Lawyers react to INEC’s position on Bayelsa’s Supreme court judgmentby Bankole
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Gbenga Ojo, Snr Lecturer, Faculty of Law, LASU
“INEC seems to have no choice. It must comply with the decision of the Supreme Court. If APC has issues with it, it should go back to the Supreme Court for interpretation or clarification. The grandstanding by Oshimole that swearing-in will not take place is unfortunate. That is the problems with our politicians. On the decision of the Supreme Court in Imo State Governorship election, Supreme Court is the best court.
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“Now, in Bayelsa, it is condemnation. Politicians will learn to accept the judgment of the courts generally. Unfortunately, the Supreme Court is the last in Nigeria. Rule of law must prevail otherwise anarchy will follow by inciting their supporters against Supreme Court. I wish that condemnation of Supreme Court judgment by parties/privies should be part of their so-called hate speech law. This is in a lighter mood though.”
Barr. Musa Ibrahim Maina
“In as much as I agree with the Supreme Court position that the Dep Gov is disqualified for presenting a forged certificate to INEC; in as much also as I agree with their position that the election of the Gov cannot stand without a Dep Gov in accordance with Sec 187(1) of the Constitution of the FRN, 1999 as amended.
“However, I humbly disagree with the Supreme Court for making the order to install the highest winner in the election. In my little thinking, the election was voided on qualification. The most appropriate order to make is a fresh election. Sec 140(2) of the Electoral Act, 2010 provides: “Where an election tribunal or court nullifies an election on the ground that the person who obtains the highest votes at the election was not qualified to contest the election, the election tribunal or court SHALL NOT DECLARE THE PERSON WITH THE HIGHEST VOTES as elected, BUT SHALL ORDER FOR FRESH ELECTION”.
“In my humble view, the reasoning of the learned jurists should always go in tandem with the position of the law. Anything outside that is catastrophic to the legal system in particular and our democracy in general.”
Barr Evan Ufeli
“The Supreme Court is the apex court in the land and its decision is final. Not everyone may agree with its decision but everyone is bound by law to abide by it. Section 287 (1) of the 1999 constitution declares that. “the decisions of the Supreme court shall be enforced in any part of the Federation by all authorities and persons, and by courts with subordinate jurisdiction to that of the Supreme Court.”
“The constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have a binding force on all persons and authorities throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria. However, whoever is not satisfied with the judgement should follow due process.”
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