Bello Magaji Tackles Osinbajo Over Supreme Court
Renowned legal icon, Professor Mohammed Bello Magaji, has disagreed with the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on the position that the Supreme Court of Nigeria often exceeds its limit of intervention in election matters at the detriment of the electorate.
Magaji, who is a professor of Law at the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Yola, told Sunday Sun in a telephone interview that he disagreed with Osinbajo because the role of the judiciary had been spelt out in Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended.
Osinbajo had penultimate Monday expressed worries over judicial interventions in election matters, pointing out that the Supreme Court had always exceeded its limit in electoral issues to the disadvantage of the electorate.
He spoke as a Special Guest of Honour at the 53rd Conference of the Nigerian Association of Law Teachers held at the Bayero University, Kano (BUK) with the theme: “Law, Democracy and the Electoral Process.”
Reacting, Magaji said: “The Vice President is a thoroughbred legal luminary and a versatile academician. He is entitled to his own views with regards to the issue of judicial functions of the Supreme Court of Nigeria (SCN). His views as expressed to us at the conference harp on the need for the SCN to consider the feelings of the electorate in arriving at its decision with regards to electoral cases. He cited the case of APC versus Marafa to press home his point.
“However, with utmost respect to the erudite law professor and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, I do not agree with his position on this. This is because the role of the judiciary is clearly spelt out in Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The various enactments, policy directions, and plethora of judicial decisions bound the court to adjudicate based on the evidence and issues presented and canvassed before it. Thus the court is not expected to go on a voyage of discovery by introducing as a basis for its decision issues or evidence not presented or argued before it.”
Also speaking further on VP’s membership of the Law Teachers Association, he said: “It is a thing of joy that the Vice President is a very formidable and committed member of our Association. He has demonstrated great interest and contributed greatly to the Association. This is a great legal mind in all aspects of legal jurisprudence. Be that as it may, our association is apolitical and not a political association. Much as we may want one of our own who possesses all it takes to be the President of Nigeria in terms of intellectual capacity, international exposure, administrative competence, etc, it is not within our mandate to pressure him into the presidential race.”
Culled from The Sun