By Okey Kingsley
What is absolutely certain is the presence of political event that we will engage ourselves with discussing. Whether the discussions have had any progressive fruits in our policy and politics is the 1 million question.
The most recent political altercation which seems to be examining the fabrics of our justice system is the Supreme Court judgment on Imo Gubernatorial election. I have hitherto failed to comment on the judgment following the delay in the release of the reasoning behind the judgment. However, I refused to continue resisting the temptation not to comment on the disgusting approach and attitude of two categories of people. And so this is addressing, firstly some of my learned friends who have indulged in emotional analysis of the judgment.
Being a minister in the Temple of Justice means also that you must maintain the sacredness of the Temple. Your responsibility to paint a good picture of the Temple before the public cannot be overemphasized. Anything contrary is tantamount to making a mockery of your source of livelihood. What you say of yourself determines public perception of you. In other words, your emotional public condemnation and irrational comments on the judgment is the people’s distrust in the system you feed on. One thing I know is that you know better that law does not operate by speculations neither does it respect emotions. It can only be persuaded by a well constructed argument on point of law.
The second category I like to address is PDP. The irresponsible and inciting comments as well as the Abuja organised protests against the Supreme Court -the same institution you have benefited hugely from their judgment- is irrational and regrettable. Your chosen approach to the outcome of the judgment is the most uncivilized one expected from the acclaimed largest political party in Africa, in my opinion. Whether rightly or wrongly, there are compelling circumstances that makes one to loose faith in a system but the universal cure is knowing the right thing and doing it.
The Right Thing
Robert H Jackson, justice of the Supreme Court of America said “we are not final because we are infallible but we are infallible only because we are final”.
What the above statement suggests is that the Learned Justice is not oblivious to human error in the process of the administration of justice. Though that is not the case in the case of Imo, if you ask me.
PDP ought to have adopted a responsible legal approach, which is to bring an application pursuant to Section 53 (2) of the Electoral Act and other relevant laws before the same Supreme Court praying for the variation of the said judgment. Among other grounds for the application is the discrepancies in the total result of the election and the registered voters. Notwithstanding how frivolous the application might present, the fact that fresh facts have emerged, puts the court under obligation to look at it. The legal principle of PER INCURIAM ought to be explored. This principle reconsiders judgment given in ignorance or forgetfulness of inconsistent statute or fact, MORELLE LTD VS WAKELING (1955) 2 QB 379, JOHNSON VS LAWANSON.
It’s a common common Law principle and has been invoked even in our jurisdiction in the case of ANDY UBA VS PETER OBI. This is the more honourable approach by an honourable man. Think about it, PDP, it’s more honourable to be honourable.