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Obasanjo’s transition, darkest in Nigeria’s history –Eso

Posted by By OLA AGBAJE on 2007/05/04 | Views: 641 |

Obasanjo’s transition, darkest in Nigeria’s history –Eso


Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso, has described the current political transition as, perhaps, the most heinous in Nigeria’s attempts at democracy.

Retired Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Kayode Eso, has described the current political transition as, perhaps, the most heinous in Nigeria’s attempts at democracy.

Justice Eso, who gave this opinion in the lecture, Leadership, Democracy and Corruption", he delivered in Lagos Wednesday, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of one of the nation’s founding fathers, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, bemoaned the series of irregularities, absurdities and legal infractions that characterised the transition process, and concluded that it was the darkest period in the nation’s life.
He was, however, optimistic that the judiciary, which has so far shown courage in upholding the rule of law, will save the day eventually.

Alluding to the words of the late sage, Eso said: "After the prolonged darkness, we will surely have a glorious dawn. He however noted that "the dawn is being ushered in by the judiciary of the nation."

Recapping the bizarre happenings that have become features of the present democratic experiment, the renowned jurist said: "This, after all, is one country where election has been slated to be fought as a ‘do or die’ gladiatorial battle.

"This is one country where some ballot boxes for the election were discovered in the house of a named controversial political bigwig in one town and in the premises of his consort in another town in the same state few days before the election.

"And notwithstanding protests from the electorate and apparent outbursts by the umpire, up till the date of the election and even thereafter, till this day, no explanation, nor the result of any investigation, if any, was given to the electorate.

"This is the country where lorry loads of election boxes were reported stolen by armed robbers on the eve of the election and no result of police investigation has been revealed with regard to the robbery nor the effect it would have had on the election.

"This is certainly the country, where there are allegations, true or false, that on election day, soldiers and policemen in uniforms were on intimidating parade, armed with at least tear gas, even in a declared free and fair election!”

He also observed that protesting voters were shown on the television mowed down with guns, women protesters shown naked to the loins, and dead bodies reported, true or false, to be deposited in Oba’s palaces.

"This is a country… where reports are circulated of property destroyed with wanton abandon, while law enforcement agencies were reported to have watched helplessly.
"It is where results have been alleged to have been declared by the umpire even when they had not been as required by law, signed by the agents of any of the parties, except by the agents of the winning party," he said.

Eso lamented that the quantum of absurdity of our democratic experiment was further reinforced by the Nigeria Bar Association’s (NBA) accusation against the Attorney General of the Federation that he had behaved as if he were the appellate court, staying the decisions of the courts until the other party has not only appealed but got the result of the appeal.

"It is a country where a high court judge has been accused of assuming jurisdiction over the decision of the Supreme Court," he said.

Speaking further, the retired Supreme Justice Eso picked holes in the questionable April 12 public holiday which coincided with the fixture by the Supreme Court of a most important constitutional matter, which was bound to affect the fortune of one of the contestants, saying, "If it was a coincidence, it is an unhappy one. For it is one action which is being freely interpreted as giving credence to the deliberate usurpation by the executive of the function of the judiciary."

He explained that it is only through good leadership that the nation can get out of its current parlous state of affair.

According to him, a true leader must lead by example rather than by precepts.

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Comments (6)

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Joel Efiong(Calabar, Nigeria)says...

This is a great piece. The examination bodies should hire you as ICT consultant.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

ULIMASI means' GOD,THANK YOU' not THANK GOD.

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Sunday Mbe(Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria)says...

The name ULIMASI is from the UTUGWANG tribe in OBUDU local government area of CROSS RIVER STATE in Nigeria.

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Okfold(Sobe, Edo, Nigeria)says...

I want the meaning of female owan name Ekeke (Edo state)

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Toluwalase Samuel Olufemi(Ijebu, Ogun, Nigeria)says...

Authority belongs to God, once He decrees it is final and binding