Chief Obafemi Awolowo, had in the recollection of his experiences as the prime leader of the old Western Region of Nigeria , narrated extensively, the ordeals, very nasty experiences, which himself underwent personally and officially. According to the late Sage and Patriot and Nationalist, the most adored political personality of all times in the Yoruba history and evolution, certain inhibitions and encumbrances which he suffered were deliberately designed, foisted and delivered to either frustrate, denigrate, dwarf, castrate, ridicule or destroy his political strength and capacity, and possibly halt the amazing developments recorded through his leadership. And these hurtful and painful experiences of Pa Awo as fondly called and remembered, were captured in electrifying clarifications in his best- seller book titled, ” THE TRAVAILS OF DEMOCRACY AND THE RULE OF LAW ” .
It should be re-emphasized that the chains of oppressive activities and events targeted in the main against Chief Obafemi Awolowo for ulterior political purposes in Nigeria, nose-dived into unmanageable crisis in arson, killings, disruption of public peace, and the destructions of the democratic experiment in the First Republic of Nigeria with much more damaging consequences in the old Western Region. The major operators and players in the unsuccessful first military putsh in Nigeria in January 29, 1966 as anchored by the Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, notified and insisted that the condemnable orgy circumstances in the Western Region especially, together with the overbearing corruption amongst the political leadership across the zones and the political parties, founded part of the justifiable reasons for their intervention.
Have conspiracies and challenges been abated in the political turf in Nigeria since the return to democratic rule in 1999 ? Have the privileged political power wielders and holders restrained themselves from negative activities and engagement with ripe evidence as obvious threats to the fledgling democracy in Nigeria? Have the various operators and managers of the various organs of government, whether of the Executive, of the Legislature, and of the Judiciary, including other private operators, learnt their lessons in order to exist to advance the cause of the “Democratic Experiment ” drawing from the negative and positive records and history?
Are the people of NIGERIA, in expressions of laxity and docility , rooted in lingual dispositions, tribal sentiments, political biases, social prejudices, treacherous differences and religious false teachings, not in the knowledge and consciousness that the Democracy in Nigeria is under serious threats and surmountable challenges? Why have the global village continued to maintain discomforting quietened silence in the suffocation of certain fundamental regions and zones and tongues and tribe in the sustenance of political correctness founded in generational atrocious wickedness as witnessed in the Hon. Chike Okafor experience and challenge?
The complexities surrounding the brazen withdrawal of the CERTIFICATE OF RETURN originally issued to the Hon. Chike Okafor by the Electoral Commission in Nigeria, purportedly on the Orders of the High Court of the FCT, and the re-issuance of another Certificate of Return to the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba, call for most sober reflections from everyone desirous of a better NIGERIA founded on democratic ideals. Can a winner in an election as declared by the Electoral Commission be so publicly humiliated and traumatized through questionable legal and judicial and political activities and actions and decisions for political advantages?
The answers and responses to these questions and posers in the Hon. Chike Okafor challenge, would be dissected for the appreciation of everyone! These responses would be categorized in identifiable issues in seriatim:
ISSUE ONE: CONTINUATION OF LITIGATION UPON THE DESTRUCTIONS OF THE RES AND THE DESTRUCTIONS OF THE RIGHTS THERETO:
The litigation which was relied upon, and which was declared successfully prosecuted by the aggrieved in the dispute, was distastefully in bad faith, most ridiculously injurious. It was established that the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba who was the first Defendant in the litigation, and who was at the time of filing the action, purportedly the presumed winner of the disputed primary election of the APC for the Ehime Mbano / Ihitte Uboma / Obowo Federal Constituency of Imo State , had defected to another political party called the ACCORD PARTY , and thus participated in the general election as a candidate of this party outside of the APC.
By the defection of the first Defendant against whom the challenge lied, the dispute in Court ought to have been disabled and discontinued forthwith as all rights and privileges been challenged have been abandoned , and subsequently destroyed.
However, in the sustenance and promotion of the conspiracies against the Hon. Chike Okafor as well as against the fledgling democracy in Nigeria, the facts and evidence and records and proofs of the defection leading to the abandonment and abdication of all electoral rights and privileges of the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba were ignobly hidden from the Court. Flowing from this obvious travesty, the judgement against the Hon. Chike Okafor under review, would be reviewed favourably and positively on appeal.
ISSUE TWO: CAN A COURT COMPETENTLY ENTER JUDGEMENT OR MAKE ORDERS IN A POST ELECTION DISPUTE?
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended as well as the Electoral Act, 2010 as amended, provide that in the event of a dispute or determination arising from the activities and actions and decisions of a political party, especially in a primary election, both the Federal High Court and the various States High Courts have jurisdiction to entertain and/ or adjudicate on such challenge or dispute. In the instant political and legal and judicial drama involving the Hon. Chike Okafor, the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba and the INEC, a judgement was pronounced that the primary election ( res) was defective, drawing from incurable procedural errors and breaches, though the Court ought to have thrown out the suit upon the destructions and abandonment through defection of the first Defendant, the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba.
However, this judgement in February, not minding the suspicions, stands until overturned on appeal as it relates to the activities of a political party through primary election.
Having secured this advantage in judgement, the proper action in law therefore, would have been to draw the attention of the Tribunal to the efficacy of the judgement of the High Court for further consequential and definite and final action in decisions and judgement. And so, the further Order secured by the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba which conferred on him the authority for a Certificate of Return was perforative and defective and incurably unprecedural.
ISSUE THREE : THE POWER JURISDICTION OF THE TRIBUNAL:
The electoral processes in Nigeria are regulated by the provisions of the Constitution, supra and the Electoral Act, supra. Flowing from the foregoing, any power or decision exercised and/or taken without sheepish obedience to the provisions of the grundnorm in relation to the returns in an election or the processes and procedures thereto, are void on their own without more, and/or voidable upon challenge by an aggrieved party.
In furtherance of the Constitutional and other Statutory precautions, it is provided that only the Tribunals established in accordance thereto, shall have exclusive jurisdictions and competence in all disputes and determinations on the outcome of an election, including the corresponding returns.
Now, was the High Court in the current political drama right to have assumed jurisdiction and competence to make further declarations in interim or permanent Orders and Pronouncements after the election, and on the outcome of the election? Both the Court and the Hon. Emeka Nwajiuba ought to have been guided to take advantage of the earliest judgement in the pre-election matter through the application for leave of the Tribunal to furnish additional evidence since the parties are already in the Tribunal for the same cause. The judgement of the Court sought to be added through the application could be taken or considered to have been judicially noticed by the Tribunal which would exist as though filed timeously.
And therefore, the Order of the High Court of the FCT in April 2019 after the election, upon which the Electoral Commission hurriedly obeyed against it’s notorious tradition, with the greatest respect and highest sense of responsibility, constitute a usurpation of the powers and jurisdictions of the Tribunal as constitutionally protected, provided and preserved. No doubts, the judgement and the subsequent consequential Orders secured differently in different dates and suits, remain incurable and questionable, and constitute a fertile ground for appeal.
ISSUE FOUR : DISPUTES IN COURTS MUST INVOLVE KNOWN AND EXISTING PARTIES AND PERSONS, INCLUDING THE JUDGEMENT AND ORDERS:
It has become thoroughly elementary in law that disputes in Courts, including such other pronouncements of the Court, must involve, and pertain or relate to persons and parties with legal or natural or fundamental existence, not involving fake or fictitious persons or parties.
Where a subsisting litigation is discovered to be insituted by or against a fake, false, fictitious or non – existent person, the Court can suo motu or on the application of any of the parties, seek the intervention of the Court, to strike out the challenge or dispute. Such dispute instituted or judgement, including other consequential Orders made against a non-existent, false, fake or fictitious person, remain void, a nullity in law; for one cannot build on nothing, and expect same to stand.
In the desperation to destroy the Hon. Chike Okafor at all costs, and by every means possibly realizable, the matter was hurriedly instituted against him in a fake, false, fictitious and non-existent Federal Constituency called the OKIGWE SOUTH FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY, instead of the EHIME MBANO / IHITTE UBOMA / OBOWO FEDERAL CONSTITUENCY. It should be emphasized that there is no Okigwe South Federal Constituency in Nigeria through the various Statutory precautions and provisions.
This discovery vitiates the entirety of the dispute, including the judgement and other Orders; a positive issue for determination on appeal.
ISSUE FIVE: STAY OF EXECUTION:
The ulterior political purposes of the conspiracies against the persons and the destinies and destinations of the young people of NIGERIA through the Hon. Chike Okafor mandate and aspirations, remain to preclude or foreclose his participation in the inauguration politics of the yet to be determined 9th Assembly of the National Assembly of Nigeria in June 09, 2019.
And so, flowing from the revelations and discoveries which are defectively incurable, the Court of Appeal , through a proper application, would positively and favourably grant an Order for STAY OF EXECUTION of the highly questionable judgement and other Orders inherent or made separately on the dispute against the Hon. Chike Okafor .
ISSUE SIX: RIGHT OF APPEAL, AND THE CONSEQUENCE OF APPEAL SUCCESSFULLY FILED:
The success of filing an appeal,on it’s own, ordinarily serves as a notice to stay. However, the better and safest approach remains to seek the intervention of the APPEAL COURT through clearly headed application for the stay of the judgement been challenged on appeal.
The chances of the survival of the Hon. Chike Okafor on appeal, drawing from these discoveries and revelations, which facts and evidence and proofs and records were intentionally and deliberately concealed from the beginning, leading the High Court of the FCT to unpardonable judicial errors and obvious miscarriage of justice , remain most sparkling and inspiring and amazing.
Definitely, the appeal will stand with the corresponding advantages in the restoration of the rights and privileges of the Hon. Chike Okafor as the right and lawful winner of the election!
And so significantly, the envisaged victory would be celebrated as victory for Jehovah and for Democracy in Nigeria and victory for the young people of NIGERIA who the likes of the Hon . Chike Okafor represent!!!!
Conclusively, this challenge involving the Hon. Chike Okafor is a threat to the fledgling democracy in Nigeria, a clearest affront to the provisions of the Constitution, supra, and indeed an electoral coup against the CONSTITUENTS who voted for him overwhelmingly and convincingly in appreciation of his exceptional legislatve representation and purposeful political leadership in verifiable empowerment and demonstrable socio-economic development of the Constituency, as well as uncommon transformation of those around him!
No doubts, it shall end in praises unto Jehovah forever!!!
Let Truth and Constitutionalism prevail always, and be allowed to flow like a river non-stop!!!!
Temple Okonji Esq.
May 23 , 2019.