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Ardo/Nyako Guber Case: Ardo Faults Supreme Court Over Judgment

By Israel Goodway
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A five man panel of Supreme Court Judges led by Justice W.S. Nkanu Onnoghen Justice on Monday, 12th May, 2014 dismissed the case institued by Dr. Umar Ardo, a Guber Aspirant in the 2012 Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) Primary Election held in Yola the Adamawa State Capital.

Responding to the judgment of the Supreme Court, Ardo said the judgment is fundamentally faulty. Speaking further, he said it would have made more sense if the apex court had, "in its capacity as a Political Court, said in view of the current security situation in Adamawa state, which is under State of Emergency, the court denied my prayers. But for the court to employ arguments of no substance to dismiss my appeal 'for lack of merit', is the highest point of miscarriage of justice". He said late Justice Oputa may well have had his case in mind when he commented that the Supreme Court is supreme not because it is infallible; it is supreme because its determination is final.

Taking a serious swipe at the judgment, Ardo added: "Although we are all bound by this judgment of the Supreme Court, the judgment by itself is not beyond criticism. It failed to even address the issues put forth for determination. It is a very poor and confused judgment. It goes against the spirit of the law; it contradicts previous judgments of the court; it is bias and selective; it is low in logic and intellect, and is a huge miscarriage of justice not only against me but also against thousands of PDP members in Adamawa state who were denied the right to participate in the gubernatorial nomination process of their party in the October 2011 Primaries. The judgment unwittingly winds back the hand of the cloak in entrenching internal democracy in Nigeria's party politics. Its substance is of little value both to jurisprudence and to our polity.

'To all intents and purposes, the Supreme Court is a three-in-one-court - first and foremost, a Court of Justice; then a Court of Law; and a Political Court. Ideally (at its best), its judgments should entrench the cause and course of all the three elements. However, this judgment is empty in all - it has neither advanced the course of democracy, law nor justice. Instead, by the finality of its decision, it simply compromises democratic nomination process, basically abrogates the provisions of the law and unkindly metes grave public injustice on the society. To paraphrase Justice Oputa again, if the legislature metes out injustice, we run to the judiciary. If the executive metes out injustice, we run to the judiciary. But if the judiciary commits injustice, to whom do we run? The answer to this rhetorical question is simply 'to nowhere'. Nigeria's democracy is the biggest loser,' Ardo concluded.