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Re: The judiciary: Matters arising

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By Gambo Dori

AS is customary with this page, we occasionally pause to listen to our readers, and engage with them where possible. The two-part article on the judiciary, March 7 and 14, elicited a number of responses.

File: Lawyers

The responses were, as usual, of two kinds: reasoned and reasonable, and unreasoned (sometimes abusive) and unreasonable. I ignored the latter and have the former published below:

Muhd Lawan Usman: You are surely on course Mr. Dori. What a paradox! Justice Onnoghen, the supreme custodian of justice and its chief deliverer in Nigeria is fighting hard to deny himself what he has been giving to others!! To the utter dismay and disenchantment of Nigerians, the Bar and the Bench, seem to be wavering, sitting on the fence or sleeping. Please Mr. Gambo wake them up!!

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Rabi’u Yahaya: Your write-up on the Judiciary and Acting Chief Justice Tanko is nothing more than the truth. His quality and straightforwardness is known only to his mates and those close enough to understand his mode of operations and conduct of his personal life. As a mate in the university, he associated with selected few just to preserve his virtues. The noises by the so-called senior lawyers on the issue was to ensure continuity in reaping from the corrupt system. May Allah be with the righteous people to serve the society.

Ngozika Ihuoma: “The Judiciary: Matters Arising 2”. Brilliant submission except the pronouncement of guilt against Chief Justice Onnoghen when no court, including the CCT, has convicted him. Opinion should reflect all sides and obedience to the 1999 Constitution should be paramount. Desecration of institution of state for personal gains don’t foster development.

Joseph Iyoha: You are one columnist I respect but I don’t understand it when you papered over so many double standards. The CCT Chair is himself charged with a N10 million bribe case yet to be concluded. How can he be trying somebody else? All the PDP members with cases pending for corruption charges, by the EFCC, who decamped to APC when are they going to be tried? What of well-known cases such Maina, NHIS Exe Sec, ex-NIA DG and many others too numerous to mention. Why are they not on trial? You see partiality in applying punishment is corruption in itself.

Still on the Judiciary article, many readers have contacted me to ask why I referred to Abdullahi Bayero College, one of the institutional forerunners of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria and Bayero University, Kano (BUK), as Ahmadu Bello College. Actually the majority of us that passed through ABU in the 1960s and 70s had always assumed that the earlier name of the Kano campus had been Abdullahi Bayero College which in 1976 became BUK. Not so. And this deserves some explanation.

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When in the late 1950s the Northern Nigerian Government decided to have a university it started with establishing a college in Kano in 1960. The regional Minister of Education, Isa Kaita had in May 1960 told the members of the Legislature that the Kano college was being named after the Premier, Ahmadu Bello, ‘in appreciation of the good work he had done for the region’. The college, according to the Minister would ultimately become a University, ‘the first in the North,’ and when this happened, it would be known as ‘Ahmadu Bello University’.

Coincidentally, just before independence, there were discussions also going on at the Federal level to push for more investments in higher education. The Ashby Commission established at the behest of the Federal Government had decided to recommend for the establishment of four regional universities in the East, West, the North and Lagos, to complement the federal university in Ibadan. The Eastern Region had everything ready and were able to start the University of Nigeria Nsukka immediately in 1960, while ABU, University of Lagos and University of Ife took off in 1962.

When the Northern Nigerian Government came to establish its own it found it more convenient to settle on Zaria because of the number of institutions already domiciled there that could be drawn into it – Institute of Administration, Kongo, the Institute of Agricultural Research, Samaru and more importantly the Zaria branch of the old Nigerian College. Since the name of the university had earlier been decided to be Ahmadu Bello, another name had to be found for the Kano college which was to be an integral part of the new university. It was then decided to name it after the illustrious Kano Emir, Abdullahi Bayero.

There is no better corroboration to this narrative than the interview given by the Emir of Suleja, Awwal Ibrahim, the former Governor of Niger State and published by Daily Trust last Sunday. He said: ‘I left (Bida) in 1961 and went to Kano to attend the Ahmadu Bello College which was changed to Abdullahi Bayero College. When the name, Ahmadu Bello College was adopted for the first university in the Northern Region, the present ABU, Zaria, we continued there.’

The other piece that evoked reactions was the one published last week, “The CP in Kano – Man of the moment”. CP Mohammed Wakili who had overall security supervision in Kano during the gubernatorial elections became an overnight media sensation for the sterling role he played to douse tension in the city. It is not just the role he played but the way and manner he performed it. Anyone associated with theatre arts will know what this means. The social media as well as the traditional ones have discussed nothing more than CP Wakili these last two weeks. I have had my own share of respondents also:

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Buhari Hassan: While we eagerly await the final results of the inconclusive election outcome of some states the case of the role played by the CP Kano makes me a little queasy. The speed with which tributes are paid complete with in depth family history and photo album smacks of Kannywood choreography.

W Jasper: More of his kind in all sectors! We must celebrate bravery, dedication, and honesty. Well done CP.

Eyes Justice: The Nigeria Police Force, that’s the official name. A colonial appendage and left over. Thus, sophisticated and highly educated gentlemen like Wakili have no place in it. It is fashioned in the image of the Adewusis, Baloguns, Ehindaros and the Kpotun Idris. The incompetents and mediocre cadres always trump excellence. Mr. Wakili, do your best. Posterity will appreciate you if we don’t.

FBN: I would rate this post 5 stars. God bless CP Wakili. God bless the institution that produced him, NPF. God bless Nigeria.

Phibby: I doff my hat for the amiable CP who never allowed anyone to lord him. A man of the moment indeed.

Oghenena: CP Wakilis! CP Wakilis! CP Wakilis! We love you. You have given us hope that Nigeria can be great again.

Sunny: In agreeing with yours, I also doff my hat for the Kano CP, a real thoroughbred professional, same with the present Ag IG.

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