people often give them credit for. This is why the SIGN LANGUAGE which is used to communicate with the DEAF is as important as both the verbal and written language. Therefore, the judgement of the PEPC was not televised contrary to the impression PEPC gave to the Nigerian public. What happened on that day was a mere CARICATURE OF TELEVISING aimed at playing on the intelligence of GULLIBLE MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC. For the esteemed judges of the PEPC to indulge in such SHENANIGANS is very REGRETTABLE AND APPALLING.
The major job of the federal government is SECURITY AND ECONOMY. So far all the policy decisions of the president on the economy and security have failed. The naira to dollar exchange rate which was less than N500 when the president took over on 29th May, 2023 has weakened by more than 100% in about 183 days. All we hear are empty talks with little contents. Buhari was bad but he kept the naira to dollar exchange rate at less than N500 but you that boast of a GENIUS ARE JUST FUMBLING. There is no single accomplishment to your name during this period. NONE !!! The media aide to the president has shown that he is INCOMPETENT. He thinks that HYPOCRISY, EYE SERVICE AND PRAISE SINGING are what his job requires. Why would he rush to issue a statement which he ought to know is incorrect only to debunk or clarify it the next day? I give you three instances; 1) the UAE Visa matter, why would he rush to issue a statement that the matter had been resolved with the personal intervention of the president when it was not true? It took a statement from the UAE for Nigerians to know the truth on the matter, 2) the proposed meeting between the US president and Nigeria’s president on the sidelines of UNGA, why rush to announce it when it has not taken place? Now that it did not happen, how do you explain it? 3) why tell Nigerians that President Tinubu was the first African president to ring the closing bell at NASDAQ when you knew it was false? You don’t spew lies even on small things like ringing closing bells at NASDAQ which was merely symbolic and has nothing attached to it? It has no socioeconomic significance. Why the fuss? What is the use of making a mountain out of a mole hill here? After all, ministers and other lower-ranked persons do same. If he wanted to boost the Nigerian President’s ego, he could have presented that event thus; PRESIDENT TINUBU IS ONE OF THE INFLUENTIAL PRESIDENTS OF THE WORLD’S EMERGING ECONOMIES TO RING NASDAQ CLOSING BELL. If I am not mistaken, I think the president of Tanzania rang the bell sometime in 2011 and President Jonathan also did same at the New York Stock Exchange in 2013? There are more GAFFES being made on a daily and continuous basis by the presidential media aide that makes one wonder if it only incompetence and not deliberate sabotage?
This government has become notorious for impunity and breaking the laws. For example, you do not appoint an ACTING CBN GOVERNOR FROM OUTSIDE THE CBN. Such a person does not assume office before official confirmation by the Senate as required by the constitution. The rule is that acting positions are occupied by JUNIORS WHO ARE HOLDING THE FORTE FOR ABSENT INCUMBENTS. If it is true that the CBN governor and deputies resigned in August, why didn’t the president QUICKLY send the names of the replacement nominees to the Senate for expeditious confirmation as required by the laws instead of the current mess? I do not have anything against CARDOSO but I would have preferred a MONETARY ECONOMIST TO HEAD OUR CBN. If you recall, since 1999, the best and golden years of the CBN were when Soludo and Sanusi (both economists) were at the helm of affairs. Our political leaders have failed to understand that the CBN is not a commercial bank or any of the financial institutions. Howbeit , Tinubu is the president of Nigeria until the courts say otherwise, therefore, every Nigerian should support him to succeed because the fallout of any maladministration by him would impact disproportionately on the masses of Nigeria . As the president, he would be the last person to feel the impact of a bad economy and insecurity in Nigeria.
On a final note, I am alarmed at the debauchery, treachery and mendacity which Mr Reno Omokri is displaying because he is desperate to land an appointment with the government of Tinubu. There is nothing wrong with soliciting for any appointment but you don’t run down others to achieve such an ambition. It is dubious of him to claim to support Atiku when in actual fact he has shifted his loyalty to Tinubu since after the result of the presidential election was announced. People who behave like him are who the late Chief Bola Ige called, FOOD IS READY POLITICIANS. I cannot for example, snap a photograph at the Unilag entrance gate and use it to claim interaction with the registry of the university. Mr Omokri should show the acknowledgment copy of the letter which he wrote to the CSU seeking the required information. He should show the picture which he took in the registry and possibly with the registrar and/or his staff. Which university freely gives a stranger information about the academic status of the former student without a court order or subpoena? Omokri is not only a liar but a crook. Anybody who believes him can believe anything. The young man is desperate for a political appointment from the government of Tinubu and is latching on the government policy which has elevated IGBO PHOBIA AND HATE to STATECRAFT. He is trying to outdo everybody in the hatred for the Igbos thinking that the government of Tinubu would find in him a willing ALLY but unknown to him that Tinubu is too clever to fall for his crooked ways. TINUBU KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING. IT IS A DANGEROUS GAME WHICH ONLY HE KNOWS THE END RESULT. He also thinks that his unbridled Igbo-bashing would ingratiate him to some Yoruba irredentists and ethnic chauvinists but the Yoruba ethnic group is wiser than that and can see through the gambits of the crook. The crux of the matter in the Atiku’s case against CSU in the US is seeking a discovery that Tinubu submitted a forged degree certificate to INEC but Omokri has been making noise that Tinubu graduated from CSU in 1979 as if that is a qualifying requirement to contest elections in Nigeria. If he truly loves Tinubu as he pretends to do let him advise him on how to navigate the MINES AND BUMPS BEFORE HIM and not to sneak in when others have done the work. Omokri was obviously born after the Civil War in the country but he is talking like an eye witness hoping to hoodwink unsuspecting and gullible public. That is how crooks behave. I challenge him to put all he has been saying about the Igbos on the civil war into a book if he is honest and sincere so that somebody can take him up on the nonsense he has been writing on the matter. He should not use a major ethnic group like the Igbos to weave his political tapestry and stimulate his hunger for political appointment from this government.
It is hallucinatory of Mr Omokri to compare himself with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu and claim that the federal government wanted to abduct him in Kenya along with Mazi Nnamdi Kanu during the latter’s extraordinary rendition to Nigeria. He claimed to have escaped abduction because of his rare gift of uncanny wisdom. He talks like a psychiatric case who is suffering from SCHIZOPHRENIA. Only an unserious government would consider Omokri A PERSON OF INTEREST and expend resources on such a nonentity who has no sociopolitical value. Kanu is the leader of IPOB with huge follower-ship among Igbo youths, so he should be a person of interest considering the large population he COMMANDS in Nigeria. What is the political value of Omokri and which group does he lead? Who knows Reno Omokri and who can identify him outside his constant rabble rousing and blabbing on the Social Media as if his life depends on such noises. He is only a vagabond who was rehabilitated by President Jonathan and he has not found his feet since then. He thinks that aimless Igbo bashing can be used as a shortcut to political relevance but he is seriously mistaken. He lies!!!!.
Godson O. Moneke, a registered quantity surveyor, economist, sociologist, administrator and sociopolitical advocate wrote from Abuja. Readers are permitted to share.