A former spokesperson for ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Dr. Doyin Okupe, has lambasted the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, for his recent comment against Supreme Court judgments.
Odigie-Oyegun had, while reacting to the apex court’s ruling on the governorship elections in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states, lamented that the Peoples Democratic Party was now in control of the oil-rich Niger Delta.
The APC chairman had also berated the Supreme Court justices, adding that there was the need for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to overhaul the judiciary.
However, Okupe said in a Facebook post on Thursday that it was unfortunate that Odigie-Oyegun could lament PDP’s control of oil-producing states.
He said, “While Chief Odigie-Oyegun in his parochial and mercantile political effusion is beclouded by financial considerations, the respected judges of the Supreme Court must adjudicate on the principles of law, equity and justice.
“Chief Odigie-Oyegun and indeed all of us, politicians, are to be blamed for undermining the credibility of the electoral process, leading to a situation where virtually all elections are not only contested but frivolously pursued to the Supreme Court.
“Instead of educating our supporters and voters on appropriate civil, honest and disciplined behaviour on election days, we use money, thugs and security forces to wantonly undermine the electoral process. By so doing, we directly and inadvertently, transfer the power to choose political leaders from the people, to the courts.”
Okupe urged the APC chairman to learn to accept defeat as no one can win all the time.
The former presidential spokesman said it was time for the Nigerian political landscape to become as civil as that of the United States which had not recorded a single casualty during electioneering.
He added, “It is instructive to note that in the recently concluded presidential primaries in Iowa, USA, scarcely was any police officer or security agent noticed at the caucuses neither did any act of violence occur at any point.
“Nigerians with or without their political leaders must unite and stand up in support of justice and rule of law in our society and in all the facets of our national life.
“There is no doubt that there are elements of corruption within the judiciary but people in government have all it takes to address the situation discreetly and appropriately without bringing down this great institution and the very last hope of the common man.”
Meanwhile, the senator representing Bayelsa-East senatorial district, Ben Murray-Bruce, has also slammed Odigie-Oyegun for his comment against the apex court.
The senator said the APC chairman’s comments gave the impression that the only reason the APC was in power was because of oil.
He said the APC should emulate former President Goodluck Jonathan who accepted defeat despite being the incumbent.
Murray-Bruce, in a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle on Thursday, said the APC chair was wrong to have called for the probe of the justices of the apex court.
He said, “When the chairman of the ruling party calls for the probe of Supreme Court justices due to an unfavourable ruling, it ridicules the anti-corruption war. We should all be good sportsmen like former President Jonathan and learn to accept defeat instead of calling for the probe of Supreme Court justices.
“Are you telling Nigerians the only reason you are in power is because of oil? And you are bold enough to threaten Supreme Court justices! Oil should not be the reason why you should lament losing a state and calling for the probe of our revered Supreme Court justices. First, President Buhari called the judiciary a headache now his party’s chairman threatens them with investigation. Are we safe?”