It is commonly said that the judiciary is the last hope of the common man but when technicality becomes the major deciding tool in the dispensing of natural justice, the hope of that common man becomes battered, scattered and shattered.
When technicality is elevated above the merits of a case, proper dispensation of justice becomes encumbered and wallows in jeopardy. Then only the fittest survives!
In the case of Dr. Nathaniel Adojutelegan vs Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN, the court frantically hunted for technical loopholes and found one in the purported filing of the case out of time allotted for such pre-election matters which it used to snuff life out of the case.
In the same manner, the court also combed the case brought before it by Mrs. Jumoke Anifowose challenging the validity of nomination of Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu SAN as the candidate of the All Progressives Congress and yet again stumbled upon a technical reason employed in throwing her case into the refuse bin.
Neither of the two cases was treated on its own merits but was torn into shreds by technicality.
Anyway, the higher court of jurisdiction is expected to determine whether the date of the first originating summon is irremediably injured by the changes in the originating summon at a later date other than the first date due to a certain error which received the nod of the court for correction and whether such later date takes precedence over the first date when the originating summon was first initiated.
However, the implication of employing technicality to scuttle a meritorious case is that it succeeds in emboldening a criminally minded person to go on with the commission of crime since he has the technicality angle to obliterate the merits in the ensuing case.
This also implies that if a common man increasingly finds it hard to get justice due to technicality encumberances, he may likely result to self-help which in itself, leads to break down of law and order, avoidable pandemonium and anarchy.
This was exactly the scenario that played out in the matter between the Federal Government and the EndSARS protesters last year October. When the lives of the youths were being continually endangered and most of the time, cut down in their prime and yet there seemed to be no end in sight, they took law into their hands in order to put an end to the sight. Invariably, the action led to collosal loss of lives and property.
That is exactly what happens when a man is pushed to the wall. Rather than allowing a criminally minded person to perpetrate illegality and get away with it through technicality, hell may be let loose between the cheater and the cheated. And the consequence may be monumental such as rare in the annals of man!
When technicality is elevated to the status of deciding where the pendulum of justice swings, only the strongest survives.
Whither then is the place of the common man other than bottling up his hopelessness until it reaches the elastic limit?
Leye Igbabo writes from Ifedore LG, Ondo State.
PS: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the text belong solely to the author, and not necessarily that of the Publishers of The Precision NG.