By Yusufu Shehu Usman
I was saddened to read from the press review this morning that the Supreme Court of Nigeria officially reacted to a press statement by the CNPP on the petition filed by Atiku before the apex court, challenging the judgment of the presidential election Tribunal and which Is now pending before the court for adjudication
As for me, I think it was a huge mistake for the Supreme Court of Nigeria to join issues with the CNPP, any political party or indeed any party at all, in the press over a matter pending before it and yet to determined by the court
By it’s reverred status and Constitutional powers, the Supreme Court is the final court of Appeal on any matter brought before it for adjudication and it’s judgments are final and binding
The supreme Court owes no duty to any one to rationalise in the public space. it’s decisions are conclusive and final once decided on points of law or policy as mandated to it by the supreme law of the land. There should be no sentiments and no body should intimidate, overreach or pre empt the court either before or after it delivers its decision or made any order in any case brought before it.
There is no doubt that the judgments of the supreme Court can be and are often critiqued or criticised or even flawed on many grounds and by many sources especially those who may feel not favoured by it’s decision.
The Court should not be worried by that. It’s duty is to deliver justice to all manner of persons, without fear or favour, affection or ill will.
In my view, if the supreme Court should begin to join issues with the public on cases it has decided or it is yet to decide, it will open itself to ridicule, unwarranted attack or assault and the awe and invincibility with which the public should hold the court will be jeopardised if not diminished
In the case of the CNPP which is a conglomerate of political parties, what will happen if they decide to issue a rejoinder to the response of the press statement by the supreme Court?
It could only get messier with rejoinders and counter rejoinders and in the end, the supreme Court will be worse off because it commented on an issue it should not have reacted to.
I honestly didn’t expect the court to join issues in the public space with the CNPP. It was unnecessary and unwarranted
The Court should only be heard through it’s judgements and orders which binds all the parties and to which they must by law, comply whether it is palatable for them or not.
If the court starts making statement to the public on what it would do or not do in respect of a matter pending before it, it may adversely affect the confidence that the people should have on it and place the judgement of the court if eventually delivered, in a precarious position, which is not good for the image of the Judiciary as a whole
In this case of the CNPP, i think that the supreme Court has fallen into the booby trap set for it by Politicians. The Court should have acted with greater circumspection and restraint
I do hope that the court will not engage the CNPP any further otherwise it will open a flood gate of engagement with the public and in such circumstances, the supreme Court will put itself in the awkward position in which it will have to defend itself on it’s decisions or embroil itself in w crisis of confidence which will question it’s finality.