Lagos Lawyer and Human Rights Activist Chief Gabriel Giwa- Amu have said that the apex court in the land is largely misunderstood by most Nigerians.
He was reacting to the plethora of criticism that has trailed the recent judgments it delivered as it affects the governorship elections of Rivers and Akwa Ibom States.
Most Nigerians who believed with reports that the elections that was held in the two states were largely marred by boycotts, rigging, killings, maiming and all manner of electoral malpractices were shocked when the Supreme Court decided to upheld the election of those alleged to have perpetrated acts that are inimical, to lay down guidelines.
In a terse statement made available to the Press, Amu said the procedure for deferment of reasons in a judgment, is allowed at law even as the expectation of the Nigerian people may not be in tandem with the outcome of these judgments.
He further noted in the Supreme Court, the rationale for most of the judgments and rulings it delivers is “Justice Delivery” stressing that the supreme court is not interested in the facts or demeanor of witness, but if the Lower Courts have followed the procedure established by law in arriving at the judgment appealed against “The Supreme Court is often misunderstood as it often assumed erroneously that the Supreme Court enjoys the powers and competence of a trial court or a court of first instance and an appellant court at the same time” Amu said.
Rather, he said the Supreme Court ordinarily does not tamper with the facts of a case; it mainly concerns it with whether justice has been delivered by the lower courts. He stressed that the mere fact that the evidence before the lower courts was not controverter, does not automatically mean victory before the Supreme Court.
To buttress his point, Amu said if an appellant say fire burns, that in the estimation of the Supreme Court is not disputable but did it burn you the appellant to entitle you to bring this action, is taken into consideration when passing or delivering judgment.
Speaking further, he said most cases that are lost and won are not predicated upon good sense or good law but pecuniary interest and personal aggrandizements. He noted that most judgments are the fallout of “useful discussion” with interested litigants in beer palours and club houses.
He revealed that a lot of these Judges belong to various clubs like the Tennis and Golf clubs where often times they discuss matters that are before their courts with their members and so in the process, they make extra-judicial judgments which they later translate into judgments in the open court.
“Sadly, except for the judiciary of the Northern States, most of the courts in the Southern States merely feign incorruptibility. Though I concede that we do have a lot of incorruptible judges, men and women of honour and integrity, Magistrates of high repute, but these are in the minority