Judges should seek to extricate themselves from corruption charges. Blame games are totally childish
We’ve been treated to tales of Judges concealing hard currencies in their bedrooms, Justices evading arrest by feigning illness, Judges telling the world how Malaria medications knocked them out; leaving them vulnerable to the machinations of DSS (Department of State Services) operatives.
Judges have regaled us with how their Palm Oil and Rice businesses helped rake in the hard currencies found in their apartments by Law Enforcement.
And we've listened to Judges blaming Transportation Minister, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi for their woes.
These overgrown, whining babies really need to quit taking an entire nation for a ride.
Former Rivers State Governor Amaechi, is no one’s idea of a clean politician. He's certainly no poster boy for the anti-corruption campaign. Everyone who hasn’t been under some rock in the last decade, should be familiar with this bit of trivia by now.
Following accusations from Justice Inyang Okoro of the Supreme Court to the effect that he is suffering because he refused to accede to Amaechi’s request to bend election rulings the APC’s way, Pulse had written that the Minister needs to defend himself and that a banal, run-of-the-mill press statement wasn’t going to cut it.
In that piece, Pulse had also asked President Muhammadu Buhari, whose name was allegedly dropped by Amaechi, to come clean as well.
However, another Supreme Court Justice, Sylvester Ngwuta, has joined the ‘blame-it-on-Amaechi-but-myself-gang’ and we consider the latest turn of events absolutely jejune and diversionary.
Below are excerpts from Ngwuta’s letter; addressed to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Mahmud Mohammed:
“My present plight started sometime between 2013 and 2014. I represented the then Chief Justice of Nigeria in an event organised in the International Conference Centre.
“Rotimi Amaechi came in late and sat next to me at the high table. He introduced himself to me and we exchanged contacts. A few weeks after, Fayose’s case was determined in the Court of Appeal.
“Amaechi called me by 6:45 a.m. He said he had come to see me but was told I had left for my office. When he said he would return in the evening, I demanded to know what he wanted but he would not tell me.
“He did not come that evening but came the following morning when I was already prepared to go to work.
“He begged me to ensure that Fayose’s election was set aside and another election ordered for his friend Fayemi to contest. I told him I would not help him and that even if I was on the panel, I had only my one vote.
“After the Rivers State governorship election was determined by the Court of Appeal, he called to tell me his ears were full and he would like to tell me what he heard.
“I told him I was out of Abuja at the time. On my return, he came in the evening and even before he sat down he barked ‘You have seen Wike.’
“I asked him whether that was a question or a statement. Then he made a call and asked me to speak with someone.
“The man he called said he was a DSS man. We exchanged greetings and I handed the phone to him. Next, he said ‘Oga is not happy’. I asked him who was the unhappy ‘Oga’ and he answered ‘Buhari’.
“I retorted ‘go and talk to his wife’. He got very angry and left, remarking ‘we shall see’ several times.
“My Noble Lord, I am a victim of my own resolve never to violate my sacred oath of office as a judicial officer.
“Politicians and their collaborators have been hunting me on that account. It started in Ebonyi State, where I was falsely accused before a panel set up by NJC in August 2000. It was replicated in 2009 when I was pulled from my Division, Calabar, to preside over a motion filed by Senator Andy Uba, seeking to be a Governor without going through the process of election. In each case, I was exonerated.
“Your Lordship may recall one morning, when I pleaded not to be on the panel for Rivers Appeal.
“Your Lordship said I was already on the panel and asked me to explain why I made the request to be excluded. When I explained what transpired the previous night, Your Lordship told me Amaechi had also attempted to influence other Justices.
“My Lord, on the day we heard the appeal with your Lordship presiding, we were allowed lunch break at 4:20 p.m. The moment I got into my Chambers he, Amaechi, called. When he told who was calling, I said to him, ‘Your Excellency, you want to issue more threats?’ He replied, ‘Have you been threatened before?’ I replied, ‘I know a threat when I hear one even if veiled. In any case, I will not talk to you’ and I switched off my phone”.
Of course there’s no way of verifying Ngwuta's allegations, unless there are audio recordings to back them up. We can say the same for Okoro’s attempts at framing Amaechi into the mess that the bench has become.
Amaechi has described Ngwuta’s version of events as “simply not true, an unadulterated fallacy designed to deceive and distract from the real issues of DSS investigation of acts of corruption against him”.
As you'd expect.
It’s Amaechi’s words against those of the Judges at this point and that’s where we’ll love to draw a line. This is no ping-pong, do-me-I-do-you sorta game. This is some serious shit!
Why are the Judges only just speaking up? Why wait until you are in trouble before running your mouth? Before dragging other persons down with you?
We shouldn’t lose sight of the bigger picture here—these Judges have conducted themselves in embarrassing fashion and should face the music if found culpable. By a similar token, Amaechi should be investigated and tried for all it's worth.
That Justices of the Supreme and High Courts would even allow themselves become beer and cell-phone buddies of an equally corrupt political class, is worrisome and disgraceful in itself.
Learned Justices of the highest courts in the land should know better than to conduct themselves as cheap beggars-- forever at the mercy of politicians.
One wonders just how many Judges dine with sleazy politicians at night only to pervert justice at dawn.
At this rate, we won’t bet against another Judge waking up tomorrow to blame Amaechi or any other Minister for why they couldn’t perform their conjugal functions.
We are sick and tired of this drama!
The bigger picture here remains: Are these Judges guilty of selling justice to the highest bidder as charged?
We shouldn’t be made to take our eyes off the ball by Ngwuta and Okoro, or any other Judge for that matter.
We have bigger fish to fry.