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Supreme Court angry over attacks on judges

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By Timothy Akintola

Court rules in favour of Lawan despite not participating in election.

The ensuing dispute in the All Progressive Congress’ (APC) camp between the present Senate President, Ahmed Lawan and Bashir Machina over the Yobe North Senatorial ticket was finally resolved by the Supreme Court, affirming Sen. Lawan as the valid candidate for the National Assembly elections which is scheduled to hold on February 25, 2023. The Supreme Court however expressed anger over the attacks that its judges were faced with during the course of the case. In a statement by the Supreme Court’s Director of Press and Information, Festus Akande, the Supreme Court warned that their silence must not be mistaken for weakness or cowardice.

Critics are accused of serving political interests and further indicated that its judges were not politicians and should not by any way, be censured unfairly. In this statement that doubled down on the propriety of the Supreme Court’s judgement, a columnist and professor of Kennesaw State University in USA, Farouk Kperogi was singled out, noting that his unfair censuring was as dictated by his paymaster, regarding his article as an ineptly scripted toxic article. The court also denied insinuations that its judgement was bought by some unseen personas, claiming that these claims were nothing short of bizarre and unfounded.

Supreme Court ruling affirming Lawan as senatorial aspirant causes outrage.

Further commenting on the reaction of Farouk Kperogi, the court added that he (Farouk) had decided to plunge into an abysmal pit of irredeemable ignorance by venting convoluted anger on the Supreme Court of law, in a bid to please his paymaster. The statement also criticized the resignation calls for the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, describing it as just prosaic. The statement pointed that it was immensely disheartening that individuals and groups who assumed revered positions and should be more knowledgeable have flagrantly displayed obliviousness in the course of their political interests.

The split decision of the Supreme Court to affirm Senator Lawan as the senatorial candidate of the APC for Yobe North Senatorial District was the trigger for a widespread outrage, upon the delivery of the verdict on Monday. Though Nigerians are reserved with rights to express their opinions on social issues without any form of encumbrance, the court warned that citizens must be careful enough to not infringe on the rights of other people. This Supreme Court statement is however in line with the promise of the Nigerian Bar Association that lawyers criticizing the decisions of the court would be sanctioned.

Mike Igini says this decision would kill the party’s internal democracy.

During the deliberation of this case, a majority of three judges of a five man panel ruled in favour of the current Senate President, in a case that the public understood to be his non-participation in the election process. While the senatorial primary election was being concluded for the Yobe North Senatorial District, Sen. Lawan was contesting for the presidential ticket, which he lost. However, the All Progressive Congress claimed to have organized another primary election which was won by Sen. Lawan, hours after the presidential primary election, a case in which the Supreme Court affirmation lost credence to.

Upon the supreme court’s ruling, many critics censured this judgment. In fact, a former Resident Electoral Commissioner of the Independent National Electoral Commission in Akwa Ibom State, Mike Igini, noted that this would kill the democracy of the party internally. Mr. Kperogi, in an issued statement, also pointed out that the court’s ruling was a violation of common sense, regarding it as a blatant case of sold justice. He also regarded it as a well-planned judicial choreography, whilst further describing Nigeria’s Supreme Court as the worst in the world. He likened this case to the installation of Godswill Akpabio as the APC’s candidate for Akwa Ibom North West senatorial election and Hope Uzodinma as the Imo State Governor in 2020.

Kperogi described as a happy serial verbal assailant.

Further reacting to Mr. Kperogi’s remarks, the spokesman of the Supreme Court noted that the columnist was a happy serial verbal assailant. Mr. Akande, whilst defending the Supreme Court, indicated that the decisions of the judges were solely based on presented evidence. Also, the court swiftly pushed back the blame for its decision to the political parties for their failure to effectively conduct their affairs. The court however promised to continually do its best in upholding and discharging constitutional responsibilities that would gear the country in the direction of peace, progress and development.

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