How Wike Swayed Supreme Court Judgment – An Eyewitness Report
“Unbelievable! This is travesty of justice, how can the apex court uphold an election that was marred with violence.” An All Progressives Congress, APC, big weight that was present when the Supreme Court delivered the judgment, stated and broke down in tears.
In the APC camp, tempers were high as the “hailing hailers” took over from the “wailing wailers”. Like a bolt from the blue, the judges disappeared to their chambers after delivering the much awaited judgment.
For the PDP, it was justice well deserved, “yes! The lion has come to judgments.”
It was a harvest of tears on Wednesday January 27, 2016 at about 6.30 pm as the Supreme Court led by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, in a unanimous judgment, restored the declaration of Nyesom Wike, as the valid winner of the April 11, 2015 poll by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
Justice Kekere-Ekun, who delivered the lead verdict, held that the three separate appeals filed by Wike, his party the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP and INEC, were meritorious.
Concurrent judgments of both the Rivers State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal and that of the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal were all set aside by the Supreme Court.
Before the verdict, the court room was filled to capacity as early as 8.00am with many of the APC supporters taken over the available seats in the 120 sitting capacity court room. They were all smiles as they exchanged pleasantries with their co-travellers.
“Today is the end of Wike. Never again are we going to allow impunity and lawlessness to take over our oil rich state.” An ardent supporter of Dakuku Peterside, the APC governorship candidate of Rivers state, stated.
For the PDP supporters, it was a day of doom. Smiles had gone on strike on their faces as apprehension ruled their world. But they never knew that he who laughs last, laughs best.
The atmospheric condition of the court room was tension soaked with the arrival of the seven-wise men heralded with the shout of “courrrrrrt”.
In a split of second, the “temple of Justice” had gone dead. It was as silent as a grave yard. A pin-drop silence pervaded the arena as all cameras, recording devices and phones were switched off or muted.
As the case between Wike and Dakuku was called out, it was a battle of wit as the appellant (Wike) though absent stormed the court room with a consortium of lawyers numbering about 30, led by Chris Uche, SAN.
While adopting his brief, he urged the seven judges of the apex court to deliver the judgment to his clients favour and to invalidate the earlier judgment delivered by the lower courts.
He argued that the evidences tendered by the respondent (Peterside) were misleading.
“My lordship, may I state that the respondent’s evidence tendered that was contained in the brief was misleading. My Lord Lords, I repeat, the evidences are misleading. Please don’t be carried away by the eloquence and charisma of the learned colleagues,” Uche stated.
One of the judges sitting at the right hand of the chief justice, who was almost carried by the counsel’s submission, shouted “we cannot be misled.” There were pockets of laughter from observers in the court room.
Earlier, Peterside’s lead counsel; Akin Olujimi, SAN, had submitted that INEC had simply allocated votes to Wike while describing the election as a “theatre of war, violence personified and terrorism in display.”
The lead counsel could be seen making frantic efforts to explain to the seven aged wise men why the apex court should align with the lower courts to nullify Wike’s election.
But his explanation and his ranting could not hold water, as the Supreme Court went ahead and upturned the lower courts’ decision.
The Supreme Court has spoken and their decision “must remain sacrosanct, unchallenged.”
At about 3p.m., there were speculations that Wike was going to win. Some persons were even calling to confirm if Wike had won at the Supreme Court.
A Nigerian Journalist based in Sierra Leone though sympathetic to the APC was in a tenterhook. He kept checking up to know the outcome of the judgment.
Immediately after the judgments were delivered, the APC folks in the court room went bananas. Hopes were dashed into pieces. A full grown up man in suit and bold tie broke down in tears. He could not be consoled.
It was a mixed reaction. The streets of Port Harcourt was agog with joy, jubilation and laughter.
Source: Post Nigeria