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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Presidential Election Verdict: Court Courting Coup, Anarchy

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Last night, I posted:

“In the morning… we shall have a country or we will not;
hope or we will not;
Justice or we will not;
a future or we will not because weeping endures for a night but joy comes in…”

As the tidal wave of military coups sweeps west Africa, some say Nigeria too is an eligible candidate for the “African Spring,” but is it really?

Today Nigeria extinguished itself as a giant in Africa by the sorry judgment of the Presidential Election Court which deflected the obvious truth that the world watched on that tragic and heartrending day of Feb 25, 2023.

The presidential election court dodged a date with history and the yearnings and timeless aspirations of Nigerian heroes past and present who sought and fought for the betterment of the nation in vain.

Ironically, it is not that the court did the unexpected or the unthinkable. However, in a country where wrong is the norm and right is an aberration, there was some expectation for an exception.

Once again Nigeria did not fail to fail its promise or its potential and its citizens were inflicted with additional heartbreak upon heartache.

The journey to perdition has fully begun. Nigeria had a chance to avert COUP in favour of COURT showing that we’re capable of better things and haven’t totally lost our membership in the comity of civilized nations and aspiring democracies.

Faith in the rule of law, in the justice system, in the Nigerian project has been buried underground while APC’s Renewed Hoax has “won”.

Bola Ahmed (or Adekunle) Tinubu’s decades of venality and impunity have won him an entire nation of 200million to ransom.

I awoke at 4am in Washington to watch the judgment which I have been watching for hours on end.

While there are certain technicalities raised by their Lordships which are plausible and worth evaluating further when the judgment is available for critical scrutiny, I was shocked to hear a justice quote the “Hon Justice Peter Odili,” Justice of the Supreme Court.

Dr. Peter Odili was the Governor of Rivers State and has never been a justice of the Supreme Court. His wife and two daughters are judges. If the election petition court was trying to quote Hon. Justice Mary Odili, JSC (rtd.) how did it end up referencing Peter Odili?

Unfortunately, a judge that cannot properly identify his learned colleague and later a senior Justice of the Supreme Court cannot really inspire one on the competency of his other observations.

The danger now is not simply that our youths have been told that you can live a life of crime, fraud, forgery and dubious education and become president of Nigeria but that Tinubu will now be emboldened to send Nigeria’s youth to die in war with Niger.

Such a misadventure risks pushing Nigeria’s military which is overstretched with multiple conflicts in Nigeria to intervene in Nigeria’s dubious democracy. This is the corollary danger our democracy faces when democratic institutions fail to reflect democratic aspirations of the abused electorate.

By Emmanuel Ogebe

Emmanuel Ogebe is an international human rights lawyer, writes from Washington D.C., USA.

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