Society must protect the robbed from the robber. – Martin Luther King Jr.
Consider this: What would happen if hundreds of thousands of Nigerians charged with crimes refused to go to trial and insisted that their fundamental rights were violated and that the court or a legally constituted tribunal has no jurisdiction to try them? We might as well delete criminal justice from our constitution and declare Nigeria the Federal Republic of Beasts and Bastards.
For the umpteenth time, the corruption and false declaration of assets lawsuit brought against Bukola Saraki has been postponed till November 19 by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). But the drama in the case continues. Within two days the case was adjourned, Saraki went back on shopping spree to Federal High Courts in Lagos and Abuja respectively looking for justice to buy. Having ben exposed by SaharaReporters, one of the the notorious mercenary judges Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court in Lagos threw out the case. The Abuja Court is still haggling over the price at the time this column was being penned.
The sad saga of Saraki trying to flee from justice is the ultimate case study of Nigeria’s criminal justice system and indeed the judicary marked by spiritual, moral, political, and social chaos. Here is the chief lawmaker better sill, lawbreaker who is afraid to practice what he was elected to do by going to trial to prove his innocence. Saraki should not fritter away the opportunity to contend – enter into litigation, answer – testify in court, reason – argue his case.
Saraki is caught in the horns of a dilemma. Saraki is like a blind man in a dark room searching for a black cat that isn’t there – and finding it! His case has become what George Bernard Shaw compared to average conversation to a “phonograph with half-a-dozen records – you soon get tired of them all.” All through his trial, Saraki has not been sensible, nor was he being respectful. He’s been treating Nigerians like dumb cattle.
Saraki has been irritating, displaying anger instead of humility. Are we supposed to rearrange the whole judicial apparatus for Saraki? Should all the judges of the land be bought by Saraki? When is the mockery of our judicial system end? The more Saraki tries to run from justice, the more he gets into trouble. The more efforts he makes to escape justice only serve to lead him into it.
Saraki is behaving like a clown sitting in the back of the classroom being warned explicitly that he might fail to pass to the next grade. As a clown, he’s colossal jester, spectacular and shocking, epic and a monumental fool, heinous and disgusting. Saraki, with his horde of Brotherhood of Thieves, the spectacularly incompetent legal team suffering from borderline intellectual functioning put together, is a combustible mix of the most depraved half-wits, scam artists, and asylum Napoleons Nigeria has ever witnessed.
Saraki’s grasping panic, impossible childish demands, and a blind psychotic thirst to escape justice should be halted NOW. And like an act of bullying, Saraki’s action is fundamentally an act of cowardice. It’s impossible for Saraki as a weakling, coward, and liar to win his corruption case. If Saraki has been following public opinion, he’ll realize that he’s been prosecuted by Nigerians not by his “APC enemies.” Where there is smoke, fire is never far away. His antics are actually a display of guilt and cringing cowardice. Time for Saraki to stop being a clown and a coward, man up and face the music!
By running from court to court, Saraki feels like a trapped animal. He feels like an animal in court because Nigerians have wronged him. He seems to be saying: “What have I done people? Though I called for help, but there is no justice.” He sees himself as a traveler fenced in, blocked in his path by Nigerians and he cannot move. He feels like a king being dethroned. He feels like Nigerians have stripped him of all the honor and authority of a Senate President. He feels we have taken his royal robes and crown, and now he’s the lowest instead of the highest. Then he cries out loud: “What humiliation?”
But Saraki forgets the higher the wicked man climbs in his success, the farther down he will fall when his judgment comes. Saraki has successfully further brought the judicial system into one of its lowest points in our history by setting a record of division, apostasy, and national disgrace. Saraki is an epitome of all that is wrong with the National Assembly: moral decay.
His great moral collapse mirrors the condition of the Nigeria nation which has become so corrupt and degraded. In today’s Nigeria, even shocking brutality, immorality, greed, corruption, no longer cause the people to blush.
Professor Itsay Sagay are you there? How far with your committee task to reform laws on corruption? What about the corruption courts to be set up? Can you hear me now? How long shall we be an ally in the Saraki macabre dance? Can’t we send the corrupt enemy judges in the likes of Okon Abang, Ekanem, Adeniyi Ademola, Buba, Mary Odili, et al, packing today? Saraki’s prosecution has become a farce. The criminal justice system must get rid of Saraki immediately so we can move the nation forward.
Meanwhile, Saraki heads to the Supreme Court in his endless crave to purchase justice while the nation’s justice temperature grows steadily colder. The nation is waiting and watching.
Written by Bayo Oluwasanmi.