Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN) has said Nigerians are waiting to see whether the judiciary has been finally cajoled and intimidated by the executive to do its bidding forever.

Ozekhome who spoke with journalists recently in Jos, said the judgement was capable of encouraging corruption and undermining the nation’s educational system.

He also pointed out the reasons Atiku Abubakar of the PDP is heading to Supreme Court to challenge the presidential election tribunal that gave victory to Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the Supreme court’s final verdict will go a long way to address the obvious lapses of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal which gave verdict in favour of President Buhari.

Ozekheome (SAN) who was speaking in an interview with journalists in Jos the Plateau State capital recently, said that:

“I want to hear the final say by the Supreme Court. “The presidential election tribunal was occupied by people drawn from the Court of Appeal as an intermediate court of law.”

“I would prefer to wait for the decision by the Supreme Court before making up my mind whether the Nigeria judiciary has finally been cajoled and intimidated by the executive to do its bidding forever.”

The reason is that, it’s the decision of the Supreme Court that would count, but for now, l can confidently say that the case was poorly decided by the Presidential Election Tribunal.

He said: “There was a very poor evaluation of evidence, there was cases and instances where evidence of the respondent that is INEC and Buhari where considered, without considering that of Atiku Abubakar and PDP been considered at all.”

There was misapplication of the provision of the constitution and electoral Act, the INEC guideline, INEC handbook, and provision relating to a server by INEC.

There were instances the election tribunal behaved like “Father Christmas” by given to the respondent who don’t even ask.

For example: “They were mainly saying Buhari was qualified to contest the presidential election, when the court said Buhari is not only qualified but eminently qualified.”



We are also concerned that if the judgement is not challenged, we will set bad precedent for us in Nigeria in term of business dealings, educational qualification, international, national investment.

When you begin to say that all that matters is the surname Buhari and doesn’t matter whether the first name is Muhammadu or Mohammed, then we are in trouble as a country.

“It means because l have Ozekhome, anybody can come tomorrow that my qualification belongs to him even though the first name is Mukila or Mishel ,the fact that Ozekhome is the surname is enough to cover ,does not matter if your surname is Mukalia, Mulikat, Mishel, Angelo it doesn’t matter.”

‘If you then say it doesn’t matter, it means anybody can attach certificate to Form (Cfoo1).

“In the Form (cf001) it said attach the certificate if you said you have it.

The tribunal is saying it doesn’t matter, you can just state that you have the qualification.

Which therefore means anyone can go to court disposed to affidavit; they say produce the certificate that is a dangerous signal.

Chief Ozekhome further added that the case is going to encourage corruption and destroy our educational quest.

“This case will encourage corruption, destruction of the very fabric of our moral and ethical epitome which going to school, reading hard very vigorously and rigorously to possess a certificate may no longer be important.”

“All that may be important is that you have gone to the court of law and sworn to affidavit that you have so and so degree, when you are asked to produce it, you say it doesn’t matter and refer to the case of Atiku Vs Buhari.”

“That is the danger; that is why we are heading for the Supreme Court. We want the Apex Court to up turn the judgement of the presidential Election Petition Tribunal.”

Ozekhome stressed that democracy is not got on platter of gold as many would think.

We want democracy to be given face, democracy is a struggle.

“Nobody should expect that people in power should be dislodged easily.”

“Everybody is not Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who made that prophetic statement, that epoch statement “That my ambition did not worth the blood of any Nigerian”.

There are some people you have to push out.

They could be tyranny, absolutism and dictatorship even in democracy, Adolf Hitler pretended to be a democrat, was holding an election, but was regarded in history as the worst deadliest dictator ever.

Saddam Hussein of Iraq was supposed to be a democrat, because they conduct elections, but regarded as one of the most brutish dictator that ever lives.

Late President Eyadema of Togo was going for election and was known as one of the greatest dictator in history. Papadoc of Haiti was going for an elections, was known as one of the worst dictator ever.

Mobutu Seseseko of Zaire was going for elections, it is also known in history as one of the brutish and deadliest dictator that ever lived.

‘’So the fact that we say we have democracy, is not itself evidence that we are actually practicing democracy.

As l always say; democracy is not one hundred meters dash race of Ben Johnson, or Usain Bolt that you finish in thirty seconds, it is a marathon race of resilience of competing centrifugal forces.

That is why we have to be patient to fight it according to the tenet of democracy to enable us widen, deepen, strengthen, deodorise the attitude and aptitude.

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