Published on Oct. 23, 2016 by uchechi collins
Nigerian Judges

October 23, 2016.

When the masses of a country lose confidence in the judiciary of that country, sooner or later that country will land into lawlessness, chaos, anarchy and eventually war. In such a state, citizens would first refrain from reporting issues to police/courts and when they are invited to the police/ courts, they would not report themselves. When the police go to arrest them, they would resist arrest. And when they resist arrest, the police would use force which might result to physical exchange of blows, bullets and other destructive weapons.

When Judges continually pervert justice because of bribery, then the masses that go into violence and/or lawlessness should not be blamed because the judges that vowed, in an oath of office, to serve the masses in all honesty have reneged on their oaths hence the masses can venture to revenge which definitely would lead to societal pandemonium.

This lawlessness and disobedience to courts' invitations and/or injunctions could be seen as a way of displaying their loss of confidence in the judiciary.

This way of displaying loss of confidence may also be adopted by the Executive arm of the government when courts' injunctions do not favour them as a result of bribery. Then, the government can deliberately absent herself from the courts; abscond the courts, refuse to appear in courts; make prejudicial comments to publicly inform the Judge(s) what the government wants; disobey courts' rulings; and so on.

But should a state or country degenerate to such a scenario as described above? The answer is NO!

Yet the Federal Government of Nigeria under President Muhamadu Buhari has followed this path of disobedience to courts injunctions on several occasions, which is at the public domain, which one of such court's injunctions was the order given by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court, Abuja, on 17th December, 2015, to release Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) unconditionally and immediately.

If such disobedience to courts injunctions, as practised by the Federal government of Nigeria, is shared by the masses, don't you see pandemonium in the Nigerian state?

If the government which swore to uphold the rule of law and the country's sacred constitution is now found to be ridiculing it, shouldn't there be "vote of no confidence" from the masses on the government?

Such vote of no confidence has been cast on Justice John Tsoho who gave two contradictory judgements on the case of Nnamdi Kanu, and subsequently resigned from the case as demanded by IPOB.

This vote of no confidence on Tsoho is not out of place because he made some judicial blunder which he wouldn't have made had he not been bribed by the Nigerian government under Buhari, as alleged. As it is said, 'bribes blind the eyes'.

One of such blunders was accepting to hear a case against the same person whom his (Tsoho's) learned colleague (Justice Adeniyi Ademola) had ordered to be unconditionally and immediately released which the same DSS had flouted.

Common sense, apart from judicial procedures, would have told Tsoho that since DSS flouted the orders of his two learned colleagues( Usman Shuaibu of Magistrate Court and Justice Adeniyi Ademola of Federal High Court), his own order(s) would still be flouted should it (they) be in the favour of Nnamdi Kanu. But because he was probably blinded with bribes, he could hardly make good judgements.

This same bribes allegedly given probably continued the blindfold game to the point Tsoho gave two contradictory rulings which on no second thought should have made the Nigeria Judicial Council  (NJC) to sanction him immediately, had it been the whole system were not equally corrupt.

In which judgement he ruled that witnesses that DSS would produce to testify against Nnamdi Kanu should not appear in court as masquerades in order to use their demeanors establish whether they were true or false witnesses as DSS had what it would take to protect them and such witnesses had no evidence to back their claim of being threatened by Nnamdi Kanu supporters.

Suddenly, on the next court appearance, with a mere oral application from the prosecution to vary or change his earlier ruling, Tsoho obeyed the DSS and counter-ruled that witnesses should testify behind screens with their demeanours missing.

But now that the investigation of the alleged corruption of Tsoho is being carried out by NJC, the council should use Tsoho as example to serve as a deterrent to other judges who have made the masses to lose confidence in the judiciary; even as the Federal government is expected to uphold the rule of law and obey courts' decisions whether in favour or not.

Written by Ogu Edozie Williams
Edited by Uchechi Collins
For IPOB writers
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