Ihedioha And The Lawyers: Atiku Redux

By Ikenga Chronicles January 26, 2020

Ihedioha And The Lawyers: Atiku Redux

— Dr. Vitus Ozoke

News is that Emeka Ihedioha has gone back to the Supreme Court of Nigeria to petition it to reverse itself and give him back the key to Imo Government House.

This is Atiku 2.0. Lawyers have circled as vultures. The few billions Ihedioha collected in security vote for those 8 months is what they are after. I don’t know how much it is and how much of it an Mbaise man is willing to share, but I doubt he will be as generous as Atiku.

Look, as sympathetic as I want to be with Ihedioha, the truth of the matter is that it is over. Cut your losses, gather the fractured pieces of your life, and move on. But if Ihedioha believes for a single minute that the Justice Tanko-led Supreme Court is about to overrule itself and hand back the keys to Imo state government house to him, then he was not even smart enough to be governor in the first place.

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It’s not just Ihedioha, I have read several of my Nigerian friends, many of whom I hold in high regard and respect, join the populist chorus of reversalism. Reversalists are those emotion-driven Nigerians calling for the Supreme Court to reverse its decision that sacked Ihedioha after 8 months in office.

This is unfortunate. It’s unfortunate because the reversalists, including Ihedioha, have not articulated a uniquely cogent rationale for their call. That a decision of the Supreme Court is not just is, believe it or not, not enough. Supreme Court decisions have not always been just. Even when the whole panel of the Court realizes that its decision is unjust, it doesn’t go hitting the panic button and scrambling to reverse itself. A Supreme Court decision that sacked a Nigerian politician from office, right or wrong, is not the outbreak of an Ebola virus epidemic. So, take it from me, the Supreme Court will not be moved.

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There’s one major reason the Supreme Court will not be moved. It is those black-axe PDP protests across Nigeria. Those protests have actually hurt Ihedioha’s chances of getting the Supreme Court to reverse itself and return him to Imo state government house. The Supreme Court cannot, and should not, be cajoled or intimidated by a mob of black panther wannabes into reversing its decisions. If it does, it will be a slippery slope as it will be opening the floodgate of protests over every decision it renders. That is a message the Supreme Court cannot afford to send.

Had Ihedioha and his lawyers quietly studied the Court’s decision, identified the gaps, and reapproached the Court, without that national melodrama of black avengers, perhaps, they would have stood a better chance of getting the Court to take another look at its decision in a shorter order. Even if the Court’s decision was in error, and I’m not saying it was or was not, the only thing the protests succeeded in doing was to box the Supreme Court into a corner of both moral and jurisprudential quagmire for which the Court would need a face saving.

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Again, if the Supreme Court realizes that it got Ihedioha wrong, it would need some face saving to fix it, one that is acutely cognizant of the intimidatory effect of the protests. And there’s a reason that court is called the Supreme Court. As far as the interpretation of the laws in its sovereign sphere is concerned, the Supreme Court is god. It is within the jurisprudential omnipotence of the Supreme Court to declare that Emeka Ihedioha is not even a Nigerian; that he is a 10-year old; or that he is mentally unstable and, therefore, disqualified to run for governor. That’s how powerful the Supreme Court is!

Let me be clear. I did not allude to the omnipotence of the Supreme Court to suggest that it is a monster, oblivious of the unjustness of its decision. No, I made that reference to underscore that the Court will not be railroaded into scrambling to reverse its decision. The Supreme Court of the United States have rendered a few patently questionable decisions, ranging from school segregations and other Jim Crow-era decisions to the blunder in the electoral case of the Citizens United.

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Many of those Jim Crow decisions have been reversed by the Court (e.g., Brown v. Board of Education) and others may well be reversed in due course. But you don’t see the Supreme Court of the United States scrambling to reverse itself in Roe v. Wade just because Conservatives and Republicans hold pro-life rallies and protests everyday at the steps of the Supreme Court. Or to call an emergency session to reverse its obviously moronic gaffe in Citizens United just because Liberals and Democrats protest it weekly. Heck, Al Gore was robbed of the White House by the Supreme Court of the United States, on a hanging chad, and the sun still rose every morning for the 8 years George W. Bush fooled around as POTUS.

Cut your losses, gather the pieces of whatever is left of your broken life, and go home. Don’t be another fool for vulturous lawyers. You only make them richer as you make yourself poorer. The dynamic here is inverse, ask Atiku. Get off the back of the Supreme Court. Call off those protests and quit making the Supreme Court feel like they will be yielding to partisan mob intimidation, because they will never yield. If there’s merit to your petition, the Supreme Court might revisit itself in due course. Yes, in due course because the Supreme Court is supreme and does not, and should never, yield to mob bully.

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