From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Reactions, yesterday in Benin, trailed the decision of the Supreme Court which upheld the judgments of the lower Courts which earlier affirmed the qualification of Governor Godwin Obaseki to contest the September 19, 2020 Edo State Governorship election.
Commenting on the apex court ruling, Edo State Deputy Governor, Comrade Philip Shaibu, described the Nigeria Judiciary as the referee of Nigria’s Democracy through enforcement of the rule of law, to protect the minorities from the power of the majority, despite their attempts to tilt the playing field against the rules.
“The ruling of the Supreme Court today has shown that the Judiciary does not lack teeth. The rule of law is the strong pillar and rock on which Nigeria’s democracy stands. Every other foundation is made of sinking sand because the judiciary is no longer bound by artificial limitations,” he said.
He added that the Supreme Court displayed decisional and institutional independence which underscores the ability of the judiciary to make decisions free from Political influence, stressing that the Judiciary constitutes the most important vessel in the sustenance of democracy in Nigeria, even as he reminded politicians that the Supreme Court is not a systematic instrument for the acquisition of political power.
“The final judgement today has demonstrated to the World that the Nigerian Judiciary is not a pawn in the hands of desperate politicians to realized their ambition. The rule of law has prevailed and and this has demonstrated further that no one can sit above the law. Justice is the greatest interest of man and the ligament which binds civilized people together. Today’s judgement has reinforced this saying due to the celebration all over Edo State and other parts of the World.
“The extent to which the Nigeria Judiciary is free to perform it’s roles and efficiently too, will determine how developed and how deep rooted our Democracy will be”.
Shaibu, while commending the Judiciary for bailing the nation out of the woods and for waging unrelenting war against arbitrariness, highhandedness, wickedness and injustice, cautioned politicians that Nigeria is operating the rule of law and not rule by law where unjust and oppressive laws are enacted with hyperpoliticized courts to oppressed others.
“This is a democracy, for full protection of minority rights within majority rule”, he said.
Meanwhile, the state chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has congratulated Governor Godwin Obaseki and his teeming supporters over the victory at the Supreme Court.
The party in a statement issued by its State Publicity Secretary, Chris Nehikhare, said “It is a testimony to the fact that this government was enthroned by the wish of Edo people and had the blessings of God.
“We advised APC that it was again traveling the road of ignominy instead of joining the government to build a society where hard work is rewarded, where hate should be condemned and love for a prosperous state, the driving spirit of our being. Our advice was ignored!
With the finality of the Supreme Court judgement, we sincerely hope that APC and it’s leadership will be prepared to turn a new leaf of cooperation and collaboration in the building of a society where Edo People’s welfare is the watchword!”, the statement said.