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OPINION: The Supreme Court Judgement on Rivers Gubernatorial Election As A Mystery

By Nelson Ekujumi

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – As a keen observer and commentator on Nigeria’s politics, one is at a loss to understand the reasons, though not yet communicated on how the Supreme Court arrived at its judgement which upheld the electoral victory of Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state in view of what transpired on April 11, 2015 the gubernatorial election day, which was characterized by massive violence and was an extension of the violence which also blighted the political party campaigns in the run up to the election.

If we recollect, Rivers state was the only state in the federation in which the campaign ground of a political party was attacked with dynamites, explosives and shooting of guns in broad day light, leading to injuries and loss of lives. The level of violence unleashed on the people of Rivers state prior and during the 2015 general election was unparalleled in our political history.

It is an indisputable fact that on election day, hell broke loose as the state was virtually turned into a theatre of war as reports of violence was the order of the day. Political thugs and miscreants took over the state, snatching ballot boxes, assaulted security agents, political party agents, voters, observers, INEC personnel were forced at gun point to jettison the use of PVC and Card reader in the process of conducting the election, limbs were damaged and lives were lost, etc.

At the end of the day in an election which can best be described as an election of violence of which the whole world expected a cancellation due to massive violence that didn’t allow for a credible election to take place and which was an anathema to democracy, INEC to the consternation of lovers of peace and democracy announced Mr. Nyesom Wike of the PDP as the winner.

In their reports, the observers, local and international such as the European Union, American embassy, etc all condemned the exercise as a sore point of the conduct of the 2015 general elections and called on the Nigerian authorities to put in place machineries to correct the abnormalities observed.

In deference to the glaring fact that what took place in Rivers state on April 11, 2015 was not an election and cannot be an election, the Rivers state gubernatorial elections petitions tribunal and the court of appeal, nullified the so called election based on petition from aggrieved parties. Note also, that in this election the rules put in place by the electoral umpire was violated with impunity by electoral criminals which made it possible for the “winner” to score more votes than the number of authenticated figure of voters captured by the e-card reader which was a strong basis for the nullification of the “election” by the two courts.

However, the Supreme Court in its wisdom has upheld the results of the “election” which produced Mr. Nyesom Wike as governor and this has left adherents of peace and democracy perplexed and asking, if justice has been served in this matter to the good people of Rivers state in particular and Nigerians in general? If you ask me, I would respond with a capital No.

While we await the reasons for the judgement of the Supreme Court, it becomes pertinent to state that though this judgement cannot be appealed further, the truth which cannot be obliterated is that this judgement like has become noted of Nigeria’s judiciary in recent times is that, it is honestly speaking, a mystery.


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