HOPE OR HOPELESSNESS OF THE COMMON MAN
It is often said the judiciary is the last hope of the common man. Let’s dissect this assertion: by the literal meaning of this statement, one automatically reasons that when a “small” or ordinary man is being oppressed by a “big man” the small man can seek redress and protection from the judiciary. Is the nigerian judicial system designed to protect the common man?
The constitution of the federal republic of nigeria is outrightly designed to protect the elite and further impoverish the poor. It is designed to protect the individuals that make up the institutions of state and not those institutions themselves. That is why it recently allowed for the battering and shattering of the INEC as a body but gives protection to the chairman who made a mess of it as an institution.
Lawyers and judges are trained by default to understand and interprete the constitution and they do just that! They are not trained to be just and fair because it is not in the very nature of the law they defend. The constitution of nigeria is flawed from the background, elitist in nature and doesn’t in anyway promotes justice; what it does is to technically legitimize injustice and corruption. Such as seen by the recent ruling of the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal (PEPT) and other previous judicial rulings. The extent a lawyer is able to use technicalities, the more brilliant he is seen.
Occasional dispensations of justice tends to give hope to the common man but that is what they will remain – OCCASIONAL! We have to be blunt. That Peter Obi, once got his mandate back from the court does not make justice the modus operandi of our judicial system. In the game of football, happenstance like this are referred to as fluke. Lately, the judiciary (particularly the Supreme court) have made ridiculous rulings, eroding public confidence.
The judicial system of Nigeria is an authority on the spirit and letter of the elitist Nigerian constitution. Although it is not the legislature, the (Supreme) court is a lawmaker. That is not just because its judgments create precedents that ultimately serve as the law, it appears to exploit the contradictory laws of the nation as it pleases.
These rulings only give credence to the fact that sovereignty in the Nigerian constitution, does not rest on the people. It rests not even on the government but on the officials of government and their godfathers. Government as an institution is only a tool for these elitists to perpetuate their criminalities, legally.
Individuals make up the institutions of state and government. Individual lawyers and judges who are trained to defend and interprete this obnoxious constitution make up the judiciary. Unfortunately on both sides, the bulk of individuals are flawed in character and competence.
Can you expect to reap justice where the seed and background of the institution is injustice? Bluntly put, if the common man must have any iota of hope, the current constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria must be discarded. Until then, hope is an illusion, and it’s practical happenstance, sheer luck!