Tuesday 17th October, 2017
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A passionate plea to Mr. Acting President

A passionate plea to Mr. Acting President

Prof., Sir, we mean no dishonour with the ap­parent mistake in lead title to your office in the heading above. It is just to avoid failing to abide by stipu­lated felicities in the practice of our profession; not unlike we are sure obtains in every other occu­pation. It comes quite aptly too, given that this effort is principal­ly aimed at bringing to your no­tice a salient oversight we found in your otherwise ‘inspiring’ ad­dress to the nation to mark the second anniversary of the Bu­hari administration. In fact, but for the peculiar circumstance that trust you to the helm of it, this should have been better ad­dressed to Mr. President himself.

Well, like you prayed in the aforementioned address, we join in asking The Almighty to speed up his recovery and resumption of the onerous task of returning our nation to rectitude which he has so ably steered before his in­disposition. However, we shall not mince words in remind­ing you that of all the salient achievements the regime has recorded that you highlighted in the address, you were very si­lent in the area of law and order and the maintenance of same. We make haste to point this out because unlike your principal who was mostly a military man ante, as a professor of law(s) it is assumedly your one and only home turf.

Yes, we are all glad that – like you did not fail to point out – the Buhari administration has taken tremendous strides in the areas of security, corruption and econ­omy which you had pledged to turn around after your electoral victory. Of course, the records afore and after are there to be cited in its support. Under your care, more than a million Inter­nally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) have been returned to their ear­lier homes by our intrepid secu­rity forces. Apart from the vow to further increase the ease of doing business, the economy that had appeared to be sliding out of control has since retraced its steps to the path of recovery. Above all, the war on corrup­tion is marching on according to plan.

All good and fine; yet we are still minded to ask you about the rule of law – and the prerequi­site order – under which alone we can fully cherish these other achievements? Of course, these were saliently skipped over in your address. O yes. Put point blank, if we must, the only area of jurisdiction which ordinarily makes them possible featured in the address was as it concerned the war on corruption. Inter alia, you did point out that though our system of administration of justice has been quite slow, some judicial reforms in the offing are scheduled to take care of it. In that, apart from the already undertaken fortification of pros­ecution teams, specific courts may be made to try corruption cases with inevitable Godspeed.

Much as this should attract kudos like the other aspects of the speech, we are also minded to wariness by your remarks regarding the abiding tempta­tion of choosing temporary gain over long-term benefit in the ef­fort to recovery. We feel that this will be most beneficial nowhere else like in the administration of our justice system. Like has been noticed since the adminis­tration came on stream, the at­tempt to rubbish suspects before their conviction has often led to derision rather than commenda­tion. Most are immediately put under the lock and key even for months beyond the constitution­ally sanctioned; some even when courts of competent jurisdiction have freed them on bail!

So much has this become that even well-known supporters of the regime have found cause to condemn this. For instance, only recently Professor Itse Sagay (SAN) the chairman Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) had to ask your government to obey court orders regarding Col. Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser (NSA)and Sheik Ibra­him El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Same undiluted senti­ment opined by the Nigerian Bar Association in its statement on the selfsame second anniversary of the administration.

Your Excellency, Sir, but for decency we at The AUTHOR­ITY should have actually started this enumeration with our pub­lisher Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. Going to months now he has been held by the Directorate of State Security (DSS) against his wish. Our view here is that what­ever the charges against him are, he should at least be given the chance to be answering to them from the comfort of his home; at least till he is found guilty or otherwise. It is our belief that given his various investments in the country – employing thou­sands of Nigerians, us inclusive – he should be afforded this on self recognition. As a major con­tributor to your government’s job-creation initiative, he should not deserve less than that. Only this way, Sir, can you be seen to be protecting your home turf which has been severally com­promised by this administration.