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Sep 29, 2020 12 tweets 3 min read
The accuracy in this tweet has given me an opportunity to discuss something I have been forgetting to. We from the South always find it convenient to blame the North of having a "born to rule" mentality. Assuming that's true, a fair share of the blame belongs to us.
From my study of the political system in Nigeria I can say confidently, and proceed to demonstrate, that apart from President Buhari who appears to have the mentality of "what will you do?" Northern political leaders have simply been more strategic than the Southerners.
I will use just one example to drive home this point. While one example should not constitute sufficient sample size, when something happens consistently for 30 years, you should be able to rely on it as authoritative. What's that? The appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
I understand that it took the North 30 years to produce the first lawyer from that part of the country, after the first lawyer in Nigeria, Sapara Williams from South West Nigeria of course. Yet, before Onnoghen CJN, the South hadn't produced CJN for 30 years. Even wondered why?
I have the theory that the person who determines the CJN of Nigeria is not the President but the Governors of the States who appoint Judges in the first place. A Northern State Gov is 3ce more likely than his Southern counterpart to appoint a lawyer with 10 yrs PQE as a Judge.
I have my mates from the law school from the Northern part of Nigeria who are just waiting to clock 10 years at the Bar and they will be appointed as High Court Judges. From the South, the average year for appointment as a High Court Judge is 20 years PQE or more.
Imagine I am appointed as a Judge by my State Governor in 2032 (20 years PQE) while my mate at the Law School from the North is appointed by his Governor in 2022. By the time I am appointed in 2032, my mate may have got to the Court of Appeal, or at least close to that.
By the time I get to the Supreme Ct say in 2052 (20 years after appointment as a HC Judge and 40 years after my call to the Bar), I would have just 3 years to retire. Meanwhile my Law School mate would have been at the SC for 10 years. He would be 3 times more likely to be CJN.
I know life does not work like mathematics but you get the general sense. So next time, before we blame the North, let us ask ourselves whether we have not put ourselves at the disadvantaged position that made domination easy. For appointment of Judges, we certainly have.
That said, as I said from the beginning, none of what I have said in this thread justifies the clannish actions of the current administration. Even after a Southerner emerged CJN after 30 years, they contrived to remove him against the expression provisions of the Constitution.
See also what the President has done with the appointment of Supreme Court Justices (a topic for another day's discussion). I hope that by the time he leaves offices, there is still something left in the fabric of the society esp national cohesion.
vanguardngr.com/2020/09/buhari…
"I hereby present for confirmation by the Senate, the appointment of the underlisted Eight (8) Justices of the Court of Appeal as Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, ACCORDING TO THEIR RANKING OF SENIORITY AT THE COURT OF APPEAL.”

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More from @OrjiUka

Nov 29, 2021
Sometime in 2009 while serving as a Judge of the SUG High Court of Abia State University, Uturu I was appointed into a judicial panel of inquiry headed by my learned brother as he then was, Hon. Justice Ifeanyi Idika to investigate an act of alleged sabotage by Motorcycle Riders.
The background to this was that for years, Motorcycle riders in ABSU historically increased their fares during examination period to take advantage of students. So the SUG President devised a cerebral means to tackle this. He brought in competition by buying KEKE NAPEP tricycles.
I can't remember the exact figures but the tricycles were operating at half the regular fares that Motorcycles were going for. Something had to give. One morning the students woke up to the news that the KEKE NAPEPs had been grounded. How? Someone poured salts in their engines.
Read 12 tweets
Sep 22, 2021
On my way to work today, while catching up on my myriads of unread WhatsApp messages, I decided to scan through the compilation of newspaper headlines and one caught my attention, "Senate mulls life imprisonment for kidnappers." I got confused 😕 What's the Senate's business?
I was confused because the last time I was taught Constitutional Law in school, I knew it was not within the legislative competence of the National Assembly to make law on crimes (except in specific cases) except for the FCT. So I decided to read at least 3 versions of the story.
It turns out that there is indeed a bill before the Senate sponsored by Senator Ibikunle Amosun which has already scaled 2nd reading. The bill seeks to introduce stiffer punishments & punitive measures to combat and prevent kidnapping or abduction in Nigeria.
Read 20 tweets
Aug 18, 2021
That it is contained in a law (not the Constitution) does not make it valid. The 1999 CFRN is supreme and its provisions have binding effect on all bodies and persons. Where any law is inconsistent with the CFRN, such law shall be null and void to the extent of the inconsistency.
The Supreme Court has made clear the essence & purpose of ex parte applications and the circumstances under which interim orders can be granted. Indeed in the old line of cases (from the golden era) led by Kotoye v CBN, the Court explained the transient nature of interim orders:
In 1995, this is what the Supreme Court said per Wali JSC in Seven-Up Bottling Company Limited v. Abiola. I also did not see any ambiguity until now.
Read 6 tweets
Apr 8, 2021
On Tuesday 8 August 2000 the then Senate President (my personal fav) the Late Dr Chuba Wilberforce Okadigbo was removed from office on allegations of corruption/misuse of public funds. That same day I first learnt of the extraordinary exchange between him and Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe.
We all remember Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe (Zik) as the 1st indigenous Governor General of Nigeria & the 1st President, who was removed from office in the infamous coup of January 1966. What is less known in this history deprived era is that Zik subsequently tried in vain to be President.
At the end of the 2nd Republic Presidential elections in 1983 which was contested by Shehu Shagari (NPN), Awolowo(UPN), Zik(NPP), Aminu Kano(PRP), Ibrahim Waziri(GNPP) and Tunji Braithwaite(NAP), the FEDECO Chairman, Ovie Whiskey announced Shagari as the winner of the election.
Read 20 tweets
Nov 7, 2020
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria who knows, or reasonably ought to know, that ex parte orders have limited life span, typically 7-14 days, asked a court to make an order freezing the accounts of Nigerian citizens for 120 days! And a judge who is deemed to know better granted 90 days!
Apologies, the learned Silk actually asked for the accounts to be frozen for 180 days!
Yesterday I was talking about how Nigeria's political class learns something, from say the UK, only to turn it into something unrecognisable, typically an instrument of subjugation. And this applies is virtually all aspects of our daily lives. One of such is the rank of SAN.
Read 15 tweets
Oct 15, 2020
THERE IS STILL HOPE FOR NIGERIA AFTER ALL: THE #ENDSARS PROTESTS AND WHAT IT (PERSONALLY) MEANS TO ME.

A TRUE LIFE STORY THAT I HOPE SOME CAN RELATE WITH. AS I TYPE THIS ALL THE EMOTIONS OF THE PAST 24 MONTHS ARE COMING BACK.

A THREAD!
On 24 January 2020 while aboard the Emirates Airways Flight EK30 from London Heathrow Airport to Dubai, United Arab Emirates from where I was to take a connecting flight to Lagos, I found myself lost in thought, which was predominantly one of melancholy.
What was the source of my mood? The feeling or realisation that I might have failed. I had just graduated from King's College London where I bagged a Master's Degree in International Business Law and I was returning to my home country.
Read 24 tweets

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