Mazi Nnamdi Kanu - IPOB Leader
A source close to Justice John Tsoho has disclosed why Tosho whom he described as his counterpart backed down after a long battle for him to hands off Nnamdi Kanu’s case when accused of corruption. The Justice in question was handed the duty to oversee the trial of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra; which was inevitable after Justice Ademola who first handled the case resigned. Justice Ademola’s resignation was as a result of disobedience of the order he issued, mandating Buhari to release the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra after he was found innocent of the charges against him. Tsoho took over after a long search for another trial Judge when Nigerian press misconstrued Nnamdi Kanu’s claim that he has no confidence in Nigerian court, to he has no confidence in Justice Ademola.

Speaking to this reporter, the source disclosed how his counterpart ‘Tsoho’ took over the case and why he resigned after a long legal battle and admitted that Tsoho was forced into corruption by the executive. Recall that Justice John Tsoho had refused to withdraw as the trial Judge after he contradicted or rather overruled the ruling of the court without the consent of appellate court. He had ruled that there won’t be a secret trial of Nnamdi Kanu and urged the defendants to provide their various witnesses but when it was clear there was no genuine witness against Nnamdi Kanu; he reversed the ruling and said there would be a secret trial.

He had denied the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra bail on frivolous reasons, a move that reflected the median media chat of Buhari where he told the world that he won’t release Nnamdi Kanu irrespective of the existing order of the magistrate and high court presided over by Justice Ademola. Citing flight risk as a reason for denial of bail was too harsh and premeditated even as the court can seize the passports of Nnamdi Kanu and grant him bail hence the said offence was a bail-able one. He went further to state that Nnamdi Kanu is guilty in spite of Kanu pleading not guilty; this was proven when he said that if Nnamdi Kanu is bailed, that he would commit the same crime he was brought to the court for. Notwithstanding this deliberate reason that is lacking in merit; the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra sojourned with him as the trial Judge with hope that he would learn his lessons.

Meanwhile, when Justice John Tsoho overruled his court without DSS councel going to the appellate court, it was clear he was sent to illegally execute the plan of Buhari. Shortly after this move, the numerous accusations ranging from that John Tsoho collected a hundred million Naira bribe became substantiated. The leader of Indigenous People of Biafra then realized the need to act and no confidence on Justice John Tsoho was declared and he was urged to step down for a trial Judge that would dispense justice. Tsoho on the other hand fought back, insisting that he would carry on; a move that further buttressed the accusation against him. Poised to illegally imprison Nnamdi Kanu, the battle began and just recently, Tsoho surrendered. Speaking on why Jsutice Tsoho resigned, a source who spoke on the condition of anonymity said.

“Tsoho is a scapegoat, he was forced into corrupt legal practice by the executive, and there was enormous pressure from the top. I would not try to exempt Tsoho from corrupt practices in the case because in law, facts and figures make it hard to conceal anything. Overruling his court, putting on accuser that pleaded not guilty that he has committed the crime and frivolous reasons for denial of bail was wrongly huge going by the system. I want to make it clear to you; you should hold the executive responsible, they forced him into everything he did. He did what the country wanted and if Justice John Tsoho is corrupt, then it would be that Nigeria is corrupt and not Tsoho” he claimed and continued.

“It was hard from the start; many Judges declined to take over the case; I don’t want to talk much on this but it would only take a Nigerian to preside over the interest of Buhari. We all know what is going on and Nnamdi Kanu is a professional and educated activist. Nigeria wants him to surrender, they want him to agree and negotiate. Tsoho is a ‘wrong brave’ as I love to address him, he wants to and ready to serve Nigerian President and that is what he is doing. You might understand this in a different way; you might see this from a liberal’s perspective but is not like that. Nigeria’s interest and that is what Tosho is after; Biafrans and liberals might hate him or accuse him but Nigerians see him as a man doing the job for his country, even though the job is illegal as you interpreted”

He noted that whatsoever Tsoho did was in line with what Nigeria wanted and claimed that any other person would do same. “Tsoho had received too many criticisms and it was not nice facing him alone; Nnamdi Kanu is a political prisoner, what does that imply? You don’t blame Tsoho so much because he was handicapped”

Before the appointment of a trial Judge, there was a belief that Buhari was looking for the man that would do the dirty job for him. The flouting of the order issued by Justice Ademola was supposed to irk the judiciary but instead; Tsoho decided to carry on and do the bidding of the executive arm. Speaking on this, Ifeanyi Efobi Anthony, a professor of law at Greenwich University said “If you look at the history of this wayward Justice, he is the one that does the dirty jobs for the government. He is always after the interest of the government of the day and not the interest of the common man or the judiciary. He lacks the quality to be called a Justice, the judiciary is independent and once interference is allowed from the executive, the judiciary loses its strength. Justice John Tsoho is a disgrace to our profession”

While speaking on why Tsoho withdrew as the trial Judge, the source said “IPOB are organized and they are professionals; they hunt desperately and never relenting. They don’t hunt in unit or from a source, they have different sources. Since Tsoho took over the case and denied bail on those conditions, IPOB took offence and have sustained attack against the personality of the Judge. IPOB media has painted him black and to some extent, it was too much to bear. The petition before the Nigerian Judicial Council was a factor; but aside that petition, the heat was already much on him. The petition was a basis to resign or his continuation will go beyond what he imagined. His name, pedigree has been tarnished, locally and internationally, people are calling and there was the need to leave”

“Tsoho really had it bad and his withdrawal was in the best interest of both Nigeria and IPOB because confidence was no longer there. His mistake was the contradiction, he needed the case to move on and secret trial was inevitable. He had said that there won’t be a secret trial but the government said no-secret trial would be giving Nnamdi Kanu victory because the people they have can’t openly testify. There was the need to shift ground to accommodate the government and that was where things fell apart. IPOB capitalized on that and made a strong case, Tsoho’s refusal to withdraw was part of the agreement; he needed to finish the job but he had no breathing space. He fought like a man, he lingered to satisfy the government and be a Nigerian but there was much heat”

Speaking on why he insisted to carry on with the case in spite of vote of no confidence from IPOB, the source who said he would not delve into something he is not sure of stated. “For him to insist was keeping his own end of the bargain; if there was no deal, I don’t see a reason for him to fight. The fight was a dirty one, IPOB was on his trail, and his good name was at stake and his legacies under destruction. About one hundred million Naira bribery; about the NJC position and all that; maybe there was a fight for that or a deal. We are human and we are ambitious, Nnamdi Kanu’s case is a complex one because as a political prisoner, a Judge might not have all the freedom to preside. There was pressure from high places, he was under intense one and at a point he became frustrated and confused; he doesn’t know where to go but it is always a privilege to choose the side of your country”

A legal luminary who joined the investigation but never wanted his name in print said “I am a Nigerian and a legal personality; our profession is a sacred one and we do the mind of God. Being a Nigerian is not enough reason to perpetrate injustice or deliberately subvert justice. Nnamdi Kanu is on a legitimate course and Buhari should not kill a lion to save a dog, he should face his matter like a brave man. Tsoho to have allowed Buhari destroy his image and everything he built, I will only pity him. IPOB is worldwide and they take your name, unprofessionalism, and corruption around the world; telling the world one illegality or another about you. I read a foreigner’s letter to Tsoho telling him how he has destroyed his image and that of Nigeria; lecturing him law, these are very appalling, is not like we the Judiciary don’t know the business but because we allow the executive control us so much. Tsoho is a disgrace to everything we are and that is where I classify him”.

By Ifeanyi Chijioke
Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie


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