The verdict of the Osun governorship tribunal sacking Ademola Adeleke of the People’s Democratic Party on Friday as the duly elected governor of the state is drawing public scrutiny, particularly on social media, but not for the substance of the ruling, rather, a phrase used by the tribunal judge who delivered the judgement.
The head of the tribunal, Justice Tertsea Aorga Kume, while reading the lead judgment that declared Adegboyega Oyetola of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the election, held that Governor Ademola Adeleke “can’t go lo lo lo” to “Buga won”; apparently referring to Governor Adeleke’s love for music and dancing.
While some people see nothing wrong with the judge quoting Kizz Daniel’s song to buttress the judgment others saw it as unethical and unnecessary.
Already the Osun State chapter of the PDP has faulted the use of the popular ‘Buga’ lyric, describing it as disrespectful to an elected governor.
In a statement issued in Osogbo by the Osun PDP Caretaker Committee Chairman, Akindele Adekunle, the party insisted that the choice of words by Justice Kume was unethical and should not have come from a judicial officer of such repute.
Efforts made by LEADERSHIP SUNDAY to get reactions from some senior lawyers in the country on the issue were not successful, as most of them, questioned whether the judge truly made the remark and said they can only comment on it after they must have read the judgment.
However, a Lagos-based lawyer, Mike Ojo saw nothing wrong with the quote, he said that judges are products of Nigerian society and use local proverbs, poems and idiomatic expressions to express themselves.
Ojo noted that legal icons like Justice Chukwudi Oputa, Justice Kayode Esho, Justice Adolphus Godwin Karibi-Whyte and many others are popular for using language and illustrations to buttress their points.
He said, “So there is nothing wrong in my opinion in the quote because it did not take anything away from the judgment itself and it does not stop the losing party from appealing the tribunal verdict.
According to other lawyers, the expression is pedestrian and should not have been used by the tribunal.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Abdul Balogun, described the expression as unnecessary.
According to him, the expression may be funny but seriously speaking, it has no place in law and should not have been used.
He said, “The expression has no place in law and therefore, shouldn’t have been used. There are other serious expression that should have been used by the tribunal to drive home their point, not lo lo lo lo BUGA”.
Human Rights lawyer, Barrister Edward Omaga, also agreed with the senior advocate that the expression was unnecessary.
“That expression has no place in legal parlance. It’s so funny indeed”, Omaga said.
A Constitutional lawyer, Barrister Oghenovo Otemu, a Constitutional lawyer, said described the expression as belittling of the judiciary.
He said in writing judgement, judges use expressions in the Quran, the Bible and other wise sayings to drive home their point, but the BUGA expression makes a mockery of the judiciary.
He said, “As far as I am concerned, the BUGA expression in a judgment that is as serious as governorship election is pedestrian and shouldn’t have been used”.