ABUJA â€” Oghara leaders have said that the Ijaw leader, Chief E.K. Clark is within his rights as a Nigerian citizen to write petitions as much as he wishes in a reaction to the petition which he wrote to the Chief Justice of the Federation, Monday, concerning Chief James Ibori.
In a reaction, the elders said: â€œHe may even adopt it as a latter day career or even go ahead, on this matter, to petition the Queen of England, as he mentioned a London court in his petition to the Chief Justice of the Federation.
â€œYet, as Clark being a lawyer ought to know that the transfer of a case from one court to another is purely an administrative matter, in which those outside the court system have no input whatsoever. But in this case the transfer was also a legal matter as it was an express order of an appellate court.
â€œIf Clark no longer remembers this, then it would not be a mark of disrespect for his age to so remind him. That makes his allegation against the Attorney-General of the Federation untenable as he would not have had a say in which court a suit concerning Ibori, he E. K Clark or any other person would be heard.
Somebody should also remind Clark that Mr. Femi Falana, while representing one of Clarkâ€™s â€œsonsâ€ Mr. Henry Okah, cited the Kaduna Appeal Court ruling that Iboriâ€™s case be transferred to Asaba, as a reason why Okah should not be tried in Jos, but close to the scene of the alleged crime.
â€œIt is also noteworthy that this man is of the opinion that Delta State of Nigeria does not deserveÂ the presence of a Federal High Court within its territory, even as a means of getting justice close to the people. Every Delta citizen has noted this insult,â€ the statement added.
The statement signed by Uzzi M.C. Oboh,Â the Iyasere of Oghara, the Oghara leaders prayed God to grant Clark the wisdom to realise that the 2007 election has come and gone, that the Governor that emerged therefrom has even passed the halfway mark of his four â€“year tenure.
In the same vein, they asked Clark to refrain from dragging Iboriâ€™s name under whatever guise into his Ijaw versus Itsekiri politics and disputations. â€œHe should not use his opposition to the emergence of an Itsekiri person as Iboriâ€™s successor in office as a licence to attack Ibori at every opportunity as has become his favourite past timeâ€, they said.
The Chiefs prayed God to grant Clark more years on earth to see his children grow into leadership positions so that he would actually come to realise that an older generation has to naturally hand over to a younger one and that we are supposed to â€œgrow old gracefully surrendering the things of youth as a popular writing, â€˜Desiderataâ€™ teaches us.â€
On Clarkâ€™s allegations against the Judge of the Federal High Court, Asaba, the Chiefs said, in their statement circulated in Abuja, that Clark may have forgotten that petitions, queries, and replies to queries whether in the judiciary or elsewhere is not a matter for public dispute.
â€œThere are time-tested ways of treating petitions and queries as well as the resultant replies. And that is why I will not for any reason begin to dishonour the judiciary as a respected institution by discussing such things here, even in defence of myself.
Thus the Chief Justice of the Federation deserves the benefit of the doubt that he should by now know the right thing to do and does not require an E. K. Clark, as old and respected as he is, to tutor or even censor him.
His office does deserve some respect â€“ even from highly respected persons no matter how peeved they may be just because elections did not go the way they would have wished.â€