By Sola Ogunmola
Similar to when he dismally lost the 2019 Presidential Election to President Muhammadu Buhari, defeated People’s Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is again being begged not to head to the Supreme Court after the Presidential Election Petition Tribunal dismissed his challenge of his defeat. Those begging him to shun the apex court are doing a disservice to the nation because they will allow him some level of redemption if he can pretend that it was their appeal that made him accept the Tribunal’s verdict. Only a few genuine lovers of Atiku are begging him to capitulate because they know shame is the only item he will come back with from his judicial shopping.
President Buhari’s guaranteed victory has become Atiku’s shame, a configuration that even the Supreme Court will soon sanction should the election loser persist in approaching the bench. There are at least seven reasons the Supreme Court would affirm Atiku’s loss and shame.
The first is that even the PDP candidate is aware that he is engaged in spear fishing, a long shot in the dark, hoping that by a fluke of defect something will happen to make his wildest dream become a walking reality. But dreams tend to remain in the realm of the intangible so Atiku Abubakar knows that Atiku Abubakar is not going to get by judicial pronouncement that which the electorate have denied him at the ballot.
The second reason is that the nation’s eminent jurists have rediscovered the beauty of honour. Time there was when Atiku was credited with having judges in his pocket to the extent that he was reputable to be capable of buying any legal outcome he desired. But a lot has changed since when he last had unfettered access to the nation’s treasury. This include the reality that Atiku has refused to accept that some of the judges in his pocket have either retired or have left the bench in disgrace. They are no longer in any place to rig outcomes and that much should have been clear to Atiku from what transpired at the Tribunal.
The third reason is that Atiku hired more businessmen than lawyers for his brief. The crowd of dark suited men around him are more interested in bank deposit alerts going off on their phone than telling their client the truth. This team has perfected how to milk public opinion by first deploying lies in the media and then running laughable forecasts on the back of those lies. These are the same men that had misled Atiku to think that his petition at the tribunal was a cut and dried affair that would have seen him sworn in within minutes of the ruling being delivered; instead, the verdict exposed these lawyers as people still toddling in the judicial arena. To place the hope of a favourable Supreme Court verdict on these same team or the consultants they will hire is in the realm of fetching water in a basket. But again, the lawyers had reportedly said they were on the brief to recover their share of the nation’s money in Atiku’s custody.
The fourth reason is that the whole of Atiku’s petition was built on lies. The Tribunal unravelled the lies and delivered its verdict based on this discovery. It will amount to delusion to expect that the Supreme Court would ignore that the petition was based on lies. If anything will change at the apex court it would be the discovery of more lies told by the loser and his legal team.
The fifth reason is that the threat of violence and destabilization of Nigeria should he lose the election has not done much to deter anyone that’s interested in the right thing being done. It did not stop the electorate voting for Buhari. It did not stop the Tribunal from being impartial. There is no way the threat of violence can then coerce the Supreme Court. Rather, the instances of the threats being carried out to cause security breaches in the country could now haunt Atiku as more citizens and groups are demanding that the government get to the root of the violence and the identity of those responsible for terrorising Nigerians.
On the sixth place is the realization that hallucinations played key roles in Atiku’s petition. He saw servers at the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) when none existed. He dreamt incidents of rigging and voter intimidation but was unable to prove them in spite of the length of time he had to make his case. His petition was so hopeless that INEC declined to put up a defence. He cannot bring up new facts or evidence before the Supreme Court, not that he has any. Whatever he wants to use to make his case against the ruling must have again come from the yarn spurn in his dream.
To the seventh reason, even the spiritual realm has rejected Atiku because just about everyone, except his greedy followers, has rejected him. The rejection is not unconnected with the aura and reality of corruption that hang around his persona. All the water of the Gulf of Oman will not wash him clean neither can the entire perfume in Saudi Arabia obscure the stench of corruption that oozes from his person.
Atiku will do well to manage this round of shame well so that there is a sliver of hope that he may yet end his days with some semblance of honour to his name assuming that is still possible. Not going to the Supreme Court would be his saving grace for he will then be able to escape the final ridicule.
This is why those who truly love Nigeria must stop discouraging him from pursuing this path. With the magnitude of damage he did to and he is still doing to the country a trouncing at the Supreme Court by President Buhari still won’t be adequate punishment but it would still be some consolation to the victims of Atiku’s corruption and desperation to clinch power.
Ogunmola wrote from Iyana Ipaja, Lagos.