By Ononye VC
The United States based pro-democracy group, National Democratic Coalition (NADECO), has called for a comprehensive constitutional and institutional reforms in Nigeria.
It said Nigeria as presently constituted wobbles within the shadow of itself. This was as it bemoaned the ‘alleged’ recklessness of the nation’s judiciary.
NADECO said this in a statement signed by its Executive Director, Lloyd Ukwu and Publicity Secretary, Comrade David Adenekan, on Monday.
According to the group, the Supreme Court judgement that upheld the disputed electoral victory of President Bola Tinubu, was antithetical to the will of the masses, adding that the transfer of sovereignty was beyond the scope of the judicial authority.
Part of the statement reads, “Justice Musa Muhammad Dattijo’s recent proclamation on the state of the Nigerian judiciary serves as a compelling validation of NADECO USA’s long-standing concerns. His departure from the apex court marked an occasion for a sober reflection, with particularly damning critiques of the judiciary and Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN Olukayode Ariwoola.
“The hallowed image of the Supreme Court of Nigeria as the bastion of justice for the common man has been significantly tarnished in the eyes of the nation’s populace, and NADECO USA is no exception to this disillusionment. In this vein, the organization unequivocally rejects the Supreme Court’s judgment rendered on October 26, 2023, regarding the February 25 presidential election.
“NADECO draws a disconcerting parallel between the events of February 25, 2023, and the historic June 12, 1993, election. While the key distinction is the involvement of General Sani Abacha in the latter case and Mr. Bola Tinubu as a civilian candidate in the former, the fundamental principle of justice and the people’s trust in the judiciary remains steadfast.
“Consider for a moment that, hypothetically, Abacha had secured a Supreme Court judgment declaring him the civilian President of Nigeria during the June 12 era—NADECO and the Nigerian populace would have, without hesitation, rejected such a judgment, regardless of its source at the apex court. This is analogous to NADECO’s rejection of the current judgment on February 25, 2023.
“NADECO firmly advocates for a comprehensive and extensive institutional reform that transcends anything less than a complete overhaul. Nigeria urgently requires a fresh, organic constitution that accurately reflects the nation’s political history, both pre and post-independence.
“While the Nigeria Supreme Court has delivered its judgment, the time has come for the true “People’s Supreme Court” to hold sway. Sovereignty inherently belongs to the people, and the transfer of such sovereignty from the populace to a select group of Nigerian elites, or to the so-called “last man standing,” is beyond the scope of judicial authority. No Nigerian court can diminish the inalienable sovereignty of the people.”