For Onnogehen, the end too soon
The suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, last Thursday, March 4, 2019, threw in the towel after a tempestuous few weeks which has seen him docked, the first in Nigeria’s history for a CJN, over allegations of false assets’ declaration.
The ouster of the 16th CJN has given fodder to conspiracy theorists to validate their conclusion that Onnoghen is a victim of bad politics.
For those who hold this view, the controversial road to the confirmation of the resigned CJN was enough pointer.
Before his confirmation as acting CJN on November 10, 2016 following the retirement of Justice Mahmud Mohammed, it was evident that a cabal had their own thinking of who should occupy the position notwithstanding the constitutional guarantee of how the process works.
So it was that the Onnoghen story became a convoluted one by the time he was confirmed by the Senate on March 1, 2017, and eventually sworn in by then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on March 7, 2017.
His traducers could not wait for him to leave in 2020 when he was supposed to retire, rather procured a certain Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative, ARDI, which made the allegation that the jurist operated multiple accounts used for the transfer of foreign currencies, including U.S. dollars, Euros and pounds. An allegation that has fallen flat!
But given the insidious intent of those that want him disgraced, a man that gave a dissenting judgment in favour of President Buhari during the 2007 presidential election challenge, saw no other way out than to throw in the towel.
Will history be fair to him? Will the correct perspective and the back room plotting that saw to the capitulation of one of Nigeria’s finest CJN ever come to light? Will those who played the Ostrich in this macabre drama have found their fulfillment?
Time, as ever, will tell.
The not-so comedy of Babachir Lawal
Jack "King" Kirby, the American comic book artist, writer, and editor, considered as one of the medium's major innovators, argues that “The average politician was crooked. That was my ambition, to be a crooked politician.”
It is not too far to say that the disgraced Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who is facing trial for stealing funds of Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, is one such crooked politician and whose ambition is to remain crooked.
Lawal, last week, stirred the hornet’s nest about 2023 when he left Nigerians aghast and reeling with laughter that he qualifies to be president of the country.
Perhaps, the former SGF who famously piqued “who is the federal government? Thins himself Volodymyr Zelenskiy, the inexperienced 41-year-old comic television actor that is poised to become Ukraine’s president in the coming days.
The good news is that Lawal is no Zelenskiy and will ordinarily be in jail if he were in a system that works.
But because this is Nigeria, apologies to Falz, politicians, crooked ones at that, like Lawal can always find a way to scam the system and return to relevance.
There is little doubt that the former SGF knows the limited memory span of Nigerians and by this time next year, Nigerians, if they have not, forgotten his thieving pedigree and reckon with him as one of the elite that can rescue a ship adrift.
If anything, those close to Babachir Lawal should inform him that there is a movement of new Nigerians that is emerging who have institutional memory and are committed to ensuring that those who have conspired to the mess we find ourselves, never come near to power again.