As the nation awaits with baited breath the the fate of six governors whose election are currently being challenged at the Supreme Court, the information has been coming in bits and pieces.
For the fact the judgement which could have been delivered on Monday were adjourned until Tuesday (today) further heightened the tension attracting national interest with both journalists, security agents, politicians and other stakeholders well represented.
One of the journalists who was on a national call to duty was the Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), FCT Chapter, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche. But his experience at the hands of those he termed ‘overzealous security agents’ left a source taste in his mouth.
He and other journalists were almost stopped and bullied out from performing his duties by some officers of the Nigerian Police Force and Department of State Services (DSS) who could not understand the reality of news coverage of the event for the nation.
Here was the account of his experience as narrated in his social media page:
The security operatives in this country most times are not only overzealous, but foolishly arrogant.
On my way into the Supreme Court this morning, at the pilot gate of the Villa, the SSS operative asked, “where to?”
Me: “Supreme Court.”
Him: “For what?”
Me: “I am a journalist so it is for the determination of the governorship appeals.”
He scanned the two colleagues with me I had given lift.
Him waving to those in front to turn us back by the detour they had illegally created.
Drove on, the other operatives say you have to make a U-turn. I jejely parked the car as both the SSS and policemen came to ask me to make the U-turn.
I came down, “who is your squad leader?” In a cacophony of voices, “Oga, turn your car (sic)”
In my shrill voice, “I am not ONLY a journalist, but the CHAIRMAN of NUJ Abuja, tell me why I should ‘turn’?”
“Sorry, Sir, it was because of yesterday we had a directive to screen people.”
Me: “Screen well.” Entered and zoomed off!
Recall that if not for the sudden illness of a Supreme Court Justice on Monday, the fate of six governors whose election are currently being challenged would have been decided by the apex court in Abuja.
The Supreme Court had listed a total of 13 political cases which include: eight appeals and five cross appeals for hearing and possibly determination, owing to the time bound nature of the cases.
Among the appeals listed for Monday were that of Abba Yusuf against the election of Kano Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje; Ahmed Aliyu against Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State, and Mohamed Abubakar against the election of Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.
Others are the trio appeals of Ifeanyi Ararume, Hope Uzodinma and Uche Nwosu against the election of Emeka Ihedioha: Senator Jeremiah Useni against Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State and Emmanuel Jime against election of Samuel Ortom as Governor of Benue State.
However with the exception of Bauchi Governor, all other governors whose elections were being challenged filed cross appeals also in the matter at the apex court.