Popular human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has dragged the Lagos state publicity secretary of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe before a Federal High Court, Lagos, seeking to sanction him for accusing the Supreme Court of selling justice to the governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike.
Igbokwe had written on his Facebook page: “Wike will not have the audacity and the temerity to kill again in Rivers state and run to the Supreme Court to buy Justice. It will never happen again in Nigeria where Buhari is President.”
In a 32 paragraph affidavit deposed to in support of the new suit, Mr. Adegboruwa claimed that Mr. Igbokwe’s post was capable of generating loss of confidence in the judicial system.
According to him, such a situation of zero confidence in the judiciary could discourage people from seeking redress from the law courts and which would in turn lead to lawlessness and resort to self-help and rule of the might.
He also said that it will lead to loss of patronage for lawyers, who would no longer be able to handle cases in court, given that it is now possible to buy justice with money.
Adegboruwa contended that as a public officer, Mr. Igbokwe should not be involved in disparaging other public institutions and that his offending post is a clear case of abuse of public trust for which he should be sanctioned appropriately.
He contended further that the Attorney-General of the Federation, being the leader of the official Bar in Nigeria and chief law officer of the federation, was the one best placed to take up the case against Mr. Igbokwe, on behalf of the judiciary, lawyers and indeed the general public.
The rights lawyer disclosed that before filing the suit, he took up the Facebook post with Mr. Igbokwe asking him to substantiate his claims.
Similarly, the Rivers State Government also demanded explanations from Mr. Igbokwe and threatened court action.
Subsequently, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, invited security agencies to probe Mr. Igbokwe’s allegations and deal with the judges found culpable and if the allegations are false, to take appropriate steps to prosecute Mr. Igbokwe.
Rather than withdraw the offending post, Mr. Igbokwe proceeded to issue a more comprehensive post, wherein he specifically stated that the Chief Justice of Nigeria was under the influence and payroll of Mr. Nyesom Wike.
Reliefs sought in the case are also follows: “A declaration that Joe Igbokwe is not entitled to make any statement to the effect that a judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was bought and paid for.
“A declaration that the statement of Joe Igbokwe, to the effect that the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was bought and paid for is reckless, unjustifiable and amounts to an unwarranted denigration of the integrity and authority of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in particular and the judiciary in general.
“A declaration that Joe Igbokwe is not a fit and proper person to be elected or appointed into or to hold any public office in any part of the federation of Nigeria.
“An order directing the Abubakar Malami to forthwith interview, engage and demand proof from the 2nd defendant, of the latter’s statement that the judgment of the Supreme Court of Nigeria was bought and paid for, failing which the said 1st defendant should forthwith prosecute the saidJoe Igbokwe.
“Perpetual injunction restraining Joe Igbokwe, his servants, officers and agents, or otherwise howsoever, from further issuing, uttering, publishing or making any statement, of and concerning the judiciary and the legal profession in Nigeria, capable of undermining the credibility, authority, integrity and sanctity of judgments of the Supreme Court of Nigeria and of all other courts in in Nigeria, generally.
“An order directing Joe Igbokwe to forthwith vacate, relinquish and surrender any and all public positions that he presently occupies.”
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