As I taxied off the road in an effort to quickly patronize one of the hawkers selling telephone recharge cards at the junction of my residence, in Ibadan, I sensed a trembling motion behind my car. Accustomed to the sometimes ferocious but innocuous scampering that usually ensues among street hawkers whenever a potential patron is sighted, as I looked through mirror, I remained unflappable as this troika raced towards me spiritedly. But I was to discover that their animation was far from having anything to do with their street trading.
“D Prooooof”, one of them saluted me with my cognomen. “You these area boys, you don come again…what’z up…why you dey run after me?”, I familiarly joked with them. “Bros, you don hear”, one of them quizzed me. “Say wetin”, I retorted. “That Mimiko is now the governor of Ondo state”, he declared. “You don’t say”, I blurted beguilingly. “Yes na”, he replied. “Are you serious…has the tribunal given its judgement yet…Mimiko won?”, I ejaculated with palpable elation.
Still wandering between bemusement and amusement, I needed a corroboration of this invaluable information from a more credible source and, so, I immediately put a call to my lawyer friend whom I have always relied on as my primary source concerning the outcomes of tribunal rulings.
Without even allowing me to utter a word, my friend instantly asseverated on the other end of the phone, “Yinka, yes, it is true…Mimiko is now the governor of Ondo State…but Agagu will definitely appeal the judgment to buy more time and attempt to manipulate the situation…”
As I ended the telephone conversation with my friend, my joy knew no bounds. I was projected into a rhapsodic realm which made me to momentarily forget the business appointment I was headed for initially. Eventually when I became revived from the trance induced by the gleefulness in which I had been engulfed, I thanked my informants and drove off at high speed in order to catch up with my appointment.
After my meeting which, unfortunately for me, ended in a deadlock, I still couldn’t wait to find my way into my favourite inn where I quaffed a number of chilled bottles of Star Lager beer, complemented with a plate of hot pepper soup. Coincidentally, also joining me at this cozy tavern was my friend, a medical doctor at the University College Hospital Ibadan, as well as my journalist friends with the News Agency of Nigeria who had, like me, come to celebrate Mimiko’s victory.
The last time we had this type of jocund gathering was when the acclaimed “strong man and garrison commander” of Ibadan politics and the progenitor of “Amala politics”, Lamidi Adedibu, dropped dead like a chicken diseased with avian influenza. We were all euphoric that another PDP poseur, “Governor” Olusegun Agagu, has been disgracefully decapitated by the merciless lancet of Nigerian judiciary.
As the dusk was knocking, by the time the news of Mimiko’s victory had spread all over the city Ibadan, the paroxysm of celebration that filled the air was a stark contradistinction to the palpability of lugubriousness that was evident when the tribunals in Oyo, Ogun and Osun states perfidiously upheld the “elections” of Akala, Gbenga Daniel and Oyinlola respectively.
Unlike the “victory” awarded to the likes of Akala, Oyinlola, Gbenga Daniel, David Mark, et al, at the tribunals, where only the ragamuffins garbed in the torn coat of the PDP were the ones shamelessly jubilating, the impulse generated by Mimiko’s victory, like that of Adams Oshiomole and Peter Obi at the Supreme Court, truly reflected the will of the electorate. It was so mesmerizing witnessing the victorious festivity that plunged the city of Ibadan, despite the fact that Akure was the main battlefield.
Even the next day, Saturday 26th July, as I journeyed to Abuja to watch the pre-season exhibition match between Manchester United and Portsmouth FC slated for Sunday 27th July at the Abuja National stadium, the same mirthful hullabaloo sparked by Mimiko’s victory which I thought I had left behind in Ibadan was discernible all the way. In the chartered bus which I and other co-fans of Manchester United boarded en route to Abuja, the story of justice dispensed by the Ondo State election petitions tribunal and the maladministration of the PDP dominated our discussions throughout the trip.
As our bus spasmodically ran into unavoidable dangerous ditches on that perilous road, we certainly were not showering benediction on the marauders that are (mis)ruling Nigeria. I was particularly perturbed that the Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Bida-Suleja road still remained in the terrible state it was when I last plied that route in April 1997.
“Do these idiots pass through this road at all”, a co-passenger, a civil engineer, who got distended by the execrably dilapidated state of Bida-Suleja road, asked rhetorically. “They simply don’t care; and besides, they mostly travel by air”, another passenger riposted.
We all unanimously wondered why, in spite of their grotesque incompetence and dismal failure in giving the masses the desired leadership, the PDP and its acolytes still want to die “serving” Nigeria and do anything it takes, however hideous, to remain in power till perpetuity. And we spared no words in vituperating the besotted chairman of the PDP, Vincent Ogbulafor, who, recently, moronically blathered that the PDP will still continue ruling Nigeria for the next hundred years, irrespective of the wishes of Nigerians.
This jeremiad was unending throughout our trip. We just couldn’t stop flinging invectives at the scrofulous incubi steering the wheel of Nigeria towards perdition. All of us then departed on Monday 28th July and headed back to our respective places of abode after the tedious but interesting voyage. The very next day, 29th July, however, I embarked on yet another journey, but to Lagos this time.
The Faculty of Law of Obafemi Awolowo University, in conjunction with Olujinmi and Akeredolu law chamber, organized a public presentation of a book titled “Nigerian Law of Evidence” in honor of the incoming president of Nigerian Bar Association, Rotimi Akeredolu, SAN, fondly called “Aketi” by his cronies. This event, which attracted the attendance of renowned scholars and brightest minds in the nation’s judiciary, including judges, as well as people from the general public, was held at Virgo hall of All Seasons Plaza Ikeja Lagos.
Personally indebted to the honoree of the event, Aketi, whose affection and benignancy towards me are remarkable, I felt called upon to grace the occasion dedicated to his honor with my physical presence and join other well-meaning Nigerians in celebrating this amiable personage who has carved an imperishable niche for himself, not only as a reputable man of the Nigerian bar, but as a renowned radical and activist.
At a time when the seeming recidivism of Nigerian judiciary is beginning to clandestinely collaborate with the lawlessness and larceny of the PDP fiefdom, the redemption of image and restitution of credibility of the judiciary have become paramount to those that are committed to the course of democracy and elevation of rule of law in Nigeria. In this connection, the timing of the launching of “Nigerian Law of Evidence” couldn’t have been more appropriate.
Presided over by the Chairman Nigerian Body of Benchers, Chief S. M Olakunri, SAN, dedicated to the honor of the incoming president of Nigerian Bar Association and actively adorned by a glittering array of reputable lawyers whose professional careers are untainted, this event volubly showcased the prestige of the legal profession. At a time in the course of the program, the pyrotechnics exhibited by the participants almost succeeded in seducing me to decamp from engineering to join the league of
As various legal luminaries invited to speak at this event mounted the lectern to dialectically evince their punditry in jurisprudence by demonstrating the imperativeness of evidence in the dispensation of justice, my mind retained the image of the intrepid judges of Ondo State election petitions and how their wisdom in the admission of evidence led to the determination of Mimiko as the duly elected governor of Ondo state. I was also reminded of the wretched and corrupt judges of Justice Naron-led Osun State election petitions tribunal who studiously spurned the presentment of evidence that would have inevitably evicted the illegal occupant of Osun State government house, “Governor” Olagunsoye Oyinlola.
Suddenly, whilst still enmeshed in my cognitive state, there was a thunderous, boisterous noise in the hall, a kind of joyous yell that is only comparable to the heartfelt jubilation that usually follows when the Nigerian national football team finds the net of its opponents or records important victory in a football competition. Behold, it was the contemporary Hercules of Ondo state politics, Segun Mimiko, that breezed into the Virgo hall of All Seasons Plaza.
“And here comes the governor of Ondo state”, the MC announced. This further elicited a more ebullient vivification as everyone was chanting, “Iroko, Iroko, Iroko…” And before the gaiety stirred by Mimiko’s arrival subsided, another colossus, whom the MC referred to as “Governor in waiting in Osun State”, Rauf Aregbesola, also took the venue of this memorable event by storm.
Although an essentially apolitical gathering, but the rousing welcome and adoration which this political duo, who considerably contributed to the decimation of the tortuous tentacle of the PDP, was accorded at the launching of “Nigeria Law of Evidence” — coupled with the hilarity that greeted Mimiko’s victory at the Ondo tribunal and the gloominess that trailed the bastard ruling of Justice Naron-led tribunal of Osun state — confirm the predilection of Nigerians to justice and equity.
Like Wole Soyinka stated in his prison memoir, The Man Died, and just as Rauf Aregbesola reiterated in his speech at this book launch, “justice is the first condition of humanity.” Considering the way Nigerians have perspicaciously attuned themselves to this quintessential condition of humanity, I am led to a settled view that when the time comes, which is an inescapable inevitability, they have the verifiable gravitas, not only to forcibly liberate themselves from the Hades of PDP, but to make their fatherland a Canaan where justice, fairness and equity thrive and reign supreme.