I could have waited till after 8th of November to address this letter to you; but I found it imperative to address it now so that you may build with it. It is expected that you will face intense scrutiny; your expertise will be put to test whilst everyone will be waiting to see your resoluteness in discharge of justice without fear or favour.  Nnamdi Kanu is a political prisoner, not a legal prisoner, thus it would need a courageous Judge to do justice to the politically motivated matter. I see no case before Nnamdi Kanu, what we expect is the interpretation of UN declaration on the rights of Indigenous People of 2007 that Nigeria is signatory to and also a member State; if it stands in Nigeria or not; so in my view as a liberal, this matter is all about interpretation.

Without mincing words; by virtue of the maiden media chat of Muhammadu Buhari; we are all aware that he has a huge interest in this matter. He has made numerous prejudicial statements which had directly affected this matter. This could be seen through the reasons upon which the litigant was denied bail and the subsequent overruling of the court by the court on same litigant without the consent of the appellate court. Speaking before the world that the litigant shall not be granted bail and it came to reality. Insisting that the litigant committed a crime and while the litigant pleaded not guilty; the former Judge in tune with the media chat’s position of Buhari stated that the litigant that pleaded not guilty is guilty before trial. The former trial Judge noted that the further reason he won’t grant the litigant bail is because he will commit the same crime that brought him to the court.

The Judge was fingered as having been bribed by Buhari, a feeling the public nursed sufficiently; the corrupt practices exhibited by the former Judge was so blatant that it became clear to the public that power that be backs him. Justice John Tsoho is still suffering the effect of his actions; he was unaware of what he was up against. IPOB is all over the world and when your name is taken up with a dent; there won’t be any means to wash off the dirt. The executive set him to be the scapegoat; he is now on the receiving end of the whole thing. His name dragged to the mud and seen as a corrupt Judge both internationally and locally; the world will be afraid to allow him preside when there is interest at stake. While there is a petition before NJC by human right organizations against Justice Tsoho; there are calls internationally and locally for his sack which is expected soon.

Upon your appointment; the world has gone cold again, I must tell you the reality; the world have considered your appointment a ‘bias’. I was discussing your appointment with a BBC friend who demanded your profile. I plainly told him that you are from Kastina and that you live next door to Buhari; he was quick to humorously add, “So Buhari is now the trial Judge” The picking of a Judge from the home state of the President who has for so long interfered in the case is not convincing and the liberals’ stance should be understood. I am convinced that nobody is waiting for you to do justice; but I am hopeful that you will do justice. You will eventually disappoint a lot of people; to give a glimpse of hope that Nigerian Judiciary can be delivered from the shackles of the executive.

I have a glimpse of hope that you can be trusted to do justice because of your status; it is often hard for a mother that understands the pain of child birth to promote sheer wickedness. With how Justice John Tsoho destroyed himself and the Judiciary; I don’t expect you to walk that path. Nnamdi Kanu’s case with the media light beamed on it; there is no room for corruption or bias judgment that would go unpunished. It is expected that you will clear the mess of Justice John Tsoho by fairly presiding.

I know it is not an easy thing to firmly preside over Nnamdi Kanu’s case without corrupt practices that will favour Buhari. Before your appointment as the trial Judge; and with visible control of the Nigerian Judiciary by the executive; the executive must have trusted you to favour them. They will always scale through because they are not professionals but politicians while your personality is dragged to the mud. I know that you will be asking about Justice Ademola, will what is happening to him now be happening to you if you do justice and avoid corrupt practices. Yes, Ademola is being witch hunted for not favouring the executive but he would always be remembered for being a courageous man while Tsoho will be remembered for being a puppet; a man without the words of his own in his profession. It is left for you to choose between being a hero or a villain.

Justice John Tsoho might be protected by executive corruption, but with time, he would definitely go down. It is very appalling that it took ECOWAS court to adjudicate and rule that Dasuki is illegally detained and should be released. It is really not a nice thing that a country’s Judiciary could not adjudicate and rule on such matter. This embodies the rot in the Nigerian Judiciary you have come to represent in the capacity of a trial Judge in Kanu’s case. This is a case being discussed all over the world and the world is waiting for what you can do.

I will love to remind you that what is before you is simply a matter that needs interpretation; Nnamdi Kanu peacefully asked or rather pleaded for referendum to determine the decision of his people aspiring for self-determination or self rule but instead of granting his humble request or rejecting it; he was arrested, incarcerated and questioned why he must make such demand. He was urged to renounce his agitation and be released; a scenario that threw more question at the existence of law in Nigeria. The executive could not define the crime he committed; and up till this moment; we are yet to come to the knowledge of the crime. The DSS said treasonable felony after accusing him of being a terrorist, the executive said immigration related crime; while Buhari said Radio broadcast propages hate.

It is very clear that the agitation for self-determination which was interpreted as treasonable felony is what is before your lordship. I made this claim to help the DSS who accused Nnamdi Kanu of treasonable felony; it is impossible for one man to commit treason which entirely made the charges against Nnamdi Kanu trumped up. Self determination that is considered as a sacred right has been criminalized by the executive and the matter is in dire need of the Judiciary to make interpretation.  It is a huge disgrace that a simple matter that needs interpretation has taken a year and you being the third Judge must cleanse the Judiciary of the mess.

In 2007, UN which Nigeria is a member gathered under the leadership of President George Bush to make a declaration on the rights of Indigenous People. I need not remind your lordship that this charter is an international constitution which was domesticated by Nigeria which made it a charted constitution for Nigeria. Nigeria is obliged to live up that obligation; it is therefore imperative for us to know that Nnamdi Kanu peacefully embarked on self determination in Nigeria because the constitution of Nigeria backed him. Unfortunately, he is today a victim of lawlessness in Nigeria and now you as the Judge is expected to rule if UN declaration is binding on member State or not. And also, it is noteworthy that agitation is a tenet of democracy and Nnamdi Kanu having lawfully embarked on peaceful agitation deserves not the prison. Continued incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu is nothing but an affront on the law; before your lordship, interpretation awaits.

Buhari can politically settle this issue without dragging the Judiciary to the mud or he can be an Emperor but must not use you as a scapegoat. What is waiting for you is simply to tell the world if 2007 UN charter is legal or illegal. If it is illegal, then incarceration of Nnamdi Kanu is justified but if it is legal, then Nnamdi Kanu’s incarceration is nothing but lawlessness extraordinaire.

If the trumped up charges are before you; by virtue of the fact that one man cannot commit treason; striking out the matter becomes a rightful decision. If there is consideration; then there is no evidence to back it up. This is a commonwealth country and secret trial is not obtainable like in Francophone country. The executive cannot in any way prove that one man can commit treasonable felony but if that be the case; it would be interesting for them to prove to the world the possibility of such impossibility. I will end my letter here and will join the issue once after your first hearing of the matter, when I might have accessed your position.

By Ifeanyi Chijioke
Editor/Publisher: Chinwe Korie


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