EKITI: BETWEEN LOGIC AND SENTIMENTS
Some tasks are just too painful to undertake. In the age-long tradition of Yoruba, respect is sacrosanct. It is not just an age thing; it also takes into account respect for values, opinions, institutions and human dignity. That is why, for some of us who act as spokespersons to our bosses, immolation of our humanity is near unachievable. Somehow, those human elements of logic, sentiments, and emotions get in the way. I confess.
At the risk of sounding immodest, it is a known fact that any Ekiti man would make news anyday. They must make news because of their hardline stance on issues. Not just taking hard-line positions for its own sake, but possessing the consistent resolve to make more sense and logic than bowing to sentiments and whipping up emotionesty and Justice in Ekiti' opened my mind to how not to let emotions and sentiments dethrone logic and sensible reasoning.
The obviously aggrieved man had succumbed to emotion when he took a swipe at the judiciary for not delivering the judgment in favor of his boss, Mr. Kayode Fayemi, who challenged the result of the governorship supplementary election. The man threw caution to the winds and exposed his helplessness when he said: 'What Barka (Tribunal Chairman) gave to Ekiti was not justice but travesty'. Why would a man in sheer act of desperation and hopelessness cast such aspersions on the judiciary?
Just the same way that he said his piece was not about Fayemi becoming governor at all costs, so must I quickly emphasize that Oni has never been desperate about the job. His actions bespeaks of a sense of divine assignment to restore a state to its abler capacity. To my mind, Jamiu's bile has finally revealed the minds behind the structured and orchestrated smear campaign on the judiciary.
That article was a direct affront on the judiciary. Insinuations, nay, assertions were made to railroad innocent watchers of goings-on into the belief that the judiciary vacated reason and the very basis of legal integrity to distort the form and course of justice. I couldn't be more bothered when Jamiu sought an alibi and wrote 'I became worried on Tuesday, May 4, a day to the judgment when a top media man who is not frivolous called to say it is unfortunate that they murdered justice in Ekiti again as the judgment would be three against two in favour of Segun Oni.'
That statement, in saner climes, would have earned Jamiu an invitation from security agencies to at least assist them in unraveling how his supposed accomplice, the top media man had an inkling of the judgment. This presupposes that they had an authoritative source 'within' that was feeding them with blow by blow account of the mindset of the judges.
The unfortunate aspect of the AC problem is that they talk too much and realize too late that their utterances are adverse to the cause they seek to uphold. To strike the right chord, tomorrow, when they decide to argue the issues I have raised here, rather than tackle it appropriately, they will resort to name calling and heaping all sorts of invectives. That is the vintage Fayemi media minders – so quick to wits but slow on sense making.
Now, we are on the march again, several weeks after judgment, they have begun their stock in trade, casting aspersions, making suggestive innuendoes and blackmailing the judiciary. It is easy to see that when logic and reason stoop to emotionalism, tact and diplomacy take flight. AC is a living proof.
We on this side had refrained from casting aspersions on our sacred judiciary because we believe in the spirit of sportsmanship. Truth be told, all sorts of news and accusations had gained grounds here in Ekiti. There was that about a strong sympathizer of the AC and of Ekiti extraction, who has a flourishing law chamber in Ilorin who persuaded a 'key actor' in the judgment to 'compromise'. They said the key actor had his tutelage under this Ekiti legal icon.
How does Jamiu want to deal with the news making the rounds that their godfather had before the tribunal judgment envisaged that it could go either way and had begun preparing grounds to make an 'input' into the list of judges that will sit over the Appeal in Ilorin. A Smart Alec in dire need of victory at all cost, the people said. We heard all sorts but we never made them weapons to fight with, let alone rubbish the judiciary with.
Sometimes, when a man fantasizes about building a castle and he suddenly wakes up to realize that it had been a dream, his reaction to that rude reality would be to go to back to sleep at least to lap up the beautiful dream. That was what must have happened to Jamiu and his ilk. Contrary to talks that the PDP supporters were already drinking themselves to stupor before the judgment day, the AC had engaged the services of owners of major joints and had issued a strong directive that they should only attend to the palates of their supporters. Not only that, they had bought colourful Ankara fabric that would have made even unions and society groups grow green with envy.
Now this is the big one that would trouble a sane mind. Jamiu alleged that the relationship between the judges became strained when Adebara and Ogbuiya stuck to their guns and refused to truncate justice. I pardon the naivety of the gentleman.
How would their relationship become strained over court judgment? Is this the first time in the history of court judgments that there will be dissenting voices? Is Jamiu saying the judges have also jumped into the arena by pandering to the whims and caprices of politicians? He (Jamiu) could as well say that in the innermost recess of their (judges) offices, they exchanged blows over the stand they took.
I do not want to join issues on the judgment with our friends because we always prefer to run the full course of law by not making pronouncements on what is still a subject of appeal. Let me, however, crave the indulgence of the reader to acquaint himself with arguments canvassed by Oni's lawyers for a better understanding of the judgment.
I totally agree with Jamiu when he says that any country where justice is for sale is doomed. Good talk, but if I were him, I will direct my appeal to where the putrid smell is coming from. •Igandan writes from Igbara-Odo, Ekiti State.