JUDICIARY AND DESPERATION OF OHAKIM'S OPPONENTS
It benumbs the mind that after being thrashed more than 17 times on facts and points of law, those who want to unseat Governor Ikedi Ohakim of Imo State are yet to wean themselves of the baseless and malicious allegation of bribery against the judiciary.
Their banal inanities of resorting to cheap blackmail anytime there is a whiff of an impending judgment has exposed their hollowness and even lack of faith in the judiciary. It also conforms to their day dreaming of going to seek equity with bloodied hands. But most importantly, their desperation has confirmed that their inordinate quest for power is for selfish reasons against their pretence of fighting for the people.
That is why it is not surprising that ahead of the ruling of the Supreme Court on Friday, July 16 on the suit brought by the APGA candidate, Chief Martins Agbaso against the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the cancellation of the April 14, 2007 elections, the agents of provocation and confusion have set to work. They are threading a familiar path by alleging that Ohakim boasted that he has successfully bribed the Supreme Court Justices to 'pervert' justice. The allegation contained in text messages and published in local tabloids even quoted me as having confirmed that Imo State government has paid for the judgment with a whopping amount.
While my lawyers have taken up the matter with the erring media since I was outside the country when the purported statement was made, the appropriate government organs have responded to this wild allegation intended to force the hands of the revered justices and incite the people of Imo State against their governor.
Fortunately too, the respected Supreme Court justices are very familiar with the antics of desperate politicians and their media collaborators; reason such allegations have been treated with the deserved disdain and contempt. The comical posturing of failed politicians have always elicited a kind of bemused attention from those who serve in the temple of justice because they know that a frustrated politician would not bath an eyelid to accuse his mother or father or even wife of betrayal. Apart from ignoring such contemptuous and libelous materials, the learned justices concentrate on facts of the matter and points of law to administer justice.
Indeed every judge in this country knows that matters concerning politicians are handled with utmost care and extreme professionalism. Because of their flippant and garrulous nature, politicians hardly keep any secret. It is only a judge who wants to sacrifice his career and his pedigree that would agree to do business with them. Given the experiences of their colleagues who got their hands burnt in even trying to offer genuine assistance to politicians, judges now avoid them like a plague.
But that is even among baby judges and those who adjudicate at tribunals. To talk of bribing a Supreme Court judge is a sacrilege. Anybody who even contemplates, conceives and goes ahead to vomit it is a candidate for a suicide mission. That's why the so-called opposition in Imo State should prepare their wills as they are heading for class suicide. By desecrating the hallowed chambers of the Supreme Court, those political vermins have by their desperation and indiscretion dug their political graves. As failures that they are, they want to drag everybody down with them.
Unfortunately, Ohakim would not be among those they would perish with. Their puerile and satanic allegation cannot remove one hair from the governor. Since assumption of office on May 29, 2007, Ohakim has had to contend with 18 cases all centred on his election. Interestingly he has won fair and square 17 of those cases just leaving out this one with the Supreme Court. In all the cases decided, it had come out clear that the governor won the election as governor overwhelmgly.
The Imo people who voted for him have also been the pillar of his support all this while. Even when they express grave disappointment over the conduct of those renegades and misfits who have been dragging Ohakim over all the courts in Nigeria , they have never failed to encourage the governor to remain focused in providing democracy dividends to them.
The truth of the matter is that even in Imo State where he is the chief executive, Ohakim has never interfered with the function of the judiciary. A proof of that is that some state courts had entered judgment against the executive in some instances. All the governor would do is to instruct the Attorney General to either comply with the judgment or appeal it as the circumstance would dictate. He has deep respect for the judiciary and would not stoop so low to debase that arm of government through bribery.
This then is a pure case of blackmail where these failed politicians want to drag the judiciary into politics. They want to create a state of confusion with the predetermined view of setting the judiciary against the peace loving government and people of Imo State . Having realised painfully that they have come to the last bus stop, they have decided to discard any form of decorum or shame. They are simply fighting dirty to see if they can win the sympathy of some Nigerians who may not be conversant with the happening in Imo State . They want to present a pitiable picture of underdogs whereas they have been the ones harassing and persecuting the governor, boasting of their connections to high places.
After series of unsuccessful attempts to blackmail the governor before the presidency; after failing to get the judiciary to help them remove Ohakim, they have wow turned around to blackmail and rubbish the judiciary and the governor. However like the proverbial stubborn fly that follows the corpse to the grave, their political nunc dimities is here. Just as the judiciary has been courageously discharging its role as the defender of democracy in Nigeria , they would not fail Imo people as usual because a light can never be hidden. What is before the Supreme Court is very simple; to determine whether INEC has power to cancel an inconclusive election marred by violence or not.
Instead of insulting the sensibilities of Nigerians and denigrating the Supreme Court justices, the rag-tag opposition in Imo State should patiently await the ruling of the highest court in the land. But as God liveth in heaven, Ohakim would also emerge triumphant because the voice of genuine Imo people who elected him is the voice of God.
Agukwe, the Director General of New Face Organization wrote from Owerri.