by Maazi Obinna Akuwudike
January 14th, 2020, was the day, the Supreme Court of Nigeria, delivered one of the most controversial rulings in it’s history. It was a judgement, which one of the judges, would promise his colleagues, that their ruling, would “…haunt Nigeria’s judicial system for a long time…” .
It was the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court, against the elected governor of Imo State, Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, in favour of Senator Hope Uzodinma.
That judgement marked a very sad day to the people of Imo State. To the civil servants in Imo State, the nonpayments, deductions and delays in their salaries today, which wasn’t so in the few months Ihedioha was in power, was a product of the controversial rulings by the Supreme Court. For them, the judges are to be blamed for the hardship they are faced with today.
To the pensioners, who only started receiving their pensions for the first time in eight years, the removal of Rt Hon Emeka Ihedioha, was deemed as a death handed down on them by those ten judges, and the nonpayment of their pensions today, a product of that ruling.
The Supreme Court was yet presented an opportunity to review their judgment, which they failed to do, an occasion that promoted Centus Nweze, to make that statement, warning that their ruling would “haunt Nigeria” and openly condemning the actions of his colleagues, indicating the presence of some sort of conspiracy to ridicule the integrity of the Supreme Court, and deny the people of Imo State their voice.
Chief Philip Umeadi SAN, have now raised a question, which seems to have choked the Supreme Court of Nigeria, putting their integrity, which in the eyes of the people, is now in tatters, to a final test.
Painfully, the Supreme Court is yet to make any effort to change the narrative, as they have remained silent over the Philip Umeadi suit.
What is Philip Umeadi’s argument? That the Supreme Court should explain how Hope Uzodinma became governor of Imo State, since the same Supreme Court had earlier ruled that Ugwumba Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to former governor, Senator Rochas Okorocha, was the authentic candidate of the All Progressives Congress APC, as well as the Action Alliance, AA.
Since then, the Supreme Court have gone dumb. They have refused to pay any attention to the case, sparking so many conspiracy theories, including bribery rumours amongst others. With their refusal to hear the case, the public and the world, who paid attention, and still paying attention to the case, are very convinced that the rumours are true.
A friend called me the other day about a matter in court, and when I told him it was at the Supreme Court, he dismissed the matter with some very unsavoury comments, which made me ashamed for the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
But can anybody blame him? Can anybody blame the world, that have seemingly lost faith in the Nigerian Supreme Court, since after the January 12th, 2020 ruling? Can you blame Nigerians for gradually losing faith in a judicial system, supposed to protect them, but may have in fact condemned them?
The Philip Umeadi suit may be the last test for the integrity of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and her judges. I may never again refer to anyone of them as honorable, as they are yet to give me a reason to refer to them as anything but honorable.
While I am one of a few that still wants to believe in the Nigerian Supreme Court, even when others have lost hope, it is not out of place to remind our judges, that one day, they too will stand before a judge, to give account of their actions.
As Sylvester Ngwuta sat in judgement of Ihedioha, today he stands somewhere in judgement, to defend that ruling not before fellow men, but before God.
Whatever the persuasions that led to that ruling, are not longer there. Even some of those fingered in that outcome, are there with him, and they are facing a judgement that cannot be bought or manipulated.
Imo people have cried enough. The world is watching the Supreme Court of Nigeria as yet again, we put their integrity to a final test.