Justice dates back to the genesis of creation, when God saw or rather adjudicated that all which God created was good. A level was that of creativeness, another level of intellectuality in God’s procedure was adjudication.
The act of judgment giving starts from God and ends with God. Man is only privileged to be a factor in God’s procedure of transfer of justice from abstract concept to physical or societal impact. Theologians may prefer the use of spiritual to abstract in this context. Whichever way it goes, it is pertinent to note that justice is of God, from God, to man or society, by Godly character, and report back to God.
Being omniscience, or all-knowing, God, all the knowledgeable, learned, Lords in the temple of Justice must re-awaken their fundamental awareness that the finality of their professional discourse belongs to God. in fact, judges are reasoned to be stepping into God’s shoes of righteousness with the sole aim of stamping out any form of default from our societal interactive contracts.
Personally, I admire the judges, yet I don’t fancy them; my premium is not on the façade of brazen disposition but on the quality and fairness of their arduous determination, which is done in a transparent and accountable manner.
The reason for the appeal is bordered on more of integrity and the character of test and trust. It calls for further probity, demanding the culture of more inclusiveness than exclusiveness, with sole aim arriving at the unalloyed truth, not a fixed caricature of technicalities.
Normally, as in any case, there are bound to be intervening variables at play. The variables are always concocted and sponsored by influence, power, sentiments. Therefore, my advice is that the judges should dwell much on concrete documents. There should be no fencing-off of any evidence under whatever guise. The bearing of the whole appeal gamut is towards unearthing the truth.
Thank God, the judges faces are no longer hidden in visual transmission, of recent. I always believe that the righteous will always be as bold as alion. The truth is like a living personality which doesn’t die, though may be covered for a time or season, but will always kick until its reality dawns and put to shame every strand of lie and pretence.
Nothing should be heard of ‘my hands are tied’ syndrome of our ridiculous judicial past, after the victim was erroneously incarcerated. Certainly, the appeal court job is not for the gold-diggers, but for those yearning after the virility of our nation and the triumph of equity. On this hangs the future of a peaceful Nigeria.
Fair justice breeds collective peace and self-consolation for those who lose their case. A wholesome judiciary is always the bedrock of any stable polity. The failure of the judiciary is the failure of any democracy. Actually, the strength of democracy is fostered by egalitarianism.
Our past military regimes failed because of the subservience of the judiciary to the commanders-in-chief. The military rulers played their commandeering times and the judiciary danced away its honour for a price.
It is too costly for our judiciary to fail in this nick of time, its fall in professional integrity will make every other arm of governance, and indeed, every public sector collapse. The sustenance of Nigerian nation, as well as any other nation, in the world, is based on moral and attitudinal fabric which is upheld as constitutionally stipulated.
To the Appeal faculty, here is a case of theft to be brainstormed upon: A litigant approached the court of law seeking a retrieve of what he lays claim to, from a defendant. He equipped himself with a lot of evidences indicating how the thing was stolen, stunning revelations about his ownership of the said matter. In fact, more facts were continuously emerging from all and sundry about the litigant’s ownership.
The defendant, in his own case had very limited evidences which upon survey, showed was weak to adequately defend its ownership. Instead of relying on substance to show, he rather was banking on finding a fault in the plaintiff’s filing of case, his inappropriate use of word or nomenclature, proof of alibi and so on.
In the period of hearing, the plaintiff dwelt mostly on concrete, visual, vivid physical documents while the defendant adopted no concrete counter-evidence material or document against the plaintiff. Rather than defend himself by producing substance of conviction, he argued on technicalities which can be twisted or always re-interpreted to suit any chosen line of argument.
To the presiding judge, the matter before him was that of evidence of daunting proof versus that of suggestive technicalities. The expected norm from a prestigious judge would have been to associate with substance and denounce postulations. He eventually, disappointingly associated with conditional theorems by which he threw away the case of the plaintiff on the ground of no weight, when he has closed his eyes from seeing, let along examining physical depositions of the plaintiff, only to be discovered later that he has inadvertently being bought over. That is what happened in Osun State.
Dear compatriots, no matter how brilliant a thief is, a thief is always a thief. No matter how powerful an extortioner is, he is a usurper and a democratic misfit.
Let the rightful owner by weak, and imperfect, he remains the owner be sincerity and factuality. By this, the beauty of the judiciary glows in uprightness, and everybody else in the society at large would be threading that narrow path of righteousness, which has been repeatedly said to be exalting a nation.
In another perspective, everybody knows his belonging and can always identify same with endless list of evidences, even if the court rules in favour of the alleged. Ownership is by substantiated evidence, not by eloquence or brilliance.
By now, Nigerian judiciary should have been written off, but for certain exemplary, outstanding, heartwarming and courageous determinations, as we have them displayed in the cases of Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State, also Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State, Ondo State tribunal, Edo state tribunal and other few cases.
Certain attitudes were noted for the election tribunals of Ondo and Edo States. Their presiding judges allowed in as many evidences as possible. They didn’t bar or refrain any useful evidences that would help them arrive at the truth. They were very practical in their approach.
Votes counting and votes verification were their priority; ward by ward, local government by local government. Taking into account, every little detail. You know truth has elements of courage. Their presiding judges boldly announced what they found to be correct facing the zooming camera, as their sheer display of brevity was shown to the whole world to see and tap from.
All the people are saying is: ‘Give us our true governor’. The people have voted their candidate. They expressed themselves very well, by overwhelming majority. Will the voice of the masses be silenced, and silenced for ever?
There is a question I want to ask our judiciary, especially at the tribunal level. Why is it that most of them are scared of technological devices that expose rigging or any foul-play in electoral matters? I think they should rather be very welcoming to this held-device. All they need to do is to cross-examine the accuracy and the veracity of the machines, and adopt their use.
Afterall, there have been cases of theft in social gatherings that were recorded knowingly or unknowingly by the camera. The moment the thieves saw their shame exposed, they quickly returned their loot without allowing them to be taken to court. Justice is the business of fact and truth determination, either in court or out of court.
Now that similar technologies have found their way into the Nigerian electoral system, only the guilty are expected to run away. I quite understand the phobia of the defendants whose shame of dirty shows are being exposed.
If there is no skeleton in the tribunal’s cupboard, why should they be scared any bit about finger-prints detecting technology? Should our national courts of justice fail, at the senior level of Appeal and or to determine the truth, Supreme, let us be reminded that there is always a superior court of conscience and common-sense, which belongs to the public superior and overwhelming mentality. I hereby remember an uncle who was an illiterate, but with a God-endowed intelligence that is difficult to be matched by our groomed, embellished and contemporary lawyers. Such are many in towns. Not necessarily lawyers. They cut across various disciplines.
Those who tried to fool the intelligence of the public in the past, from the law courts ended up as fools themselves.
These tasks are therefore placed before our Appeal courts:
– Safe-guiding our public morality from collapse.
– Ensuring the triumph of truth and the true.
– Re-awakening the hope of the common man in our judiciary.
– Protecting the young and tender integrity of Nigerian judicial system.
– Salvaging our fledging democracy from failure.
– Establishing a judicial level-playing ground for all and sundry.
– Instilling in the public conscience that future elections will be devoid of all illegality and crime.
– Enthroning the peoples mandate.
The above could constitute the Appeal Court’s seven-point agenda for a better Nigeria. With the enactment of the above, I could see a reviving country and also, a resuscitating Osun State.