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Nigerian Supreme Court Now Having Shameless Judicial Bandits – US Scholar, Kperogi Condemns Ruling Favouring Senate President, Lawan

February 7, 2023

Kperogi stated this in his article titled, “Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits” while lambasting the Supreme Court over the judgment.

Prof. Farooq Kperogi, a Nigerian social critic based in the United States, has stated that the Supreme Court ruling which gave victory to Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, to contest under the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) violated the will of voters.

Kperogi stated this in his article titled, “Lawan and Supreme Court of Shameless Judicial Bandits” while lambasting the Supreme Court over the judgment.

He said, “The Nigerian Supreme Court is straight-up the most hopeless Supreme Court in the history of the world's supreme courts,” having “Violated common sense and the will of voters and gave us a "Supreme Court governor" in Imo State who never even pretended to have won an election.”

Also, a Professor of law and human rights activist, Chidi Odinkalu, berated the Supreme Court of Nigeria over its judgment that upheld the Senate President for the Yobe North Senatorial District in the forthcoming general elections.

SaharaReporters on Monday reported that the Supreme Court affirmed the Senate Lawan as the APC senatorial candidate for Yobe North.

The apex court in a majority judgment delivered on Monday allowed the appeal filed by the APC against Bashir Machina’s candidature.

Recall that there has been controversy over the APC Yobe North Senatorial ticket.

Machina, at a primary election organised by the party in May 2022, won unopposed as the Senate President who was pursuing his presidential ambition at that time did not participate in the primary election, but lost to former Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu.

However, rather than submit the name of the elected candidate, Machina, the ruling APC submitted the name of the senate president to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), a move that led to the deliberate omission of their names from the published particulars of candidates late June 2022.

To clarify the brewing controversy around the seat, INEC, on at least two different occasions, said it rejected the senate president’s name because he had not been validly nominated for the senatorial seat, and urged the duo to resolve their issues internally or seek redress in court.

Following his loss of the case at Court of Appeal in November 2022, Lawan filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, which on Monday affirmed him as the party’s candidate.

The Supreme Court judgment has since triggered condemnation and distasteful reactions from many Nigerians, some of whom have described it as a “judicial banditry” and destruction of the Nigerian judicial system. 

Reacting to the judgment, Odinkalu said, “What judges cannot do does not exist: they can make the 4th to come 1st. And those who withdrew from a primary to become winners. There is breakfast everywhere.

“Let me put it this way. There are some judgments that shd no longer be dignified with a lot of long grammar. How does a court, Supreme no less, decide this matter on the basis of form of action?!

“Something interesting is happening in Nigeria's Supreme Court: When the Court awarded victory to the 4th in Imo State, Justice Nweze from Enugu, who knew the fallouts, dissented. Now the court has made an absentee candidate in Yobe, Justice Jauro from neighbouring Taraba dissents.

“A senior Nigerian lawyer called me tonight to lament that he felt trapped in a "scene of profound judicial hooliganism". His turn of phrase captured the situation in cold relief. Sadly, I was unable to provide him with much comfort. Judges have burglarized election season.”