By Samuel Abasiekong-Abasiekong
The judiciary is/was the last hope of the common man.
This is/was not a mere description, but a maxim that says it all about the judiciary. The portrait of the judiciary as the last hope of the common man is/was the summary of however one intended to describe jurisprudence anywhere in the world.
The judiciary is/was the temple of justice, with none similar to it.
But today is the judiciary still an absolute ‘Temple of Justice’?
A friend asked me this question. And while I was searching for replies to allay his fears and ‘disappointment over the judiciary, he forwarded to me this picture of a statue of ‘lady of justice’ been supported with a stick.
When I saw this picture, I asked: Please in which country is this court located?
His reply was: “In which country else do you think this could be?”
At that instance, I refused to press further because his reply to my inquiry was a pointer enough to have my guess of the country right.
The fallen statue of lady justice as seen in this report is a picture which indeed could attempt to describe today’s judiciary in over ten thousand different ways not to close to its earlier description as an absolute last hope of the common man.
In the past the judiciary acted like a rescuer of the poor, the orphan and the widow. The judiciary was the only fallback of the weak to get justice when the latter was oppressed by the bourgeois and men in affluence.
But today the judiciary is no more entrusted such beautiful attributes.
In todays Nigeria for instance, the common man does not encourage his fellow common man to seek justice in court. When an intention of seeking redress in court is been nurtured by a poor citizen, his peer group discourages him from embarking into such quest, because in their country, the perception of the general public rates such expedition as an exercise in futility, and/or an hallucination for the poor the to think that he can defeat someone richer than him in any court in Nigeria.
Majority of Nigerians have little or no faith in the judiciary. Often times, they predict the outcome of a judgement and get the guess of the verdict right, mostly when it’s a matter involving the poor versus a man of affluence, or the government in power versus the governed.
The negative perception of the judiciary in Nigeria was even more emboldened on September 6, 2023 when the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal PEPT, sitting at the Appeal Court in Abuja dismissed all petitions brought before it by the People Democratic Party -PDP an its Presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, the Labour Party – LP, its Presidential candidate Mr. Peter Obi, challenging the victory of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressive Congress-APC as pronounced by the Independent National Electoral Commission – INEC that Tinubu was constitutionally elected President of Federal Republic of Nigeria on the February 25, 2023 Presidential election.
The PEPT judgement which is highly criticized for dismissing some ‘facts’ and saying they were not necessary, evidence not properly presented, etc is gradually pushing Nigeria to a flash point, with a socio political group ‘The Big Tent’ mobilizing pressure groups, Civil Society Organizations, Nigerians in the diaspora, political parties, Organized Labour, students etc to occupy Nigeria everywhere on Tuesday 12th September 2023.
As the September 6 judgement of PEPT got many to thumb down the judiciary the more, 9newsng.com went to town to interviews, meeting the masses on Vox Pop and inter-personal interactions across the country, to really feel their pulses on the Tribunal affirmation of Tinubu as President of Nigeria, and we noticed that most citizens are down casted, disappointed and some in obvious fear of how the present posture of judiciary will affect the future of the next generation.
In our editorial zoom meeting across the world on 9newsng.com, we realized that Nigerians indeed hold so many things against the judiciary. But even at that our media house still reserved some benefit of the doubt to Nigeria judiciary and we believe there’s room for the judiciary to redeem its image and regain public trust by sincerely being the last hope of the common man whenever it adjudicate on any case involving any category of person or social class.
Let the judiciary exercise some cautions while handing down verdict on issues of public national importance, as pushing the polity to a flash point may snowball to an uncontrollable unpleasant situation as the planned ‘Occupy Nigeria’ coming up on September 12 which we (9newsng.com)
view at this end as an eminent revolution
©️Samuel Abasiekong, French & English languages Journalist, Researcher, Public Affairs Analyst.
Here reporting @ 9newsng.com