–Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) – By Austen Akhagbeme:
Like a bolt out of the blues, the news coming in from the office of the minister of Justice and the Attorney General of the federation, Abubakar Malami, was swift, thunderous and appears unbelievable:but it was true. The incarcerated leader of the REVOLUTION NOW movement, Omoyele Sowore, have been left off the hook. Like my old school mate called it, he became a “Hamper for Christmas” for every lover of Justice, human rights, the rule of law, you name it.
The news has become a part of this season of celebration, the Christmas eve. This government got the timing right and the emotional game intact. Even though it was an equal and opposite display of a collective emotion, it could be likened to the death of indefatigable Gen Murtala Mohammed, “who knew” when to go when the ovation is loudest. Every patriotic citizen, then, called for justice and vengeance. Just because the former head of state “knew the trick” of dying.
This time around, our collective emotion is a positive one. The sweetness and swiftness of the pleasant news attempts to throw reasons over board while slaughtering judicial deligence in the alter of a temporary euphoria. But this is okay even if it doesn’t sound so: at least, the primary victims of this unlawful incarceration, especially Sowore’s immediate family, will breath a sigh of relief and enjoy yuletide in ‘peace’.
But there’s something sinister about the comments of the attorney General. With the risk of sounding immodest, pessimistic or being tagged a killjoy, the AG’s reference to the provisions of the section 169 of the criminal administration act of 2015, got me jittery.
He said: “… I am also not unmindful of the rights of the complainant /Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regard to Extant legal provisions, particularly section 169 of the administration of criminal justice act, 2015… “. I love to hear legal matters even if I am a novice in that field. This is why you have to pardon my seemingly innocuous question here: please is there no provision in our law, too, granting Sowore the right to question his second arrest in court after he was duly granted bail?
Let us enjoy the season and wish Sowore and others a merry Christmas and a prosperously free new year.
°°° Austen Akhagbeme is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online