By Wale Ojo-Lanre
Do you know him? Oh My God! Look, this is serious! I hope I am not tampering with the pristine nature and the conservative brand of the judiciary?
Or am I playing with contempt of court?
But is it absolute that because they are lords of justice, we should see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil and even speak no good of them?
I am totally confused and unclear about what to do now, but I think I have to exercise my fundamental human rights.
I have to expose what I saw in the office of the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Hon Justice Munta Ladi Abimbola.
Or should I keep quiet and mute it inside me as pigs do? No! No!!
Am I infringing on the privacy of the honourable justice, just because I was privileged to gain access to his office?
Am I not abusing the singular opportunity of gaining entry into the inner chamber of this noble, thoroughbred, decent, exemplary and diligent lord of the temple of justice, who has never been found wanting in his impressive jurisprudential and legal career?
Notwithstanding, this strange object found in his office must not be hidden from the public.
Am I not covered by the professional ethics of journalism?
One of the rules is to excavate, unveil, reveal, expose and uncover whatever may be hiding or being hidden and lay it before the public tribunal?
And going by this rule, I think I would not be committing any sin or flouting any rules or committing any offence if I reveal the strange object I found inside the chamber of Hon Justice Minta Ladi Abimbola, at Court 1, Oyo State High Court of Justice, Ring Road, Ibadan.
For, people have and hold different perspectives about the honourable men and women on the bench.
In Nigeria, most honourable bench occupiers are viewed with melancholic eyes. And without being sentimental, I have no personal bitter experience of any judicial malfeasance or regret from our lords justices.
Thus I have the hunch to expose the secret of Hon Justice Ladi Abimbola as I found in his chamber. Hence, we must not cover up any acts, deeds, moves and intentions of these justices, who wield the power of life and death over any human being who happened to be under the inherent jurisdiction of their lordships.
I think I have a moral and professional duty to expose this strange object. And it will be unfair to the history of the judiciary in Nigeria, unfair to Oyo State and unfair to the general public if I am scared off from unveiling this object.
The ultimate consequence is for the court to either charge me for contempt of court, or infringement of privacy of the Hon Justice within the geographical and judicial jurisdiction of the High Court of Oyo State.
But I have taken the oath of serving the public, even at the risk of my liberty. Thus, I have decided to take the risk!
I do not know whether you have been or gotten the singular opportunity of visiting his inner chamber at Court 1, High Court of Justice, Ring Road, Ibadan, Oyo State
And if you have not, a description surfaces now.
You may not notice the object if you are just a casual visitor or someone who is not trained in the art of spying on documentary items by utilizing optical precision or who is just in hurry to leave the neatly set up, awe-inducing chamber of the Oyo State Chief Judge.
If you are privileged to be offered a seat by this incorruptible judge, you will not miss it.
The strange item is planted on the left-hand side of the Chief Judge, while it will be on your right-hand side, if you are facing him.
The strange item is that roll-up banner!
Yes! It is that roll-up banner, where the secret power of Hon Justice Abimbola was hanged! But which many don’t care to read or even noticed,
And which I will unveil now
You will now see how people attained positions of authority and relevance. You will now be able to think twice or top up your speed for excellence or otherwise.
It also warns you that you can just not do whatever with the post you are occupying today. Some people are watching.
The scripting on the roll-up banner expressly exposes the hiding secret of the honourable Chief Judge of Oyo State.
Words of elders!
“The lawyers and the judiciary must receive our kudos.
“Particularly is the exemplary leadership given by the Chief Judge of Oyo State, Hon Justice Minta Abimbola, a prince of Saki in his rights.
“He brought inimitable finesse, erudition and bold fresh jurisprudence to matters of both ‘the law’ and ‘law’ generally.
“His decisions in matters of procedure, evidence, fair hearing, joinder and third party conundrum were swiftly and deftly disposed of in his Court No1.
“He is wont to brook nonsense, undue pressure or intimidation. This writer is particularly proud of him. Even as a distant but informed observer.
“Justice Abimbola inspires me in many ways. He puts a final lid on a cauldron to toil, trouble and cobwebs of litigations. His breathtaking timely works remind us of several fine judges Nigeria has been blessed with, apart from Cardozo of the United States and Lord Denning, the mathematical jurist extraordinary of the twentieth century of Britain.
“I remember our own JIC Taylor, poetic Aniagolu, Oputa (Socrates) and Chike. Idigbe, Kayode Eso, Michael Ogundare, Kutigi, Ogunkeye,
Ariwoola, Ayorinde, Ayoolas, Mary Odili, Fati Abubakar, Aare
Afe Babalola, Nabo Graham Douglas, Alexander, etc, etc.
“Chief Judge Munta Abimbola would forever deserve our respect and gratitude for the way he handled this travesty of administrative confusion.”
Engineer Dr Victor Omololu Olunloyo
Former Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, 1970 (52 years back)
Former governor, Old Oyo State
Balogun of Oyo Empire
Otun Bobajiro of Ibadanland!
This is the strange object which I found standing up in the chamber of Hon Justice Munta Ladi Abimbola.
You may come and arrest me!
•Ojo-Lanre writes from Usi Ekiti, and can be reached at email@example.com.