January 6th, 2011
No one knows how the hurriedly imposed January election would turnout in
a society that faces grave challenges in election
infrastructure. Nor should any one blame the Petitioner for
rightly exercising his legal rights to fight a case in
The cause of any alarm now or in the coming months, at least
till April of this year is the judiciary that showed lack of
strategic judgment on this case as it relates the
understanding of time management, separation of power, the
value of a lower court and the importance of clear-cut, and
sound judicial pronouncement on societal matters like the
current legal development.
What was clear in this matter was that there was no sign of
constitutional or regional crisis that warranted the Court
to put a major burden on the Delta people, by issuing an
impulsive like order for an election within three months.
Ms. Monica Mensah and members of her panel could have
remanded the case back to the Election Tribunal which on the
October 9th, 2010 had heard the same case.
The Appeal Court in its mode of “too quick” judgment could
have asked the Delta State Election Board or a national
watch dog to set the stage for the expected gubernatorial
April election, at a time when the Delta People would
generally be more energized and in the mood to come out and
vote in a more somewhat secure atmosphere.
It appears that Court of Appeal was not only acting as if it
is the Nation’s Supreme Court, a Court of last say on
interpretative matters in the nation. Justice Mensah and her
regiment acted as a State election body, a Police force and
even in a legislative kind of role.
The Appeal Court should be reminded that the present
Constitution of Nigeria is Democratic-Presidential in whole,
rather than that which functions as a document of
authoritarianism, barbarianism and oligarchy. Here is a
What if Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan captures the hurriedly imposed
election coming up in a few hours, would the Appeal court
then physically use its hands and legs to show its power?
The Appeal Court would have shown more constrain in its
judicial temperament, conduct and behavior by keeping its
self-way from any act or image of judicial activism or
political impulsiveness, as this is clearly the case when it
imposed an election timeline, called for a hasty election
for a governorship that not only end in a few months but
open to a general election in a few weeks.
While the Appeal court should not be judged for using the
same reported evidence to dismiss the case of irregularities
previously brought on by an A.C.N gubernatorial candidate,
this particular Court needs to the tell scholars and
students of judicial or psycho-legal studies why it should
not be accused of error in judgment, in the area of
separation of power specially?
John Egbeazien Oshodi, Ph.D , DABPS, FACFE, is a
Forensic/Clinical Psychologist and an Assistant Professor of
Psychology and Behavioral Science, North Campus, Broward
College, Coconut Creek, Florida.