By Yusufu Shehu Usman
So much have been said and much more would be said about some decisions of the Supreme court on election cases
The most prominent was the Supreme court Judgements which declared Amaechi the governor of Rivers State when the never practically contested election on the ballot
Then came the judgement in the Zamfara APC elections in which the Supreme Court nullified all elections won by the APC in 2019 except that of the President for violating the Electoral Act
And only yesterday the Court delivered judgement in Imo Governorship election over turning the earlier victory of the PDP in favour of the APC candidate in the 2019 elections
Tongues were wagging in the public domain especially from the PDP camp who released a public press statement in reaction to the judgment expressing their inability to comprehend the rational of the decision contending that the APC candidate came a distant fourth in the results declared by INEC at the concluded of the polls
One point that must be appreciated is that the courts and especially the Supreme Court does not base it’s decisions on sentiments but on the law
It is not every judgement of the court that must be in perfect accord with common sense, general or public expectations
The law itself the basis of court decisions though may have origin in common sense or morality, is not always governed by either or both
Therefore those parties and candidates who think that the supreme Court will apply the ratio in the Imo fomular mutatis mutandis to their pending cases, should know that the Courts decide every case on the peculiarities of it’s own facts
The Courts apply settled principles of law to facts before it in current dispute but the doctrine of precedent is not applied mechanically by the courts as no two cases have exactly the same facts
The Supreme Court, the highest and final court in Nigeria, is not a rubber stamp for INEC, neither is it a fathers Christmas for political parties or their candidates
The Judiciary is and independent arm of government whose functions, powers, functions and duties are governed by the Constitution and other relevant and extant laws enabling it on that behalf
We must understand and appreciate the judgements of the supreme Court in all cases on the basis of the law and not politics or popular public opinion.#####################
AMOTEKUN: Only Court Can Decide On It’s Legality Or Otherwise
By Yusufu Shehu Usman. It was reported by the Press this evening that the Federal Government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, has ” declared” the outfit recently floated jointly by the governments of the South West States as “illegal”
In my humble view, what the Hon Attorney General of the Federation should do is to challenge Amotekun in the Supreme court.
Let’s not play politics with the issue of security when our citizens are dying in droves due to insecurity across the nation
The issue of security is a constitutional and legal matter and not a political or zonal ssue
The Constitution is very clear and beyond any dispute on whom the responsibility for securing the country lies
A quick check on Chapter Two of the grind norm, places security as the primary responsibility of government (at all levels)
The Governments are elected to provide welfare and to protect the lives and properties of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
The Governments of the South West States did not just wake up one morning and popped up AMETOKUN from a puppet theatre.
It was a project planned and discussed broadly before it was implemented by the state Governments concerned
The idea was muted and the preparations were in the public domain for a reasonable time before the out fit was launched publicly in pomp and pageantry with a very wide press coverage
The governors that endorsed the AMETOKUN cut across both the ruling party the APC and the opposition PDP
I expected the federal government to engage the South West governors politically and across party lines to resolve any dispute on the legality of the out fit, before it was launched
And, if they could not amicably resolve the conflict, both parties should have recourse to the Constitution, which has laid down clear provisions on how conflicts between the Federal Government and any State or group of states could be resolved.
The Supreme court of Nigeria is vested with the original jurisdiction to adjudicate over such disputes
On such issues, I think it is not for the Attorney general of the Federation or any of the states involved in the dispute to pass a political judgement on a contested legal or constitutional issue.
No Attorney general is a court or a judge and none can usurp the powers or the duties of the Supreme Court to make a declaration as to the constitutionality or legality or otherwise of any action taken by the federal or a state government in respect the exercise of any constitutional power specified in the Constitution, especially when the exercise of that power or right, it is in dispute.
It is only the court that has the legal power to interpret and give legal effect to the provisions of the constitution
The appropriate thing for the Honourable Attorney general of Federation to do, if in his opinion the establishment of the outfit contravenes the constitution or any part there of, is to approach the Supreme court for guidance on the proper interpretation of the Constitution and pray for the appropriate declaratory relief.
In my humble but respectful view, both the Federal Government and the South West governors will save themselves and the citizens the stress of a political jig saw by submitting the dispute to the Supreme court for resolution
This will also save the polity from being unnecessarily over heated .