Radical human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Itse Sagay, and another Lagos based lawyer, Jiti Ogunye, on Thursday, punctured recent judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, which threw out all the cases contesting the election of some governors. These included those that had earlier been overturned by two lower courts.
It would be recalled that a seven-man bench, presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mahmud Mohammed, had on Wednesday, confirmed the results declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) with respect to the Abia and Akwa Ibom states’ governorship polls.
Both Sagay and Ogunye insisted that the decisions of the Apex Court are never justifiable.
Sagay said, “It is not something I can just pounce on. But all the judgments have been the same. It’s very interesting. There used to be an ancient monarch, who punished every crime by death. He was called Draco. That is why when somebody does anything extreme he is called Draconian.
“If anybody steals one kobo, you kill him, if he kills someone you kill him, at the end, there is no distinction between offences.
“There should be distinctions. How can all the governorship cases go the same way? How is that possible? That is the question we are all awaiting, when they will give the reasons for their judgments.
“I don’t know how to put it, but it’s very strange. We will wait for them to give their reasons and see how that magic occurred that every governorship election was valid and in line with the Electoral Act. It is very unprecedented. We will see when they give their full judgment, that is it for now.”
Ogunye argued that he was shocked by the Supreme Court’s decisions, adding that the decisions might ‘unwittingly become an anti-technology, anti-innovation and anti-science precedent’ which he described as “sad for our democracy’.
“Nigerians and the international community were living witnesses to the conduct of the polls in the states where these election petitions emanated and the conclusions were that the elections were terribly mismanaged and marred by violence and malpractices,” he said.