2:11 am - Wednesday October 18, 2017

Words of a principled Barrister (Lynda Adzuanaga) & I quote;

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Words of a principled Barrister;

Words of a principled Barrister;  As a student of constitutional law, I am a firm believer in the principle of fair hearing…besides being the fundamental bedrock of any legal issue; it is the inalienable right of an accused person to also have his day in court.

This theory derives from the twin Latin principles of fair hearing; AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM which is to the effect that “let both parties in a matter be heard” and NEMO JUDEX IN CAUSA SUA which means “you shouldn’t be a judge in your own case”. Indeed in the last week, the atmosphere has been awash with news of judicial officials accused and arrested on allegation of corruption.

Indeed the bar and bench have been divided on the legality or otherwise of the arrests and all we basically hear from the security operatives and the NJC is the fact that they are the regulatory body for judicial officers.

So indeed, it was a welcome development to hear that one of the judges or two even have mooted the possible reasons for their arrests.

Justice Inyang Okoro JSC via a letter to the CJN posited that the minister of transport Rotimi Amaechi had approached him allegedly on the instruction of the president Muhammadu Buhari to alter the outcome of the decisions of the apex court in the rivers and Akwa ibom elections petition respectively. He also went on to say that the monies found were his medical allowances and estacodes from conferences.

Like I earlier mentioned, I find it refreshing that at least some information is coming forth so we are not carried away with the flurry of. Information emanating from the DSS. However, these are my questions to His Lordship Inyang Okoro flowing from his letter to the CJN;

  1. According to the letter, Amaechi approached my Lord in February, by some weird stroke of fate, investigations into the allegations on he and other members of the bench commenced that same month. Now how come his lordship kept quiet all these months about Amaechi’s criminal request to him? Why didn’t he communicate same to the CJN and NJC? Why did he keep quiet all the while until he was arrested?
  2. There are at every point in time, at least 15 judges sitting at the Supreme Court, why was my Lordship the one approached by Amaechi for such a devious mission? Was it because;
  3. i) His Lord had gained notoriety for being amenable to bribe? OR
  4. ii) was there anything to suggest that’s Okoro JSC was the person to deliver in such cases?
  5. I am aware that because of the high profile and sensitive nature of the two election petitions, Mahmud Mohammed, the chief justice of Nigeria only constituted the panel on the day of the judgment to forestall any incidences of inducement and or threats. How then, did Amaechi know who to approach as non of the judges is said to have known they would sit to deliver judgment? How did Amaechi know to approach Justice Okoro?
  6. Did justice Okoro share this subtle threat from Amaechi with any of his brother judges? Did he alert the security agencies? Why did he only remember such vital information today? Even though he knows the gravity of the insult of being portrayed as a judge who can be approached for inducement?
  7. Amaechi is from Rivers state and his interest in the outcome of elections there can be understood. Why would he be interested in the outcome of the elections in Akwa Ibom state?

On the issue of the monies found at home;

  1. Is His Lordship in the habit of keeping such huge sums of money at home as opposed to using the bank? We all know how unsafe the country has become with the high rate of crime, why would my Lord take such a risk?
  2. What about the other monies discovered? We’re they also for medicals and estacodes as well?

These and many more questions abound but I’d pause here.

Furthermore, beyond a rebuttal of Justice Okoro’s allegations, the security operatives must as a matter of urgency and transparency invite Rotimi Amaechi to shade more light into the allegations against him…

There is hope for the bench because your type still exists…

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