– The Sun News

When a hired mob failed to stop me from defending democracy in Nigeria (3)

I had so far x-rayed how Gani had led me to defend people who were accused of corruption and not corruption itself. On this note, I shall now continue my discourse. I am here still quoting GaniFawehinmi verbatim, in his defense of his right to defend Colonel Peter Obasa and Chief Kila, who were arraigned before PMB’s special military tribunal in 1984, on charges of embezzlement of NYSC funds and of corruption. Gani defended them. Colonel Obasa was jailed for life and Chief Kila, for 22 years. Here, Gani continues his defense of his right to defend any Nigerian who has hired his services. In his own words:

“Nigerian constitution in relation to appearance of lawyers before tribunals

“Section 33 (6) (c) provides: “every person who is charged with a criminal offence shall be entitled to defend himself in person or by legal practitioners of his own choice”.

“This is a fundamental right given to all Nigerians by the Constitution. This right has not been modified or suspended by Decree No. 1 of 1984.

“The constitution of the Nigerian bar association in relation to appearance of lawyers before tribunals

“Article 2 (1) of the Nigerian Bar Association Constitution provides: “The aims and objects of the association shall be, (1) the encouragement, ensuring and protection of the public right of access to the courts and of representation by counsel before courts and tribunals”.

Article 2 (1) has not been modified, has not been amended, has not been suspended and has not been abrogated.

“The legal practitioners decree in relation to appearance of lawyers before tribunals

“The Decree established the General Council of the Bar which is charged with the general management of the affairs of the Nigerian Bar Association. It consists of the Attorney General of the Federation who is the President of the Council; all the Attorneys-General of the states and 20 members of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“The General Council of the Bar at its general meeting held in Lagos on 25th November, 1966, made 52 Rules of Professional Conduct in the legal profession. These rules are published in Federal Republic of Nigeria Official

Gazette No. 107, Volume 54 dated 14th December, 1967, at pages 1869, 1870, 1871, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876 and 1877.

“Rule No. 9 (A) on page 1871, provides as follows:

“It is the right of the lawyer to undertake the defence of a person accused of crime, regardless of his personal opinion as to the guilt of the accused; otherwise innocent persons, victims only of suspicious circumstances, might be denied proper defence”.

“The lawyer is bound, by all fair and honourable means, to present every defence that the law of the land permits, to the end that no person may be deprived of life or liberty, but by the due process of law.

“Rule 7 (A) on page 1870, provides as follows:

“Every person accused of crime has a right to a fair trial, including persons whose conduct, reputation or alleged violations may be the subject of public unpopularity or clamour.”

“This places a duty of service on the legal profession and, where particular employment is declined the refusal of the brief or to undertake a defence may not be justified merely on account of belief in the guilt of the accused, or repugnance towards him or to the crime or offence as charged.”

“It is clear that the resolution of the Nigerian Bar Association to boycott the tribunal set up under Decree No. 3 to try politicians and other public officers accused of crime is totally unconstitutional, in terms of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Constitution. The resolution is also unconstitutional in terms of the 1979 constitution…”

{GaniFawehinmi’s defence of his constitutional right to defend any Nigerian accused of corruption, or of any crime, continues next week. The above defence is in his own words. For his insistence in defending so called corrupt Nigerians who had engaged his services, the NBA blacklisted Gani and entered his name in the role of dishonour. NBA later recanted and removed his name from this roll and also from his blacklisting. Gani had sued the NBA to protect his right to defend any Nigerian accused of any crime, whether corruption or not. More on these historical facts next week. I shall not allow historical revisionists and emerging fair weather of Gani,  many of whom were not even born when he led me and other lawyers in his chambers to defend these clients, to distort history and promote an agenda of unprovoked hate, envy, jealousy, ill will and spite against my person. These came out clearly through the hired mob, paid miscreants, who had wanted to prevent me from speaking at  Gani’s memorial lecture}.



Tinubu’s Mount Everest task of reconciling a fractured APC

Last week, PMB set up a committee headed by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu to reconcile all warring factions and disparate tendencies within the APC. Where does Tinubu start from? How? Tinubu helped APC win the presidency in 2015. PMB had failed in his bid to win samein 2003, 2007 and 2011. Indeed, in 2011, PMB wept openly and vowed never to run for the Presidency again but, God felt otherwise. He enthroned him at a time he never believed he could sit on the throne. The labour of Tinubu in ensuring this was soon after forgotten as soon as APC won. He was swept aside the power equation in Aso Villa with APC broom.

Rather than being proudly referred to as “the National leader of APC”, PMB’s acolytes who suddenly did not see Tinubu’s usefulness, or relevance changed it to “a National leader of APC”. The change from the definitive article “the” to “a” was not lost on all. It was to convey to him his irrelevance. Tinubu sulked, but took it in his stride as the Jagaban.

Suddenly, nearly three years after the rejection of this precious stone, PMB remembered him, to use him to do the dirty work of rekindling his magical wand. But, Tinubu has to start his daunting task by first reconciling himself with PMB.Then, he must reconcile himself with Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, APC chairman with whom he fought dirty in the mud last year, after the Ondo state gubernatorial election brouhaha in which Tinubu’spreferred candidate, Abraham, was skilfully maneuvered out by PMB’s political hawks who anointed and crowned my good friend, Rotimi Akeredolu(Aketi). After this, Tinubu must reconcile himself with Aketi, then reconcile Aketi with Abraham, then Abraham with Ondo APC; then Tinubu with Ondo APC; then Tinubu with the cabal who denied him of Abraham.

In the same Ondo State, Tinubu must reconcile Akeredolu with Borofice. Then he must go to PMB’s household and reconcile PMB with his stong-willed and constitutious wife, Aisha, who has taken on him andthe cabal for nearly two years, then reconcile Aishat and the cabal; then Adebayo and Ajimobi in Oyo state; then Adebayo and FEC. who disallowed him from sharing obsequiously made campaign caps meant to be hastily distributed at a FEC meeting even when INEC has not sounded the gong declaring campaigns open. The Asiwaju will then cross over to Osun state to reconcile Governor Aregbesola with Lasun; then Aregbesola and Diekola; Next stop is Ogun state, where will attempt reconciling Governor Amosun with Adeola-Yayi; Then in Kaduna State,Shehu Sani with Governor El-Rufai; then Shehu Sani with Uba Sani (My two good comrade friends with whom we were in the trenches during successive military Juntas. Politics, how you can destroy relationships!)

In Kogi, the Jagaban must reconcile Dino with Governor Yahaya Bello; Bello with Kogi APC; Faleke(the man who was brazenly denied of his governorship) with Bello. Here comes Kano state, where, like professor Peller wirelded the abracadabra magical wand, Tinubu must reconcile Kwakwanso with his protege and former Deputy Governor, Ganduje; then Kwakwansiyya with Gandujiyya. He proceeds to reconcile Marafa and Yari, Segun Oni and Fayemi in Ekiti State, where Governor Fayose, (Oshoke), is eagerly waiting to unleash political harakiri on them. He goes to the NASS-Speaker Dogara, and Mohammed Abubakar; Ndume and Saraki; then DSS vs. EFCC; NASS vs. EFCC; AGF and NASS; AGF and EFCC; Saraki vs. AGF, Buhari and Saraki, APC and Saraki; then Tinubu and Fayemi: Tinube acolytes vs PMB supporters; APC NWC with Oyegun; Fasola vs Tinubu; Kyari and Monguno. Tinubu must climb Minna mountain top to reconcile IBB with PMB; then Abiokuta hill to pacify OBJ to support PMB. Not to forget Amaechi vs Senator Magnus Abe. ETC ETC, ETC. Tinubu, i do not envy you at all. Good luck. Tinubu, I do not envy you at all. Good Luck!

Pmb’s freudian slip

Sigmund Freud was an Austrian… Neurologist and psycho Analyst. Named after him is the “Freudian slip”.

The Freudian Ship is an unintentional error regarded as revealing subconscious feelings. It is also called… parapraxis. It shows an inner subdued desire, wish or motive.

In late January, PMB made the Freudian slip, when nearly three years after he became president, he was still genuinely surprised as to how the former president Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan conceded defeat, prematurely when the votes were still being counted and handed him the presidency on a platter of gold. In his own words, applauding GEJ’s unusual rare courage in doing thus unthinkable, PMB said he went into a temporary coma when GEJ called him. He was hosting APC chieftaincy to a dinner at the Villa.

He believed GEJ had stayed long enough in office to have caused problems when he lost the election. He said, “I will never forget the time. It was quarter past 5pm and he said he called to congratulate me and that he had conceded. He asked if I heard him, and I said yes. I thanked him for his statesmanship. The truth is after being a Deputy Governor, a Governor, VP and President for 6 years and he took that decision so great. He could have caused problems. He had stayed long enough to cause problems.

What PMB was simply saying, shredded of all grammatical inexactitudes or prolix innuendoes, appears to be that if he were in GEJ’s shoes, with a full coudrol of the entire nation’s security and military apparatchit, he would not have conceded defeats. He would have used his all powerful vantage position to fight GEJ to retain his presidency.

The Freudian slip had much earlier been dropped by PMB’s spokesman, Femi Adesina, when he analysed the Anambra governorship election, clearly won by Obiano of APGA. He had condescendingly declared that PMB and APC government “allowed”APGA, to win; and that if the Federal Government that contrils the security had so wished, it could have turned the tables. This is another way of saying the federal government could have rigged out the people’s will if it so desired. So, the federal government became a benevolent Father Christmas that should be applauded for permitting Anambrarians’ will, to prevail at the polls.

If the ugly scene of children aged between 4 and 10 that hire up to vote at last week’s LG elections in Kano (that went virile) mine is

Thought for the week

“The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office”. (Dwight D. Eisenhower).


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