By Alozie Solomon.
Our Dearest revered Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola,
There is no gainsaying or denying the fact that Judiciary is in distress and currently under attack by actions and in-actions of some ‘’black -sheep’’ Justices who are best described as Merchants in the temple of Justice, as their stock-in-trade and technicalities rest solely on buying and selling of judgements at the expense of the entire judicial arm.
It is a trite that Judiciary is the ‘’Last hope for the common man’’ but when the common man can no longer find hope in the judiciary, then the inevitability of anarchy becomes the rule. Therefore, the CJN, Hon. Justice Ariwoola must quickly swing into action and fish out the ‘’Black-sheep’’ that are inflicting untold injury to the wheel of progress in the Nigeria Judiciary and this, he must start without further delay.
One of those is Hon. Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court Abuja, whose ’s recent ruling on the 11th of November 2022, in the Abia APC gubernatorial primaries has exposed the rot in the judiciary. It has also confirmed that Justice Binta is one of the black-sheep and a crippler, who has plagued the judiciary and torn to shred, the veil of integrity and reputation of the revered judiciary. After reading the Judgement delivered by Hon. Justice Nyako on the above Abia APC primary election, one is tempted to ask “whether judges are truly learned, and if they are, how learned are the learned judges’’?
A cursory glance at the political trajectory in Abia APC, shows that there was an APC gubernatorial primary on the 26th of May 2022 across many states in Nigeria.
a. APC notified INEC within the stipulated period and the primaries were held across the state, including Abia.
b. APC inaugurated Gubernatorial primary Election committee headed by Chief Tony Obiefuna.
c. The National Election Committee conducted and supervised the primary that produced High chief Ikechi Emenike.
d. Uche Ogah and his cohorts claimed they conducted a purported primary.
e. Uche Ogah also claimed he had in his possession, a letter written by the APC National, addressed to the Abia state chairman for the adoption of a Direct Primary mode dated on the 25th of May, 2022, when the primary was on the 26th of May,2022 .
f. In the acclaimed letter, the venue for the direct primary was said to be at Umuahia Township stadium.
Assuming, not conceding, that the said letter was true, then the later was already dead on arrival.
1. The letter was addressed to the state chairman and not Uche Ogah.
2. The letter was dated 25th of May, whereas the next day was the primary
3. In accordance with the Electoral Act 2022 Sec 84(4) a as amended, In case of Direct mode of Primary, election shall hold at a designated centre in all the wards. Therefore, by stating that the venue of the primary shall be at Umuahia Township stadium as opposed to the centres in all the wards, then the party may have already chosen an indirect mode of Primary.
4. In line with the APC constitution, it is only the national that has the responsibility to organize primaries and therefore, any primary not conducted and supervised by the National Executive committee is null and void by birth.
This position has been severally supported by the ruling and judgements of court, including the supreme court.Several supreme court judgements have affirmed the above position, more so, it is legally believed that a supreme court ruling remains a landmark, basis and bedrock for lower courts to lay their ruling when similar cases surfaces . The most recent is the supreme court Judgement on the Ebonyi PDP primaries between Sen. Obinna Ogba and Ifeanyi Odii.
The Supreme Court had on September 14, 2022, in its final judgment in an appeal marked SC/CV/939/2022 affirmed Chukwuma Odii Ifeanyi as the authentic PDP governorship candidate having emerged from a primary election conducted by the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.The court had struck out an appeal on the grounds that the issue of nomination of candidates for elective office is an internal affair of political parties and that no court has jurisdiction to entertain it.Prior to the supreme court declaration, the Court of Appeal held that there were two primary elections for governorship in Ebonyi, which held on May 29 and June 5, respectively.
The Appeal Court went further to hold that where such is the case, the court cannot select, for the political party, the primary election it prefers.It’s therefore, noted that it is up to the political party to decide which of the primaries it want to rely on.
It’s expected and a common believe that judgement of a court should bring forth justice but the judgment delivered by Hon. Justice Binta Nyako was devoid of any atom of justice, it’s an eviscerated and miscarriage of justice at its epic. Her judgement has further confirmed that corruption has taken preeminence in the Nigeria temple of Justice. No wonder, the more the country fights corruption, the more it becomes emboldened and endemic . A judgement that the party has rejected and distance self from the awarded candidature of Dr. Uche Ogah can’t be said to be a deserved justice and has brought to question, how Honourable is Hon. Justice Binta Nyako.
It is on record that few weeks before the infamous 11th November judgements, the leadership of Abia APC raised alarm of sinister and a surreptitious plan by PDP administration in Abia state to foist Uche Ogah candidature on the party, through the court in order to cripple APC in Abia state and continue their hold in the state.It is an open secret today that Uche Ogah is in distress and bankrupt, while his Master energy outfit is under Emergency care unit (ECU).About 99% of his fueling stations have not received delivery of a tanker of petroleum product in the last 4years.
This is a someone whom PDP want to foist on Abia APC? May God forbid!Hon. Justice Binta was formerly married to Vice Admiral Murtala a former Governor of Adamawa State. It is on record today, that her family has a tie with corruption. Her Husband and some other members of her family have stood trial with some convicted.In November 23rd, 2018, the then Acting EFCC chairman, wrote to the former CJN, Justice Onoghen to withdraw all EFCC cases under the handling of Justice Binta Nyako for lack of confidence in her judgement.
Before her infamous judgements that was already in public domain weeks before she finally made it official, an Abia high court has affirmed High Chief Emenike as the authentic candidate of APC in the 2023 Abia governorship election having emerged from the Primary conducted by the NWC of the party. Moreover, two court of Appeal, one atOowerri and the other at Abuja had also affirmed High Chief Ikechi Emenike as the candidate of APC 2023 governorship election in Abia and these appeal let court judgements are still standing currently without been quashed.
In all, Hon.Justice Binta Nyako maintained a blind eye to all evidences and facts of law, including allegations of forgery in the documents presented to her by Dr. Uche Ogah and remained resolute in delivery of her questionable judgements that has once again, put the judiciary on trial as captioned by a newspaper on the November 13th by Nigeria lawyers ( 2023- Justice Nyako Puts Judiciary on Trial again)The CJN must investigate the circumstances surrounding the transfer of the Abia APC primary to Federal high court under Hon. Justice Nyako despite all objections.
He must also, scrutinize the said judgement of Justice Nyako on Abia APC primary dispute under review. In doing so, he must not forget the factor of “Espirit de corp” that had existed between the family of Justice Nyako and Dr. Uche Ogah as guests of EFCC and letter previously written to the former CJN stating lack of confidence in Justice Binta Nyako handling of EFCC related cases.Hon. Justice Ariwoola OFR, must put an effective administrative regiments in place to checkmate the activities of judicial black-sheep and merchants in the temple of Justice, which has constantly put the judiciary on trials and questioned the integrity and confidence of judiciary which is near ridicule and disrepute. END