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briberyIt was the late Dele Giwa who once said Nigerians were unshakeable, how true he was. Friday, 12 December, date of the Supreme Court ruling on the disputed 2007 presidential polls.

The voice of a female announcer on the network service of Radio Nigeria came up on the car stereo of the commercial bus I was in, announcing that the Supreme court had just validated the Election of Umaru Yar’adua. As though being prompted by a whistle, the announcement was greeted with a spontaneous outburst of long hisses followed by side comments from the commuters much of whom I never knew had their ears to the not too clear car stereo. One vocal commuter summed up the displeasure of the whole in these words, “that one na news?”.

In other words, didn’t we all know in whose favour the ruling will be? Don’t we all know that the “Do or Die” status former President Obasanjo accorded the election continued even to the courts?, were we not already aware of the scheming in high places to ensure victory for the PDP? Or was it even fathomable that the Supreme Court would in present day Nigeria , invalidate an election that kept the ruling party in power no matter how flawed?

In all sincerity, the Supreme Court did not disappoint me and indeed a host of Nigerians who knew better than to live in the false hopes of the wrongs of the 2007 elections being re-written by the Supreme Court. Indeed, Nigerians were not even interested in the already certain out come of the ruling which made me wonder why the Police had to take the pains of beefing up security in and around the Supreme court and on the streets of Abuja. Except for jubilant PDP rented crowd, who else were they expecting to see whiling away precious time protesting or other wise on the streets of Abuja .

As far as I am concerned, what the Supreme Court did was simply to differentiate the number six and half a dozen. I heard lines in the judgment to the effect that though there was clear breech of some provisions of the electoral act, they were not substantial enough to invalidate the entire process. When then, I wish to ask the Justices will the breech be “substantial” enough to lead to an invalidation of the process. When we take up the Kenyan example or perhaps after the now famous sixty years set period for the PDPs reign is over?.

 Experience has shown that election rigging are perhaps the most difficult cases to prove in the court. When appellants have taken the pains of assembling as much evidence as possible and have taken time to marshal their argument as clearly as possible, it baffles me that the Justices would come around and with a vault face tell us the evidences were not weighty enough to annul the election.

One begins to wonder, can there be something like a partially valid process? I was thinking-perhaps rather ignorantly- that a process was either valid or invalid. Now, I know better, our Supreme court Justices whose rulings are law have just let us know that one can partially breech the law or put more appropriately, one could be an armed robber but not dangerous enough to be called a criminal.

Doesn’t it ever irk these guys that they have become so predictable? That we know their schemes long before they even implement them? That we don’t even again what they do? That we have become so desolate that challenging them now seems a complete waste of time?

Today there would be high fives, sharing of banters and merriment in the Villa. We are sure to even hear things like “this was a victory for Democracy and rule of law”, but it does not in any way and shall not in any way burnish the fact that seats deep in the hearts of all Nigerians that the 2007 elections were the worst there could be. Even the victors know this, and we leave them to live with it.

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