A state does not become a failed state if only one of its legs buckles or fails. A nation with strong judiciary, a strong legislature, and a strong 4th estate will withstand a failed presidency. I venture to state that with a strong judiciary and a strong press, that a failing nation could still survive. It is difficult for a nation with a failing judiciary to survive. When people lose confidence in the judiciary they would seek other means to obtain justice. Such other means could include Coup d’état, kidnapping, etc. This is why it is important that the Nigeria judiciary should not fail.
The case of Obiechina Vs Chime in Enugu is such a case that would make people seek alternative ways to obtain justice. (http://leadership.ng/features/552748/obiechina-vs-chime-test-for-democracy-as-supreme-court-resumes-final-deliberation-on-enugu-governorship-case)
For those who are not familiar of the case, a brief summary would suffice. In 2011 Mr. Obiechina challenged Mr. Chime’s nomination for governorship. The case went through the normal court processes and reached the Supreme Court of Nigeria. INEC was one of the defenders in the case. The case stalled in the Supreme Court, but INEC went forward and conducted an election without the court resolving the dispute. By doing this INEC effectively over ruled the Supreme Court of Nigeria by handing the court a fait accompli. The case has now surfaced again and the court is saying that there was hanky-panky done to delay the resolution of the case.
The SC now has the following duties to perform:
1. It will try to regain its position as the SUPREME COURT and make it clear to all that it has the final say-so in all matters of law in Nigeria. That there is no other way to resolve disputes except through its decisions. To do this the Supreme Court
· Should declare the elections of both Sullivan Chime (2nd term) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as illegal.
· Would sanction INEC with such severe penalties that no officer of INEC now, or in the future, would contemplate ignoring matters pending before the SC. INEC by its actions became both the defender in a case and the judge and had awarded the verdict to itself. This cannot stand.
2. The Court should investigate the circumstances that led to the 5-year delay. It implies that there are internal control weaknesses in the court systems. These weaknesses need to be corrected. If the hand of Satan is found in the delays of this case; such a hand, must be amputated publicly, as a lesson to the world that Nigerian Judiciary is not for sale.
The Supreme Court is the last fortress between the citizen and injustice. If this fortress crumbles anarchy would prevail. The order voice of the people is the 4th Estate and this is already compromised by big money, by big politicians and by corporations and by other “big people.”
Can the Supreme Court come to the rescue?
Would the Supreme Court get on the Obiechina VS Chime and do justice?
Justice delayed is justice denied.