Friday, January 25, 2019
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Jos, Nigeria

en are admonished to drop the mindset of greed and embrace the life of contentment but they scoff at such wise sayings of wisdom and make the carriers of such nuggets look like representatives from the Stone Age. Technically, they hinge their reasons for scoffing on the reality ofour societies today and are able to always justify their actions of greed on thefact that life itself is not content but greedy to the point of exerting beyonda person’s financial strength.

There are strong signs that the federal government of Nigeria was all set to nail the CJN Walter Onnoghen in a most ignoble manner. They looked like they had all the evidence to silence every form of blackmail or campaign of calumny against their determined efforts to free up the space and enable the power tasty APC return its presidentialhopeful for a second term in office. What other way to achieve this with easebut to look into the cupboard of perceived obstacles in the hope of findingneeded skeletons?

What other style to use but to arm themselveswith relevant reports on a shady lifestyle that’ll give their craft a face thatappealed to Nigerians. Somehow, things are becoming different these days unlikewhat once obtained where obstacles are simply assassinated. In the First Worldcountries, officers are neck-deep into corrupt practices but they are carefuland always ready to compromise just to keep their skeletons intact and in theconfines of their cupboard.

Since the first day the news stormed the newsspace, a great percentage of Nigerians are still hypnotized with the politicalside of the saga especially with the fact that the CJN was another obstacle inthe way of a vicious pirate and therefore another victim of state intimidation;without a thought to the legality of a public officer being in possession ofseveral foreign bank accounts as against what the Constitution says. Few areconcerned about what a sitting law officer did with several fat foreignaccounts.

Can this officer still deliver justice when worsecome worst? But there is another question that begs for an answer. Nigeriansare aware that a number of persons who worked with this current government areembroiled in very shady stories that stinks yet none of them have been brought tobook. Therefore it looked like a selective campaign or like a well rehearsed scriptwhere persons with skeletons in their cupboards are let into government andwhen it served government right; they are used to score cheap political points.

Persons like Prof. Usman Yusuf (NHIS), Engr.Babachir Lawal (fmr. SGF), Amb. Ayo Oke (fmr. boss NIA), Col. Lawal Daura (fmr.Boss DSS), Munir Gwarzo (SEC), Kemi Adeosun, Justice Walter Onnoghen (CJN) and the formeraide to the president’s wife – Mr. Sani Baban-Inna. Among these persons so mentioned,only Walter Onnoghen’s case has received so speedy action that got tongueswagging. Is this therefore what the corruption fight is all about? Yes, thecase is about the false declaration of asset. But what if those monies that layin those foreign accounts are quite legitimate? What if they could be explainedlegally?

Onnoghen has been in the law practice for decadesand several governments have passed. Chances are that the several politicianswho have come and gone in the past are friends or perhaps once a client. Don’tforget that constitutional cases were once very popular in the past and thatmany of today’s celebrity lawyers benefited from the lawlessness that thepolitical class put our political system in. Somehow, a guy like Onnoghen canexplain the source of whatever he had in those foreign accounts.

In those days, lawyers like Ricky Tarfa, JosephDauda, Wole Olanipekun and several others reigned as prominent constitutionallawyers. They made so much money and had a great deal of popularity. What thismeans is that if any one of those constitutional lawyers was appointed as CJN,he/she would probably collide with the law either way. Now, we know ofwindfalls; don’t we? These lawyers have been in practice up until when thepolitical class came with their influence that corrupted many who associatedwith them.

For me, the legal side of the Onnoghen’s ordealremained a subject of speculation until a competent court of law makes apronouncement. However, let me state in a very strong term that the CJN’sordeal is a good example for why the people of Nigeria must change the way wedid things. If the proves – for instance – that the foreign accounts of the CJNheld monies whose sources cannot be explained; would that not amount adisgraceful end for a gentleman with a fine profile?

If the head of Nigeria’s judicial system could becaught pants down like any other Nigerian who knew nothing of the law; does itnot suggest that we are just joking? The law says that every appointee mustdeclare asset with the code of conduct bureau but the federal government andthe CJN both looked the other way when the romance was sweet. Oshiomole said itbest when he recently said that anyone who joined the APC would have their sinsforgiven.

If the Nigerian people are expected to applaudthe government of the day as fighting corruption; it will be a slap on us all.For why is the fight always coming when the love affair goes soar? When thegoing was good for the government, Rochas Okorocha was in deed a friend butwhen it went soar; Nigerians began to know certain things that we ought to haveknown before now.

And if the CJN expects that the people of Nigeriawill side with him on the grounds of emotion or sentiment; there he goes wrong.The mere fact of having several foreign bank accounts – is a sign of greed fora law man – and anyone in his right senses will not want to be seen associatingwith such kind of greed. Nigerians are hungry today because Buhari decided tofight corruption and, also because the greedy in our midst has chosen to remainunsympathetic to the plight of Nigerians and therefore have continued toencourage greed.

Corruption, we must understand is when a citizenof the federation of Nigeria satisfied self in violation of the rights offellow citizens or statutory laws. The CJN knows the law; his employer knowsthe law as well but now that the interest of both parties conflicted, theviolation is remembered and the public is treated to another TALES BY MOONLIGHTstories. The question becomes DO THESE LEADERS SYMBOLIZE OUR SERVANTS OR OURRULERS? AND IS THIS DRAMA THE PROMISED FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION?

This is the major reason why I find it hard tonot disagree with the manner in which this corruption fight was prosecuted. Folksare not prosecuted because it was in the interest of the federation but becauseit served the APC, the Cabal and the President. President Buhari has allowedmany criminals around him because he hoped to use them for his personalpursuits and anyone of those who failed to fall into line was made to look likethe worse rouge in Nigeria.

This is what they once hoped they could achievewith the Saraki trial back then and since they failed, they lost influence overthe national assembly allowing the president of NASS to rule with much impunityto the point of owing backlog of salaries. Now, if the CJN should win his casewith the federal government; Nigeria may yet witness the rise of an independentjudiciary that is fraught with much indiscretion and impunity from lawyersespecially those from the ambitious fold.