Supreme Court Vs People’s Court

Tell Cover Page

Tell Cover Page

Why was Nyesom Wike testifying live on television as if possessed? That was the poser from a close friend, Mr. Pius Babalola, after watching that unedifying episode at which the Rivers State Governor told the story of his victory, holding nothing back. Wike seems to be a man of truth who did not want to lie before God. So he thanked God and Mrs. Justice Mary Odilli of the Supreme Court for showing, or to be exact, leading him to victory at the apex court. Should Wike be chastised for being a “bom boy” by madam for exposing the part she played in securing the throne for him in Port Harcourt?

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I have known a few Rivers people at the top in administration. But I had seen none with such a devil-may-care carriage as I saw Wike display in public outings. Young Alfred Diete – Spiff as governor was easy going. But being the son of “Papa Senior Civil Servant” of colonial days, his bearing was smooth, especially with older brothers who were eggheads still around. That sailor spoke phonetically and could keep state secrets. If not, all the war plans and operational details of the federal troops would have been addressed to the Biafrans with no holds barred.

Melford Okilo, even though not as articulate as the man he defeated at the polls, nationalist journalist and lawyer Wenike Briggs of King’s College, Lagos and Daily Service fame, was sparing with words. He had plans for his people though he could not make them play along with him to transform ethically and materially. At least, Ayo Fayose of Ekiti is not alone now in slamming idiocy on the Nigerian scene, as Wike is very ready to tag with him. Whoever blames Wike is doing a disservice to Nigeria. We should instead turn our eyes to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and the quality of our judges.

I reported the Supreme Court when great jurists like Olumunyiwa Jibowu, M.A. Oxon; Louis Mbanefo, M.A. Oxon; Adetokunbo Ademola M.A. (Cantab) and some of those bright expatriates sat on that bench with Ademola presiding, Udo Udoma Ph.D., (Dublin) and G.B.A. Coker LL.D; M.A. Odesanya M.A. Oxon; Sigismond Lambo, LL.B (London) M.A. Oxon, Taslim Olawale Elias LL.D. Ph.D London; joined that apex court later. And also Chike Idigbe, one of the youngest Nigerians to be called to the English bar and was brilliant as an advocate, before being appointed to the higher bench. He attended King’s College Lagos and Christ the King’s College, Onitsha before reading law at a record time. Then later were Andrew Obaseki, B.Sc. LL.B Hons. He left Hope Wadell Training Institute, Calabar, with a grade one exemption from London Matriculation at 17 in 1942, earning a distinction in Latin, a subject he read for only two years on arriving Hope Wadell from Edo College, Benin, where the subject was not taught in those days. Of course, he got a second-class upper from London University in Law after a degree in agriculture.

And also Kayode Esho and Gabriel Ayo Irikefe, who had finished engineering before taking to law. Also Ephraim I. O. Akpata, who had completed his M.B in medicine before switching to law. An all-rounder and school captain of King’s College, Lagos, Akpata had only two bungalows he built as a lawyer to his name all through life…

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