BY KASIEMOBI ORANUGO, ESQ.
(SENIOR COUNSEL MIKE OZEKHOME’S CHAMBERS)
It was Harry Truman, who in his Special Message to the Congress on the Internal Security of the United States, on the August 8, 1950, stated that ” Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
No doubt Nigerians believe in fighting corruption but what we are seeing today has different connotations. What we are seeing today under the leadership of President Mohammadu Buhari (PMB), is attempt to suppress, intimidate, cow, harras, ambush, muscle, cripple, annihilate and suffocate any voice that criticises this government in the name of fight against corruption.
The trump-up charges against CJN that was cook-up at this eleventh hour (because justice rushed is justice crushed) by this PMB government seems like an attempt to muscle the judiciary into doing their bidding during the forthcoming election. It is also an attempt to silence the opposition and the electorates from getting justice in court, supposing the APC goverment finally rigs the election.
Why the rush in charging the CJN to court? Has he been surgeoned through the legal process for the removal of a judicial officer as provided by the law before a judicial officer could be removed which was also given judicial backing in the case of NGANJIWA V. FRN (2017) LPELR-43391 (CA) .
The last time I checked, this is a democratic nation which believes in the rule of law, we are not in a Banana Republic, neither are we in the Hobesian times/ state of nature, where might was right.
Consequently, it behoves on all right thinking Nigerians, lawyers, doctors, youths, priest, atheists, pastors, illiterates, and whoever that cares and who believes in this project called Nigeria to stand up against this Nicodemus move by the executive to destroy our democracy by silencing any individual or group that tries to speak against this government or has the intention, either by body language or whatever means to speak against this government.
I humbly pray and plead with Justice Tanko Muhammed of the Supreme Court, who is the next in line with regards to judicial hierarchy after Justice Onnoghen to even resist this juicy temptation and reject the offer to take over from Justice Onnoghen, because in this trying times, the judiciary needs to stand firm and speak with one voice.
As Igbo people will always say, ” a chicken that is smiling when they are killing it’s fellow chicken should understand that it’s the same knife they will use on it when the time comes”.
The above Igbo proverb and the fact that Nigerians should rise up to this Nicodemus move by the executive to bury our democracy was ably summarised in Martin Niemoller’s words (a German Lutheran pastor) as follows:
” *First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out— because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me”.
His point was that Germans had been complicit through their silence in the Nazi imprisonment, persecution, and murder of millions of people.
Nigerians it’s time for everyone one to rise and speak against this persecution/ills of this government.
God bless Nigeria