The Nigerian Voice Published Justice For Akwa Ibom’s Article: Injustice on Display: How clean is the Chief Justice of Nigeria—Musdapher?
|Opinion | 15 May 2012 Last updated at 08:57 CET
Injustice on Display: How clean is the Chief Justice of Nigeria—Musdapher?
By Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization
About a month ago, a source from the Supreme Court hinted the staffs of Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (Justice Musdapher) has compromised with the Presidency over the case of Senator Udoedehe versus Godswill Akpabio, which is pending in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
According to our very highly reliable source, President Goodluck Jonathan sent a secret message to Justice Musdapher asking him to find a way and make sure that the pending Akwa Ibom Governorship Election Hearing should not be allowed to see the light of day. When the staffs of Justice4 Akwa Ibom expressed doubts over what was told them by the source, the source advised our staffs to wait and see what will happen on the day the case will be summoned for a hearing.
Today, May 14, 2012, when the matter was heard by the Supreme Court, presided over by Justice Musdapher, what our source told us would happen actually unfolded. The following exchanges occurred between the ACN lawyers and Chief Justice Musdapher;
CJ Musdapher: “What do you want? Do you want me to validate the constitution? Haven’t we decided on this case already? We cannot hear this case.”
Counsel for the Plaintiff: “Your Honor, we are not asking you to validate the constitution. We are asking you to hear the case, that section 285 subsection 6 of the 1999 constitution seek to alter section 36 – subsection on the right to a fair hearing within a reasonable time, which is a fundamental right provision. Secondly, section 285 subsections 6 also seek to alter section 6a of the constitution which provides for power of court, independent of court, and separation of power between the executive, the legislature, and the judiciary. This is the basic and foundational feature of the constitution which cannot be altered. Any purported alteration would be null and void. These are what we want the Supreme Court to do so we can go back and hear this case, which has not been heard in the first place, because 180 days provided by section 285 subsections 6 is not applicable. Section 4 subsections 8 of the 1999 constitution do not give power to the legislature to limit the jurisdiction of the court in Nigeria.”
CJ Musdapher: “We cannot write judgment in 14 days. We are all old people.”
Then he adjourned the case to May 31, 2012. These are the issues that the Supreme Court and the chief justice want to dodge so that Godswill Akpabio can continue to rule on behalf of the PDP. It is worth mentioning that as far as this matter is concerned, the Nigerian Constitution allows 60 days for the hearing of Appeal. The 60-day limitation will expire on June 2, 2012.
If the Supreme Court judges cannot write judgment in 14 days, even though the constitution allows them to hear the case the same day and can give the judgment the same day, then the case would be thrown out. If the hearing is on May 31, 2012, and the expiration day for the appeal process is on June 2, 2012, then how are the judges going to be able to write judgment in 2 days? Justice Musdapher said in court that they are old and tired; therefore, they cannot write judgment in 14 days. Then how are these same old men going to be able to write judgment in 2 days, because on June 2nd, 2012, the case would be out of statute as the time allotted will run out?
This seems to go the way our source from the Supreme Court informed us one month ago when he tipped-off our staffs that the Judges want to play into time for the case to fall out of the allotted time and then they would use that as an excuse not to hear the case.
It could be recalled that this approach was also done to Steve Ibanga in his case against the PDP and the incumbent Governor, Godswill Akpabio. As everyone might have seen on the Godswill Akpabio 2011 Nigerian Election Corruption and Bribery Undercover-Video posted by the Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization on YouTube, Godswill Akpabio has said that the system would back him to continuously oppress the people and that the people will never get justice and that there is no justice in the Judiciary System of Nigeria and that the Governor will capitalize on that to achieve his aim on behalf of his party and the Presidency.
So, if Chief Justice Musdapher is truly a Chief Justice of repute, with clean hands and good intentions for his countrymen and women, we are about to witness, and the world is about to see, if this is the same man who lamented on the 14th of November 2011, that the “world is watching Nigeria” and that it was “too early for him to begin to lose his mind” and that cases should be “heard on its merit for the sake of justice” but not on technical grounds.
On that date, Justice Musdapher also said that all cases that were not heard should be returned for hearing. Then he went ahead to say De Novo, meaning in Latin afresh. We demand that the people of Akwa Ibom State and all other people affected in whatever unjust justice in Nigeria must get justice now.
A nation without justice, equal rights, fairness, and human rights, can never and will never survive. When there is only injustice in everywhere and every day then there is no hope for the weak and the poor ones in Nigerian society. Those who mitigate and support injustice should bear in mind that what goes around will definitely come around.
Our country’s Chief Justice says they are all old; we appreciate and understand their condition, which is inevitable. In fact we rejoice their old age with them, we also thank God for keeping them alive to this day. But because they old, do they have to destroy the country and leave it in ruins before they die?
Certainly, we must not allow these people to deal with us as if we are fools. We must stand up to them. We must give a voice to Akwa Ibom and Nigeria so that justice can prevail without regards to class, party, tribes, or status. Justice now: that is what the people need and that is what the people want. Injustice against one is injustice against all. One Love, on behalf of Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization.
Justice4 Akwa Ibom Organization
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