War on judges: Selling the dog and buying the monkey

By Editor on 16/10/2016

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Nigerian judges

 

Do you still remember that fateful day when General Muhammadu Buhari (GMB), as he then was, broke down in tears in public? Of course, you must also have heard that it is an aberration for an ordinary soldier to express such an extreme sentiment, not to talk about a fully-decorated General and to boot, former Military Head of State.
Do you also remember General Oladipo Diya, and how he earned the derogatory sobriquet – The Weeping General – after the appearance of that pitiable and degenerate revelation of him cringing in tears before his juniors, on the day he was captured for plotting a coup against his boss, General Sani Abacha?
Now, I would vote Buhari high above the Odogbolu-born General on who is the real soldier, relying solely on my observation rather than experience or anything else. Diya, depicted and still depicts the picture of a jolly good fellow more on the easy side of life. But his Daura-born counterpart, cuts a different picture - a steely, Spartan and emotionless, capable of looking hardship and pain in the face and mock them.
Yet, in the end, it came down to the same thing, when it mattered. Heated by the furnace of nature, they could only do what was expected – succumb. Both – Generals – cried.
For Diya, it was the thought of the unenviable, but inevitable end – of how his body would argue with hot lead at the stake, after the opulent and sumptuous experiences his office offered him as Nigeria’s number two citizen.
Image result for buhari and judges
Buhri and judges

For Buhari, it was obviously different. Though a veteran of coup himself, he was not under any of threat of physical harm. It was purely psychological. Here was an opportunity to retrieve what was lost about three years ago. Twice now, he had almost clinched it and twice, he was denied by his fellow General, the Aremu of Ota.
Now, it was a bloody civilian from the Niger Delta creek that he had to contend with. And that was a simple task. 2011, was going to be his year for the taking. So, out he went into the field. At the end of the day, it came down to the same thing – wishes denied.
But the General was not alone. Virtually all of us, who were his ardent apostles and who believed that he was the messiah Nigeria was looking for, and had followed him and preached at various alters and market places, wherever we believed we could win converts to the new gospel, had felt the same way too. We had believed it too.
So, it was not surprising what happened that day. Like Jesus Christ, looked at the multitude of sheep without a shepherd and had pity on them, Buhari, looking at the thousands of eyes focused on him that afternoon at the International Conference Center (ICC), in Abuja, and the apparent hopelessness in the countenances of their owners to their obvious, been moved by the unspeakable message they foretold. Everything, including his military training, must have given way, for him to have broken down and wept.
Fortunately, not all of us did the unthinkable. Rather than unsheathing the swords from the scabbards and went on slaughtering rampage in Kaduna, Bauchi and some other Northern states, some of us had believed it would be easy this time - as easy as removing a bug from the ear of a dog.
We were sure the court would do the needful. The “evidence” was so clear and overwhelming and the marks of the electoral heist so glaring that it would be an open and shot case, we had thought. Assured that like the General he was, and a dogged one for that matter, he was going to be the David that would ultimately bring us the head of Goliath, some of us were not only planning very hard for our celebration, but actually constructing the words with which we would shut-up and mock our enemies.
You could therefore, imagine how hard-hit we were by the verdicts that came from the courts. First, the Court of Appeal, which dissolved itself into the court of first instance in hearing the petition, had dismissed the case on such “flimsy” excuse that we believed we were in another land. But then, we kept our hopes alive, until the Supreme Court dealt us the final blow. Chief Mike Ahamba, whom, it would become his lot and ill-luck to carry the can of that judicial heist, was completely distraught. It was like a thunderbolt.
So, don’t be surprised the moves you are seen today. If anything, it seems to be coming rather late. Yes. Our chorus then had been, there must be this cleansing of of the Augean Stable. We craved it. We still do.
Indeed, like Buhari, I believe that the judiciary is culpable as charged. I believe it handed the bad guys the weapons with which they destroyed our politics, by protecting them with misinterpretation and misapplication of our laws. I also believe the day our judiciary began to give judgements without fear or favour, affection and (or) ill-will, our democracy will get a new infusion of fresh blood, the anaemia, will disappear and a new life will begin. The concomitant effect will be that all aspects of the polity will be repaired, including a vibrant economy and an enduring social order, because the right people being elected into offices to pave the way.    
But then, is this what we yearned? Is the direction as genuine as the impetus of motion? Just like everything else assumes a different meaning in the hands of Nigerian government, the entire enterprise has become mired. The motive is now divorced from the process, if not as doubtful, leaving in place more telling and ominous signs. For all it is worth, we might as well have just sold our dog, only to purchase a monkey, thus ensuring that we still have a sitting animal in the house.
From the foregoing narrative, there is no doubt that President Muhammadu Buhari, having gone through the crucible of political manipulations in the past, with ample connivance and support of the judiciary, would be right to believe, as many of his compatriots that an overhaul is as imperative as the need for a viable and healthy democracy founded on the ethos of one man one vote. He would then be right as the superintendent of the nation’s affairs, even under the principles of separation of powers to make the move, as we have seen in the last fortnight or so, what do we now have as the result? The same old story.
The story George Orwell's Animal Farm of all animals are equal, but some are more equal than the others – of herdsmen descending on an entire village and executing an orgy of carnage on residents and nothing is heard beyond a feeble statement from the seat of power only to promptly dispatch contingents of heavily-decked security forces to unleash the most lethal weapons in the nation’s arsenal, on armless and harmless citizens, whose only offence was that they dared move into the street to carry out demonstrations, apparently to teach them a lesson or two.
Oh yes, the story of swooping on vocal members of a political party and giving them the worst of public disgrace, with some forced to attend court sessions in handcuffs, while rewarding others of equal or even more atrocious hues with juicy jobs, just because they belong – of freezing the bank account of a state governor or a former First Lady, for not “explaining the source,” while looking the other way when the names of a General is mentioned for purchasing billions of Naira-worth houses in Dubai or another clearing the grass in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp with N300million.
In the instant case of the judges, it might be difficult to exculpate them of blame of the charges against them. But this pales into insignificance as has become the case with the question of the anti-graft war in the country or even the question of government attitude of not treating issue with equal measure.
Thus, even with the ear-splitting amounts of millions of local and foreign currencies, said to have been recovered from the home of the judges, in the “sting operations” by the Department of State Services (DSS), the issue can only elicit at best, a snigger from any right-thinking member of the society, simply because, as the legendary Fela, sang we dey see the thing wey de happen, we dey hear am too.
Nigerians know the difference between when the judges are being called to question purely on matters of of misconduct and when they are being hounded for not playing ball. Yes, it may be a matter of perception, but perception is reality, perception matters.
Of course, the argument is made that you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs. But of what use would that egg be if it is smashed on a wall or crushed with an iron bar?
The National Judicial Council (NJC), only a few days ago, came out with a response that the move is a calculated attempt to intimidate the judiciary. Before then, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), had toed the same line and so, the Chief Justice of the Federation (CJN). They even vowed to resist the attempt. You may as well guess the outcome.
Yes. If you replace a corrupt judge with a coward, what have you done? You simply sell a dog to buy a monkey.
These are not only interesting, but strange and even dangerous times. Instructively, the odd transformation of leaders once they get to Aso Rock Villa, beggars understanding, until the outing of Reuben Abati, an insider, the other day. The jigsaw puzzle has finally fallen in place.
Now, we have a clue that the devil actually lives in Aso Rock, and is fervently doing his bit of twisting the minds of its occupants, apart from other dangerous escapades, is it not time that we all dropped our gauntlets and went down on our knees, knowing that what is confronting us is not man-made.

 

 

Source Whirlwindnews.com

Posted on October, 16 2016

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