Suleiman Anyalewechi, Aba
The spate of conflicting judicial pronouncements emanating from the various Elections Petition Tribunals across the country calls for concern on the part of all well-meaning Nigerians, Chief Chijioke Michael Amaku the immediate past Chairman of Ariaria International Market Aba has said.
According to him, it is disturbing to note that these discordant judicial tones are coming in the face of the same constitution and electoral act, noting that the entire development has cast a huge pal of doubt on the integrity of the nation.
Chief Amaku who made his position known in an interview with NewsCritic online in Aba warned that nothing should be done to truncate the nation’s march towards democratic growth.
“It is completely unexplainable that while there is only one constitution and electoral act in existence, which should be forming the basis for the determination of electoral disputes, we are rather being inundated with most times embarrassing and conflicting judicial pronouncements.
What has happened also to the long-standing principles of judicial precedence, that are supposed to serve as guides, in addition to the constitution and electoral act to our judicial officers.?
As it is now, the country and its judicial system have been seriously exposed to global scrutiny which is also impacting negatively on our image.”
He has therefore called on the top hierarchy of the country’s judicial arm to urgently embark on self-interrogation with a view to cleansing the system.
According to Amaku the age long dictum that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man no long holds water, as most citizens appear to have lost faith in the abilities of the judiciary to dispense justice without fear and or favour.
“I am not involved in partisan politics. So, I’m not holding brief for any political platform. Rather, I’m disturbed by the trend at the various elections petition tribunals. How on earth can a different and conflicting ruling be emanating from the same kind of cases from the tribunals, under same constitution and electoral act?
Sometimes you notice that some of the pronouncements border on cases already determined by superior courts. What has then happened to the issue of judicial precedence?
My humble advice to both the political actors and judicial officers is that nothing should be done to draw the democratic clock backwards. The overall interest of the country should supersede the narrow interests of individuals,” Amaku admonished.