CJN: I have a friend who has always maintained that Nigeria is a country of N170m lawyers (mostly Google trained, I must add). We all know our rights, we can all interpret those rights.
The unfortunate thing is that most times, the interpretation depends on who is interpreting. Also, how they have decided to interpret the said right.
But las las, we know our rights.
Case in point? This hilarious story a Facebook user shared about an incident at a famous eatery in Enugu.
Apparently, this Nollywood eclipse (because for some people, ordinary “star” is not enough), had walked into this famous eatery. This was at lunch hour when the place was packed and self-respecting, albeit hungry humans were quietly queuing up and waiting for their turn to place orders.
So this eclipse, alleged to be a serial contender for the post of governor (and serial loser too #justsaying), surveyed all the lesser humans on the queue. He decided that his star was shining too brightly to queue up quietly. He took a stroll to the front of the queue and started forming “big man” there.
One of the patrons on the queue allegedly went up to him, tapped him on the shoulder and said: enyi, si ebe ahu puta ga kwuruna line ka ibe gi, na ala adiapu gi – my friend, come out from there and go and queue up like your mates, because we know you are not mad.
Have you ever seen an ordinary Nigerian go quietly with the police? Even SARS? You have to drag them screaming, scratching and biting plus including accidental discharge pa pa; before they follow you.
We all know our rights.
Again trending last week, was a video of a young man somewhere in Lagos State. He was being harassed by a mobile policeman attached to a bank. Allegedly, he had parked his kẹkẹ close to the bank premises (which it appears, is hallowed grounds). And the gatekeeper to the gates of heaven decided to rough-handle the young man a little bit. This rough-handler went as far as “accidentally” discharging some live bullets in the air in the bid to force seniority on the Kẹkẹ rider.
Kẹkẹ rider knew his rights and entered #WeDieHere mode.
Even with the bullet whizzing past his ear, he didn’t budge an inch.
I know my rights is not an easy sontin, not a go-come affair.
So knowing what we know about Nigerians and knowledge of their rights and refusal to be bullied out of it irrespective of the circumstances, isn’t it funny to see the same oppressed Nigerians arguing on behalf of a government that decides to flagrantly ignore due process in a bid to take away potential obstacles to successfully rigging the 2019 elections?
First it was the deliberate targeting and gagging of vocal opposition critics. If you get too loud, this government opens your book of remembrance and upturns all protocols to remove you from the field of play.
Look at Deji Adeyanju for instance.
A case in which he had been discharged and acquitted by a Federal High Court, was reopened and sent to a magistrate court which after admitting it lacked jurisdiction, yet threw Deji into the coolers to marinate while they ruminated over their lack of jurisdiction to try him in a matter for which he has been autre fois acquit.
Let me give an example: your university confers you with a BA in English, but an employer refuses to hire you and sends you to your nursery school teacher to go and obtain clearance on your ability to read two letter words.
Hopefully, that clarifies the Deji Adeyanju conundrum for a lot of us.
And what of Dino? Love him or loathe him, the process he is undergoing can be simply explained.
Someone in Dino’s convoy allegedly shot at and killed a policeman who obstructed his way some time ago. The hand that pulled the trigger that led to that death is not being sought to come and account for his actions, no.
Rather it is Dino who is being forced to bear vicarious liability for the independent actions of his security.
Again, in case you do not understand it, let me give you an example you may understand.
A governor’s convoy mows down someone crossing the road; and the governor is charged to court for murder.
Not the driver who was behind the wheels of the car that struck the victim, no. The governor somewhere in the convoy.
Your child throws a stone and breaks a window, the owner of the window comes and jacks you, slaps you and tears your shirt.
Something like that.
But we tried to find excuses for why we felt Dino and Deji needed to stew in their own juices and then this crude attempt to unseat a CJN who will most likely preside over tribunal matters in the most likely event of a contested result in the 2019 general elections.
And we are all still busy justifying nonsense.
Never on the face of this earth has tyranny been so supported as it is currently being supported in Nigeria as we fool ourselves that we are just playing partisan politics.
Injury to one is injury to all.
If Dino is guilty of murder, then by all means, do not wait until he starts running his mouth fiercely against this government of tears and sorrows to prosecute him. Much as we cringe, we will cry it down because it is an obvious witch hunt.
Ditto the CJN of Nigeria.
There is a time and place for everything and the CJN’s matter with the Code of Conduct Tribunal should not be considered his personal travail, but our collective travail as Nigerians.
And his victory is not a personal victory but a Nigerian victory.
And against flagrant disregard for the rule of law.
Against an attempt to manipulate the system for the illegal continuance of an administration that has long outstayed its welcome.