By Bala Ibrahim.
The supreme court has unanimously thrown away Atiku Abubakar’s appeal challenging the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari for lack of merit. The verdict today, has laid to rest, the badly planned, badly executed and ominous ambition of Atiku Abubakar, to clinch the highest seat of power in Nigeria, at least for the 2019-2023 political season. The Waziri is now left with two options, all of them politically humiliating.
Option one is to eat the humble pie, pick the phone, call to apologize and congratulate the people’s president, President Muhammadu Buhari. It would cost him more though, because the president is in far away Saudi Arabia. Option two is to reject the verdict and continue living in delusion, by keeping quite with a painful political malice. Though he had lived in a fool’s paradise for long, I doubt if Atiku would opt for the latter, because it has a higher opportunity cost.
Long before today’s verdict, many discerning minds have advised Atiku to accept the wish of the people and the will of God, by throwing in the towel and admitting defeat. Prof. Itse Sagay (SAN), was the first to counsel Atiku Abubakar against going to the Supreme Court. The legal luminary said, lawyers with good knowledge of Election Laws know that Atiku’s petition against Buhari’s victory is a futile exercise.
Ussiju Medaner, an ardent analyst was equally unambiguous when he said, “Atiku’s legal team came to court to play sentiment, forgetting that sentiment does not have a place in our jurisprudence, and brilliance would never make up for lack of hard evidential facts to support a case. Atiku’s team chose to forget that cases are decided on facts and evidences, and won on merits but never on public opinions. The petitioner did more job on the social media than in the court room”.
Indeed one need not be a lawyer to make mockery of Atiku’s submissions in court and those of his supporters on the social media, particularly the ridiculous argument that Buhari is not qualified because he has no WAEC certificate. It is not only sad but very absurd. They seem mentally too lazy to look at Section 318 (1), which provides: In this constitution, unless it is otherwise expressly provided or the context otherwise requires – “School Certificate or its equivalent” means (a) a Secondary School Certificate or its equivalent, or Grade II Teacher’s Certificate, the City and Guilds Certificate; or (b) education up to Secondary School Certificate level; or (c) Primary Six School Leaving Certificate or its equivalent and (i) service in the public or private sector in the Federation in any capacity acceptable.
The verdict of the supreme court should give PMB the impetus to take the likes of Atiku to the cleaners without delay, because everyone knows why Atiku went into the race in the first place. It was aimed at evading prosecution through the illegal and illegitimate acquisition of presidential immunity. The way and manner he executed the campaign, clearly suggested the Waziri was banking on something sinister to win the election. Thank God for the maturity, tolerance and patience of PMB, who permitted their evil plots to go full circle before crashing. With Atiku tamed, the so called Game changer changed, the Kogi crook, who permitted himself to be used and dumped, would inadvertently be on his way to political oblivion.
PMB had really demonstrated equanimity, by watching while they were carrying out their devilish plans, thinking that money combined with rascality, can defeat modesty and integrity. From the failed electoral bill to the supreme court, where Onnenghen was positioned to play the ‘mortician’, everything was tailored towards defeat by default. Atiku had no plans for a clean contest, based on the merit of competence, because, as his former boss and co-traveler on this journey of doom, chief Olusegun Obasanjo puts it, Atiku believes in money and marabouts much more than God.
The simple implication of today’s judgement is that, contrary to Atiku’s claim that he is PUKKA or the real, that has never lost a legal battle, he is nothing now but a political fake. He has lost at the polls, lost at the tribunal and now skunked at the supreme court.
It is pertinent for the president to know that, having spent his first term studying their antics and shenanigans, and having gotten the legitimate mandate of Nigerians and the endorsements of the courts, he would do a lot of disservice to the people and his hard earned reputation, if he fails to deal decisively with these saboteurs.
The recently renewed vigor of the regime, has given the doubting Thomas’s the optimism to support his war against corruption. EFCC is increasingly winning and sending the corrupt into shivers, by touching the hitherto untouchables. Some highly placed public officials have been suspended or relieved of their appointments due to the allegations of corruption. This is viewed as a sincere step in the right direction.
First to go was the former SGF, Bachir Lawan, who was removed from office after he was indicted by a Senate committee that investigated the management of money meant to assist persons displaced by Boko Haram, in what is popularly called, the grass cutting scandal. Also gone and charged is Ayodele Oke, the former head of the NIA, who was removed from office after millions of dollars belonging to the agency were found in an apartment in Ikoyi Lagos. Another senior official sent packing is Mrs.Winifred Ekanem Oyo-Ita, former Head of Service, who was directed to proceed on an indefinite leave to allow for the conclusion of investigation over financial impropriety. Since Atiku has now turned into an advocate of justice, it is extremely important for the government to allow the justice system put him on trial.
In the heat of his speculated departure to the US, the Federal Government, through the minister of justice, Lai Mohammed, said it is in possession of fresh evidence linking Atiku to the collapse of Bank PHB. The minister said Atiku had questions to answer in connection with an alleged N156m slush fund that he took from the bank through Claremont Management Services Account on the 13th January, 2009. This, and other corruption issues raised by Obasanjo, particularly in the power sector and the privatization exercise which he supervised, should be revisited in the interest of justice and fair play. And in doing that, the axe should not spare the most cunning, who are behind the scam of, ATIKU IS COMING.
There is an African proverb that says, Ears that do not listen to advise, follow the head when it is chopped off.