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Echoes From Supreme Court Judgment On Bayelsa State Governorship Election By Stanley Imhanruor Esq.

The All Progressives Congress should accept the judgment of the Supreme Court on the Bayelsa State governorship seat in good faith.

In fairness to the Supreme Court justices, they interpreted the law strictly the way it is.

Meanwhile, law lords like Oputa JSC and Lord Denning, would have by judicial creativity and activism saved Mr David Lyon from being disqualified along with his running mate in this kind of situation.

One can argue that the Supreme Court ought to have looked beyond the dry letters of the law in disqualifying and invalidating the election of Mr Lyon but often time the strict interpretation of the law does not come out beautiful and pleasurable.

However, the law should be amended in such a manner that a candidate in similar circumstances should not be made to sink or swim with his or her running mate by virtue of section 187(1) of the 1999 constitution (as altered) – the joint nomination/ticket principle.

Therefore, a clear-cut legislative intervention is the best way out so that popular votes can always count at the end of the day and the seeming imposition of clear losers as winners in election by the courts vide their interpretative powers will be largely if not permanently curtailed.

Otherwise, clear losers in electoral contest will continuously be declared winners by our courts in similar circumstances.

APC as a party should not belabour the issue further by approaching the Supreme Court to review the judgment.

The APC has to swallow the bitter but realistic pill dished out by the Supreme Court and move on.

The APC should take consolation in the fact that 99 per cent of Nigerians irrespective of political leaning sympathise with Mr Lyon for the unfortunate fate that befell him through no crime or sin of his.

Hopefully, by this judgment political parties will learn, unlearn and relearn many lessons and put same to use going forward.

But the Supreme Court has spoken and very loudly and clearly so.

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