Soludo’s clearance for Anambra 2010 guber poll tears S/Court apart

The ruling handed down, last Thursday, by a five -member panel of the Supreme Court clearing Prof Charles Soludo to run for the Anambra gubernatorial poll slated for February 6, 2010 on the platform of ruling PDP is tearing the apex court apart. Specifically, Saturday Vanguard authoritatively gathered yesterday that majority of serving justices of the Supreme Court, including the outgoing Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi, disagreed with the position of  the court on the matter.

According to an impeccable source close to the CJN preferring anonymity, the angry justices of the court believed that the verdict was more political than judicial.

Already, Justice Kutigi had summoned the five justices who sat on the case Thursday to a crucial meeting.
The justices include George Adesola Oguntade, Fedode Tabai, Mohammed Tanko, Olufunmilayo Adekeye and John Fabiyi.

Justice Oguntade delivered the lead ruling in the case

All other justices in the case also delivered their verdicts concurring with Justice Oguntade’s reasoning.

They all honoured the invitation of the CJN with the exception of Justice Oguntade who was said to have flown to Abuja soon after the case Thursday.

Saturday Vanguard visited the Supreme Court yesterday to see the support staff of the apex court discussing the matter in hushed tones.

Some of the apex court staff shared the sentiment of the CJN while others queried his interest in the case.
But a source close to Kutigi said he meant well.

He said he could keep quiet over the issue since he has less than two weeks to retire from the bench.

“Kutigi and other concerned justices were of the view that the bad judgment delivered in Amaechi’s case was enough for the judiciary to contend with. You know the verdict of the Supreme Court in Amaechi’s case impeached certain provision of the 1999 constitution to the effect that you can’t be a state governor without standing election.

“You know Amaechi never stood election and yet he was made a Governor.

“It was a bad judgment and the Supreme Court knows but they are just hiding under the cover of being a final court of the land and explain its position away with another provision of the constitution which forbids independent candidacy.

“You know it was also Justice Oguntade that delivered the lead judgment in the case.
“The fear is that having a multitude of  bad judgments is capable of destroying the judiciary,” he added.