Dr Paul Enenche Plead With the judiciary To be Fair
AFRICA HAS COME OF AGE; THE REIGN OF IMPUNITY IS OVER
Just in case you are wondering if getting electoral justice through judicial intervention is possible, learn from the story of Malawi presidential election in 2019.
In that election, not only was the incumbent party in the contest, the incumbent president was also contesting. He rigged his way to victory and was declared winner. There was an atmosphere of widespread national dissatisfaction and disillusionment among the citizens created by overwhelming and indisputable evidences of electoral fraud.
The aggrieved parties took the case to the country’s constitutional court alleging widespread rigging, irregularities and malpractices in favour of the incumbent president.
The constitutional court nullified the election, citing widespread systematic and grave irregularities, and called for a rerun.
The incumbent president (the purported winner) appealed against the ruling at the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in its ruling upheld the ruling of the constitutional court, nullifying the election and calling for a rerun. In fact, it said that had the constitutional court not called for a rerun in its ruling, it (the Supreme Court) would have declared the actual winner as the outright winner of the election.
The rerun election was held as ruled by the court, and the actual winner of the previously rigged election emerged winner, polling 58% of the total votes cast ahead of the incumbent who was tailing behind with 39% of the votes cast.
Thus Malawi, a country in Sub-Sahara Africa set the pace for constitutional democracy by sacking a sitting president and government in power through a judicial process . The judges that set this historic constitutional record not only upheld justice, but also ensured that the popular will of the people prevailed over the selfish interest of the party and government in power. The judiciary in Malawi lived true to their mantra as being the citadel of justice, and the last hope of common man.
The judiciary remains the last hope for justice in every civilized society.
We are facing a similar scenario in Nigeria today, and as citizens, we are turning to the judiciary to ensure electoral justice.
Much more is expected of the judiciary in Nigeria, being a sub-regional and regional leader in both political and economic ramifications. The judiciary in Nigeria has now before it, the choice to either compromise its values or consolidate justice. It is the choice of treading the path of probity and honour or sliding down the precipice of compromise and infamy.
It is time to save Nigeria and set her on a path of electoral justice, peace and development, and we believe the judiciary will do the right thing. Like Malawi, the Nigeria judiciary now has the golden opportunity to etch its name in gold by ensuring that democracy remains the government of the people, by the people and for the people, and not an article up for sale to the highest bidder.
Dr Paul Enenche