The reign of pillow-talk law, By Chidi Anselm Odinkalu (

The reign of pillow-talk law, By Chidi Anselm Odinkalu


Even the most eminent among the learned have since raised the decibels of consternation at the happenings in Nigerias law courts.

Looking back at judicial roles in the 2003 and 2007 elections, Obi Nwabueze, Nigerias best known professor of public law and currently the countrys most senior living Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), accused the Supreme Court of playing a discreditable part in manufacturing a jurisprudence of electoral impunity, lamenting the failure by the Court to appreciate that the question of who should rule Nigeria is not one to be decided by a perverse and narrow legalism, by the technicalities of the rules of evidence, practice and procedure and by considerations of expediency.

Nigerias vocation of the law fashions itself after the idea that the law is what the judges decide.

The report observed that of all the elections ever held in this country, none put the judiciary as much on trial as the 1983 elections. The outcomes were a source of considerable shock and dismay to the public, many of whom took the view that the verdicts in a number of instances constituted a rape of democracy perpetrated through the law courts.

Senator Bulkachuwa and retired Justice Bulkachuwa.

Our politicians are no longer content with hiring Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), they also have their own judges. Olusegun Adeniyi, When Judges Imperil Democracy, (4 Jan. 2018)

When he announced himself to the world on 1 January 1984 as military Head of State and leader of the military coup that had just overthrown Alhaji Shehu Shagari, Nigerias then elected president, Muhammadu Buhari, a MajorGeneral, cited as the reason for the coup the fact that the politicians had chosen to circumvent most of the checks and balances in the constitution, complaining that the premium on political power became so exceedingly high that political contestants regarded victory at elections as a matter of life and death struggle and were determined to capture and retain power by all means.

To unravel how the electoral process was derailed, General Buhari empanelled a judicial commission of inquiry into the Federal Electoral Commission (FEDECO), as Nigerias electoral umpire was then known.


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