A VICTORY AGAINST NIGERIAN MEN CORRUPTED BY ERRONEOUS ILLUSIONS AND FALSE INCENTIVES
MOSOP President / Spokesman, Goodluck Diigbo reacts to Nigeria's Significant Court Ruling
I totally welcome Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan continuing on the path of rule of law as former President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua. But it should not be a one man fiasco. To save Nigeria's democracy, the Nigerian Court in its judicial process and by judicial judgment should re-educate Nigerian men corrupted by erroneous illusions and false incentives to commit to change.
The first judge was reassigned when I petitioned to the Chief Judge of Rivers State following countless unimaginable delaying tactics. The lawsuit has been rocked by several unethical judicial moves, including false media reports purporting that I, Goodluck Diigbo was wanted by the police; that our lawsuit was already dismissed; coupled with the strangest disappearance of court documents from court files and other acts of conspiracy to keep adjournment dates secret from me and my other comrades being the claimants. On the day the case was struck out, we were not in court because the date was kept secret. Such moves have been linked to the defendant ambition to become life president of MOSOP and to enable Mitee unabatedly parade himself and holding out within and outside Nigeria as MOSOP President.
My reaction to the Court Ruling in the MOSOP lawsuit is that to allow Nigerian lawyers to frustrate Nigeria's judicial process would not only deny other citizens their constitutional rights, but could block the course of administration of justice, and to continuously corrupt and diminish confidence in Nigeria's democracy. I am surged with joy for the positive shift in the ruling handed down by the High Court Judge recently assigned by the Rivers State Chief Judge. This pursuit is to strengthen democracy first, at the grassroots. This is to protect constitutional rights of the oil and gas rich Ogoni people, especially to freely elect the president of our apex cultural organization – MOSOP, which was collectively established as the voice of Ogoni people worldwide.
The ruling is expected to move the case forward in order to not shield the former factional president of MOSOP – Barrister Ledum Mitee from accountability. The Nigerian Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has twice arrested Barrister Ledum Mitee, first on November 12 2009 and the 2nd of March, 2010 for defrauding MOSOP of millions of dollars donated by European Union, American Government and other foreign foundations to help the impoverished Ogoni people in Nigeria. EFCC has recently trailed some money from the European Union to a secret account opened by Mitee at the Akintola Williams Firm in Lagos. Though the ruling today does not directly address other substantial issues in the case, its logic that the public should know the truth and that the constitutional rights of the Ogoni people can be respected. When the Ogoni people learnt of the ruling, there was mass celebration by the Ogoni people in Bori and various villages – a major victory not only for Ogoni, but the Nigerian judicial process.
I believe that if the ruling has any force of influence, it is that in keeping with the high plane of liberty that we the Ogoni people must attain in Nigeria, one citizen, one voice, one female judge, perhaps in Bori, Ogoni of Nigeria, may reveal a hidden or unknown danger to Nigeria's democracy. She may have to re-educate men corrupted by erroneous illusions and false incentives to commit to change. That the Ogoni people too, must wake up now to strengthen their commitment to change in order to enter the sacred temple of liberty without faltering. Liberty will not come easily without commitment to change.
The ruling in a motion bordering on jurisdictional competence today, May 25, 2010 by Hon. Justice A. I. Iyayi, a female president in the High Court 2 of Rivers State of Nigeria in the Bori Judicial Division Holden at Bori, Ogoni sends a clear warning to lawyers in Nigeria. Nigerian lawyers must stop applying strange tactics in the judicial process that would deny constitutional rights to other citizens making genuine claims in the court of justice under the rule of law. Hon Iyayi is the second judge in the lawsuit BHC/36/2009 that I had filed since April of 2009. We got an injunction granted on April 29, 2009 to restrain Ledum Mitee – a lawyer from parading as MOSOP President. Mitee continuously violated the court order and the court was simply ignoring the blatant assault.
MOSOP - Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People represents the collective voice of the oil and gas rich Ogoni people. MOSOP was founded in 1990 by my associate - the well known author, human rights and environmental campaigner – Ken Saro-Wiwa hanged to death on November 10, 1995 for speaking out against bad oil production practices by the Anglo-Royal Dutch/Shell. Shell recently worked its way out of court in New York, United States of America with a settlement payment of USD 15.5 million in a trial for the murder of Saro-Wiwa and eight other of my fellow Ogoni patriots.
Mitee lost a presidential election 99 percent to 1 percent in April of 2009. I was duly sworn-in on April 26, 2009 in Bori. The election leading to the ceremony effectively ended Mitee's long 14 years of unconstitutional stay in office. He had asked for six months of extension, which the Ogoni people turned down. MOSOP constitution permits only two years in office. A re-election for another two years is constitutional making a maximum 4 years in total. After Mitee succeeded to strike this lawsuit, Hon. Justice A. I. Iyayi, the current president of Rivers State High Court 2 in Bori, Ogoni on February 22, 2010 ruled in a motion by my attorneys and ordered the immediate re-listing of the case to hear it on merit. I promptly replaced our former attorneys.
We are now represented by two law chambers: joined as Uche Onyeagucha, Chinda & Associates Law Firm in Port Harcourt. The new MOSOP Attorney Iheanyichukwu Wodi had argued on point of law to persuade Her Lordship to relist the case. Wodi was totally right when he noted that our lawsuit conjures up concepts like law and order, security, justice and peace necessary among social grouping. “No responsible social grouping,” Wodi said, “operates without reference to law or a constitution.”
Goodluck Diigbo, M ay 25, 2010