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Monday, 21 December 2015

Partial Restoration of Hope in Nigerian Judicial System, Akwa Ibom State, A Case Study


















By Jude Effiong

There is a long standing popular saying that, the court is the last hope of the common man. Traditionally, it is believed that justice, equity and fair play are fundamental attributes and traits of the judiciary. This is why the common man had always thought of resorting to the court in the face of gruesome intimidation, oppression and denial of constitutional and human rights. If I may interpret it succinctly to the common man, the court is like a holy sanctuary and judge or magistrate is highly esteemed even above every other professional endeavour.

Also, in the civilised world, matters are decided or dispensed in court to allay several fears of bias, and intimidation. But the question a lot of people normally ask has always been are Nigerian courts the hope of common man? The answer to this question has always been arguable, this is because 60-70% of cases decided in the court weren't on merit but rather quantum of money was the yardstick of getting a favourable judgement. As such, numerous victims maligned the integrity of the judiciary and give abusive adjectives to it such as, the court of money, the court is the last hope of affluence or wealthy men, the court of Elites, the court of injustice.

The nasty experiences that people had about the judicial system in Nigeria impelled so many to resort to traditional means of fighting for their fundamental rights when they are abrogated, some resort to jungle justice, while some geared towards pouring local gins invoking diabolical powers to intervene since there was no reliance in our judicial system.

The issue of fundamental right is a privilege given to human being by our Creator. It's total usage and controls are entirely the responsibility of man which can be questioned by him alone. This is why human beings in their absurd and cruel wisdom have decided to manipulate, misuse and abuse them severely.

Regrettably, now it is apparent that, the reality of this belief is no longer on the minds of people with regards to the topsy-turvy nature of our judicial system this time around. For instance, there are lots of conflicts and controversies over quantum of judgments delivered in recent times by most new generation magistrates and judges which are in contention and in the eyes of the law cannot said that it has met the same pace with international standard and best practices. Good judgments are indelible and stand the test of time.

 In Akwa Ibom state, precisely, the popular political slogan is, WHAT SMALL MONEY CAN'T DO, MORE MONEY CAN DO. This maxim worked well for our rapacious, predacious leaders in the state bustling about self-importantly making an officious nuisance of themselves in the eyes of the right thinking members of the society. This political maxim was deeply entrenched in the judgement of various House of Assembly, National Assembly and Senatorial elections cases decided few weeks ago in Abuja.

Akwa Ibom state in the past till date has been pocketed by certain cabals who saw themselves as members of the ruling class who developed frenetic appetite of being in power for life. The conduct of these people towards members of the society which was brutal led to Balkanization of people of the state. If it was in the western world, it would have been proper to tag it "REVOLUTION".

The bible in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 3:1, put thus; To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Akwa Ibom state has approached the time of liberation, the harbinger of this was the sagacious, judicious decision given by the court of Appeal on 18th December, 2015 which the election of an incumbent governor was nullified and fresh poll was ordered in all the 31 local government Areas in the state.

Some of the ruling class members had tremulous looks griped by fear and trepidation on 18th December, 2015 because it was a thing they didn't believe it will happen to the ruling party (people Democratic Party, PDP) in the state. While members of the opposition party (All progressive congress, APC) in the state had an elated smile on their faces.

The action of the judges on 18th December, 2015 was a demonstrative of a new Nigeria where money is no more a criteria of getting favourable judgement under the administration of president BUHARI, where few will no longer stifle the voices and collective will of the people. Now the truth which is essential in the quest for justice has prevailed.

According to the word of Rev. Fr, Ejike Mbaka, on 18th December, 2015 when he visited president BUHARI at the Aso Rock Villa, he said thus; "we have passed the season of decay and we have entered the season of progress and liberation".

 The time of few using a baleful influence to terrify people and subvert the will of people had gone forever in Akwa Ibom state. We are now in the era of justice, so justice must be done to our grievances. At this point, it suffices to say that, PARTIAL HOPE HAS BEEN RESTORED IN NIGERIAN JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

A child has born in the market; there is no need to tell the mother to close her legs. Don't be intimidated by crushing noise and balderdash statements made by our brothers, their eyes are obnubitated by percuniary gains, they cannot see the truth yet till when that veil is lifted, they will see the truth and embrace it as well.

We are about to establish an altruistic government (APC government) that will understand the true meaning of leadership and give us effective representation as well as an ideal governance and palliate the long standing suffering of the people. This can be accomplished by joining hands together and vote Obong UMANA OKON (the APC governorship candidate) into power as our next governor because the accolade song, sang by the youths of the state while matching around the town on the 18th December, 2015 was a clear illumination of the fact that, he (UMANA OKON UMANA) is the choice of the people.

A spider cannot move from one end to another without linking a cobweb, OBONG UMANA OKON UMANA needs your support to climb up to the apogee of his ambition of liberation. Decaying corpse by the road side doesn't select whom it odour should affect. This is the time of sincere manumission and emancipation we have to put away all sort of lampooning, objurgation and face the reality of it. Let give him our support he is the hero of our time.

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