“If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”
~ Louis D. Brandeis, Supreme Court Justice of the United States of America, from 1916 – 1939.
I am standing on the above quote by this renowned and respectable American Justice to send my sincere piece of mind to Justice Mohammed Idris of the Federal High Court, Lagos.
The news of the retraction of the bail conditions granted to Chief Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu in 2007, when he was first arraigned before Justice Binta Nyako in Abuja, by Justice Mohammed Idris, the presiding judge of Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos, came as a great shock to most Nigerians.
Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have delved into this matter at all, most especially to avoid being charged with contempt of the court over a pronouncement made by a competent court of the land; but I was moved to defeat my silence, not only by the conspicuous crack in the judgement passed by the Justice Idris, but also by his refusal to leave the high court 5 months after his elevation to the court of appeal.
In November 2017, Justice Idris was among the 14 judges nominated to the appeal court, and subsequently, he was fortunate to be among the 12 new appeal court judges approved by Mr. President in the month of June, 2018. What is still keeping him in the Federal High Court, five months after being promoted to the Supreme Court is beyond human comprehension.
There are certain pertinent questions begging for answers, which, Justice Idris must answer.
1. Is he trying to satisfy the biddings of the political opponents of Dr. Kalu?
2. Is he trying to create enmity, between Dr. Kalu and Mr. President, by making that pronouncement so that it will seem as if the government is behind his move?
3. As 2019 election is drawing nearer, is he working with some political enemies of Mr. President, by retracting Dr. Kalu’s bail conditions, so that he won’t be available to garner supports for Mr. President in the Southeast?
It is on record that before His Excellency, Dr. Kalu embarked on his medical journey, over an emergency health challenges, in Wisebaden, Germany, he submitted separate letters to the Federal High Court Lagos and The Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), informing them of his journey.
If Dr. Kalu had any intention to evade his trial, he would have done that long before now. 2007 – 2018 is 11 years, and 11 years is more than enough time for anyone that wants to evade trial to perfect that.
It is a known fact that Dr. Kalu was already a successful businessman before his sojourn into the mucky water of Nigeria politics – where intimidation as a result of voracious thirst for political supremacy dwells. Therefore, whoever is thinking that Dr. kalu will leave his billions of naira investments in Nigeria behind and abscond because of a mere 3.9 billion naira allegation is only thinking the unthinkable.
Before this judgement was passed, did Justice Idris took out time to investigate if truly he was in abroad for medical reasons? Aside that the news of his medical trip was all over the news in the country, pictures of him on his hospital bed and the letter of permission he sent to the EFCC and the Court, to travel for the medical surgery were also all over the internet.
This retraction of the bail conditions of Dr. Kalu, due to his trip out of the country to save his life, does not only depict a miscarriage of justice, but also a broad daylight assassination of justice.
I must not end my piece of mind without this quote of Aristotle, – “The guest will judge better of a feast than the cook.” Justice Idris has cooked and dished out his judgement, but it is imperative for him to also note that he is not perfect enough to judge the true taste of the judgement he has dished out; it is the duty of the onlookers to let him know the true taste of the judgement he dished out.
Finally, Justice Idris should reconsider this retraction and also do himself a favour by honouring his elevation to the appeal court. His continuous refusal to honour his elevation may suggest to every discerning minds that he might have some dirty political deals to accomplish in the federal high court, or have some skeletons in his closet to cover up properly before honouring his elevation to the appeal court.
~ Chijioke Paul Okeifufe, wrote in from Abuja.