SIGNIFICANCE OF SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT ON RIVERS, AKWA IBOM, ABIA AND EBONYI GOVERNORSHIP ELECTION TUSSLES
The recent judgement of Supreme Court of Nigeria that upheld the earlier annulled governorship elections of the serving Peoples Democratic Governors of Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Ebonyi states in Nigeria, is significant in many ways, as demonstrated below in this article.
By this judgement, the Supreme Court of Nigeria has amply demonstrated that it is indeed, supreme. The Supreme Court of Nigeria is the highest arbiter of justice in the land. Its ruling on any matter is final and should be taken by all contending parties in good faith. Though mixed reactions continue to trail the judgement of the Supreme Court, along party lines, the reality remains that, by the judgement, the tussles for governorship of the states, have been laid to rest. All parties involved in litigations are therefore expected to abide by the ruling of the highest court in the land and allow peace to reign.
Before the judgement of the Supreme Court in favour of the Peoples Democratic Party in the four states mentioned above, it was alleged by the Peoples Democratic Party that President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, was controlling and intimidating the Nigerian judiciary through agencies of the federal government as the Nigerian Police Force and the the Directorate of State Services, the DSS, to maneuver election cases in the affected states, especially in the oil rich Rivers and Akwa Ibom, in favour of his party, the All Progressive Congress (APC). It is not for Objective Writers and Analysts to affirm or deny that President Buhari attempted to maneuver the judiciary to do his bidding in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states. However, it is very significant that the Supreme Court ruling did not come in favour of the APC as that would have confirmed PDP's allegations that Buhari was dictating to the judiciary.
For many Nigerians, the recent ruling by the Supreme Court regarding Rivers and Akwa Ibom governorship elections in particular, is neither a victory for the PDP or the APC. Rather, it is a victory for peace and democracy. It is the position of Objective Writers and Analysts that electoral violence and possibly deaths of some innocent Nigerians, would have occurred again had the Supreme Court annulled Rivers and Akwa Ibom elections and called for fresh elections in the two states. More so, by the ruling, the Supreme Court has saved Nigeria huge financial and material resources that would have been deployed in conducting fresh elections in the affected states.
The battles for the governorship seats in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states were more fierce than those in Ebonyi and Abia. The obvious reason for this is because of the oil wealth of Rivers and Akwa Ibom, and this line of thought becomes more logical when one takes into consideration that Nigerian politics is more about looting state resources for personal aggrandizement of 'political leaders' that occupy various positions, rather than use of state resources to cater for security and welfare of citizens.
I take responsibility for any errors that may be found in this article. Frank, Chukwuka Osimi.