Scholar calls Supreme Court Justices ‘rotten gaggle of useless, purchasable judicial bandits’, over Lawan-Machina case
The Supreme Court of Nigeria on Monday affirmed the nation’s Senate president, Ahmed Lawan, as the All Progressives Congress (APC) senatorial candidate for Yobe north, even though he did not participate in the party primary.
Lawan went on a voyage to clinch his party’s presidential ticket and abandoned to partake in the primary election for the senatorial position. He lost the presidential primary.
In a judgement delivered on Monday, the apex court allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature. Machina was the the winner of the senatorial primary.
Delivering the judgment, three out of a five-member panel concurred with the position of the APC that Machina’s suit at the trial court ought not to have commenced via an originating summons since it contained allegations of fraud.
In the lead judgement, Justice Centus Nweze faulted the approach of Machina in commencing the suit at the Federal High Court, Damaturu division, by way of originating summons and without oral evidence to prove allegations of fraud.
Nweze said, “The bedrock of the suit shows that there were allegations of fraudulent practices against the appellants.
“That the 1st respondent accused the APC of fraudulently substituting his name with that of Lawan. Where there is an allegation of fraud, it should not be commenced by an originating summons.
“There was a need to call witnesses to prove allegations of fraud,” he added.
In the majority decision, the apex Court also set aside the decision of the Appeal Court, Gombe Division, which affirmed the decision of the trial court that declared Machina the Senatorial Candidate for Yobe North.
But in a nonconforming decision by Justices Emmanuel Agim and Adamu Jauro, the apex Court said Lawan never participated in the APC primary held on 28 May, as he withdrew voluntarily to participate in the presidential primary held on 8 June 2022.
The minority decision held that in the conduct of another primary on June 9, 2022, where Lawan emerged was in breach of Section 84 (5) of the Electoral Act as the APC never cancelled that held on 28 May before organizing another.
Many Nigerians have found it difficult to comprehend the judgement which appeared to them to defy logic.
A US-based Nigerian scholar, Professor Farooq Kperogi, vented his anger over the judgement and wrote:
Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits
By Farooq Kperogi
I was awoken on this side of the world by news of the reversal by the Nigerian Supreme Court of Senate President Ahmed Lawan’s primary election loss. I was already mentally prepared for it after the same Supreme Court affirmed Godswill Akpabio’s fraudulent primary win a few days ago. It’s a well-planned judicial choreography.
The Nigerian Supreme Court is straight-up the most hopeless Supreme Court in the history of the world’s supreme courts. The same Court violated common sense and the will of voters and gave us a “Supreme Court governor” in Imo State who never even pretended to have won an election.
Now it has given Yobe and Akwa Ibom states “Supreme Court senate candidates” in Lawan and Akpabio. Lawan was too busy trying to be APC’s presidential candidate to even participate in the senate primaries in Yobe and unsuccessfully begged Machina to stand down for him, but the Supreme Court just declared him the winner of a contest he didn’t participate in anyway.
It’s a blatant case of justice for sale. Nigeria’s Supreme Court is, without a doubt, a rotten gaggle of useless, purchasable judicial bandits. The highest bidder gets their judgement.
And they’re not even hiding this. Against the judicial oaths they swore, they openly cavort with politicians whose cases they sit in judgement over. They are greedy, grasping, unprincipled curmudgeons who need money, and anybody who gives them the most money gets the most favorable judgement.
I think it is Akpabio who popularized the saying that whatever money cannot do in Nigeria more money can do it. He knows Nigeria really well.
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