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Mr Esema

Dear Lord Onnoghen JSC, CFR

Rivers State Governorship.    Election 2015: Courage and History.                                                                          
                                                                                           In 27 days’ time, November 10, 2016, Your Lordship may be sworn in as the 17th Chief Justice of Nigeria. Thais recognition is also handing you one of the most trying responsibilities in leadership in Nigeria today and in the judiciary since Hon Justice Adetokunbo Ademola KBE GCON became the first Nigerian to assume the office in 1958.

Among Your Lordship urgent responsibilities, I suggest, is: To constitute a fresh panel to re-visit Governor Wike’s Rivers State Governorship Election Appeal.

Anything short of this, however rationalised, would not be Justice but a measure of complicity.

I will explain.

The judiciary Your Lordship is about to lead has been brought to its knees by a combination of factors, undeniably constant in all, the weakness in integrity exhibited by a number of Your Lordship’s colleagues.

It is a shame my heart fails me to detail but which, even to the person on the street, gives a most unfortunate impression of the Nigerian judiciary. In clear terms, the judiciary, nay the Supreme Court, tragically, is seen as having directly assisted in enthroning brazen riggers of election into offices and thus committed a coup against other candidates, against democracy, something only tenuously differentiable from a military sacking of elected leaders.

The earliest opportunity open for the needed redemption of the judiciary to begin and for justice to be served participants and peoples involved in the elections for which only the unreasonable still would insist was credible, free, and fair, is Your Lordship’s this November.

There is no argument for Nigerians to wait until such a time the indicted justices and judges are found guilty or non-guilty by the court for any actions to be taken by a new leadership in the judiciary.

The time is next month – and it can be Lord Walter Onneghen November To Remember.

Some may opine that time has elapsed or that we should allow sleeping dogs lie or that the Supreme Court may not be able to revisit its cases. Neither of these opinions suffices for justice, for Time is not empowered by our constitution to serve as a judge in the violations of a peoples’ right to choice, for justice is when lying dogs must not be allowed to sleep peacefully and for all purposes of precedence and validity of arguments, indispensable ingredients of law, the Supreme Court ought to demonstrate the ability to deliver judgment also on itself.

It is not justice to forget an injustice. And after misunderstandings, doubts and crises  as surround the entire business of the Rivers State Governorship Election, progress can only impend from, first, a clear identification of the enemy, their acts, and of course, the opposite action -- sanction.

Your Lordship can save everything by not cementing the relationship which now seems to exist between the brazen election rigger and the law-abiding voter, where the former, if I must borrow from Shakespeare: ‘’…[B]estride the narrow world like a colossus, and we petty men [the rest Nigerians] walk under his huge legs, and peep about to find ourselves dishonourable graves.’’

The reason for this call is rooted in the obvious: common-sense evidence of the court processes from the Election Tribunal to the Supreme Court and the high credibility quotient in the developing story behind the unanimous position taken by the latter.

Under Your Lordship’s watch, Justice can rise, blindfolded and unsentimental Themis can weigh and slash -- for the People’s Democratic Party, for the All Progressives Congress, for the voters in Rivers State, for Governor Wike, for Dr Dakuku Peterside, for other contestants, for us other participants in the election and every other person.

Your Lordship, may you stand with Courage and leave a monument in History.

Yours Concerned,
Esema Aguse