(By Ahanonu Kingsley)
“We know what transpired: that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a book; an autobiography titled ‘My Watch’; also of the flying popularity given the book with the scathing criticisms which some people have surrounded it with. We know of how some of these people became staggeringly uncomfortable for the many perceived revelations that could ‘make their heads roll’ the concoction spewed“.
The recent happenings in the country have got me thinking once more at the continued degeneration in the socio-political spectrum of the land.
And as if they were not much headaches already and in the wave of new ill for new day that has become identifiable with the country, more thoughtful scenes continue to rev on.
One of such is the recent judicial tragicomedy geared up by the new book of Nigeria’s ex-president. In the midst of the nagging discontentments, the development is one further step to dishonour in smearing the coagulating structure of the judiciary that’s seen to be strengthening from the thaw inflicted by inordinate excesses.
The recent publication of the autobiography by former president Olusegun Obasanjo once more highlights the vulnerability of our justice structure; the negativism in the failure of its principles to be accorded the right of place. Aside the fact that it exposed further the penchant of our judicial officers in misappropriating the law, it also showed the sickening irrelevance for which the institution has been reduced to.
We have had freshly similar scenarios of the brazen show of disrespect to the judicial temple in the days leading up to the swearing in of Ekiti state governor; also of the impunity that stood out in Rivers, which case has remained in shameful irresolution for a distressing length.
The manner in which the instrument of the law was both exercised and responded to in the recent impudence smacks the reduction of the justice system into a weak whip flung accordingly to personal whims; as an object that could be swerved for personal comforts.
It brings to light the voidness in resorting to irrationality in trying to rescue an act of insensibility; it’s a clear case of of shamefully robbing on an oily hand in an attempt to wipe off a grime.
We know what transpired: that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo wrote a book; an autobiography titled ‘My Watch’; also of the flying popularity given the book with the scathing criticisms which some people have surrounded it with. We know of how some of these people became staggeringly uncomfortable for the many perceived revelations that could ‘make their heads roll’ the concoction spewed.
For these people, the book should be rather stopped than for its intellectuality and expositions to be appreciated by teeming readers who would gladly welcome products of this nature for their hungry heads. Thus, the court injunction that was sought to this effect; gladly and unfortunately, the court, an Abuja High Court under presided over by Justice Val Ashi, screened through the request with its lenses and found it worth the ‘aye’.
We also learnt of the later’s defiance in going ahead to publish same book against the court order. But in all, we see the error of a lawcourt and the flagrant disobedience howled unto the assertion of a juror, the high priest of the law temple.
For the court, it erred in adjudication. The court was so driven by bearing ego rather than the required reason to have received and acted on the case in the first place; and to have favourably disposed to award it was the height of insubordination- a blatant desecration of such sacred institution.
The case in question was so subservient and glossed with selfish mud; it was such a shame to have availed it a welcome in the first place. By granting it hearing, the court room has been reduced to an insignificant dorm where any distaste to banal adulation is given sanctified unction. So worrisome that the temple of justice has been so tainted!
We cannot dismiss the weakness of that judgement in the anchorage of true justice, but then it would be insensitive to dismiss the contemptuous response of Mr. Obasanjo to it-ward. We know that it is unlikely for two wrongs to make any right. We also know how counter-productive it would be to take resort to inanity in resolving insanity. Obasanjo, as the court would later assert, committed a blaring contempt of court.
No matter how insidious the court judgement might have being in which case it was, it was totally out of order to have disobeyed it; for the simple reason that it’s an injunction of a constitutionally recognized court of law. This OBJ should have known better.
What Mr. ex-president should have taken as an alternative, which would have been more mature, more sensible and more respectful was to have challenged the puerilism, the loopiness and the debility of that judgement. By so doing he would have restored the skewed sanctity of the law and would as well have instilled in the citizenry the right approach to justice adjudication; at least to engender into as many of those who look up to him the spirit to respect the sacrosanctity of courts’ pronouncements.
He ought to have withheld the publication even as he appeals for effective judgement. By disobeying, he drowned himself into the same mud as the same process he disagrees with.
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