Open Letter To CJN: Do Not Appear Before The CCT, Hold A Press Conference Instead By: Steve Nwankwo


Greetings, Most Honourable CJN.
I have taken time to weigh and consider what Your Lordship’s best options could be in the present circumstances vis-à-vis the trumped up asset declaration charges being leveled against you by certain dark forces.
In the end, I arrived at the conclusion that Your Lordship must stand his ground and defy the said dark forces.
This is now a High-Stake Chess game, and Your Lordship must show the dark forces that he is a good Chess player!
With the greatest respect, I beg to disagree with my very senior learned friends and silk, who have pledged and urged for solidarity appearance before the CCT tomorrow(14-01-2019).
Instead, tomorrow morning at 7:00 or 8:00hrs sir, you should call an International Press Conference, flanked by your brother Justices of the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, including some senior SANs.
At the World Press Conference, Your Lordship should in clear terms, state reasons why you are not going to honour any arraignment notice that may have been served on you. The reason will of course border on recent judicial authorities which make it clear that it is illegal to bring criminal charges against judicial officers without recourse to the NJC first being had.
In other words, Your Lordship must make it clear that he does not have any plans of appearing before the said CCT or any other court for that matter; except of course, a warrant for Your Lordship’s arrest is signed and executed.
After the World
Press Conference sir, kindly go to your office and go about your normal business. You may also offer a light refreshment to the jurists and legal luminaries who had flanked you at the World Press Conference, including the invited journalists.
Let us then see if such a warrant of arrest will be signed and executed!
The foregoing being said sir, permit me to say with the greatest respect, that all of us who are ministers in the temple of justice, must always guard against laying bad precedents.
I remember that as at Oct/Nov 2016 when the issue of the raid by SSS operatives on Judges/Justices homes was raging, Your Lordship was Acting CJN and Your Lordship told A.G Malami that the Judges and Justices would be asked to step aside if formal charges were preferred against them ……which led the A.G to immediately file charges against them, including of course our own Nwali Ngwuta, JSC, and it was at that point that the Judges and Justices were asked to step aside pending the outcome of their cases.
So if these dark and sinister elements suggest that you should also step aside if arraigned, pending the outcome of the case, such a sinister suggestion would not be without precedent.
Of course I see the nexus between PMB’s prolonged refusal to send Your Lordship’s name to the Senate, and what is currently playing out.
It saddens and worries me greatly that Your Lordship has to face these evil, man-made storms.
But we must always speak the truth, though sometimes is bitter; and the bitter truth sir, is that Your Lordship/NJC/A.B Mahmoud, laid down a terrible precedent when all of you capitulated to the whims of the ill-motivated actions of the Federal Government in raiding the houses of Judges and Justices and seeking that they step aside pending the outcome of their cases.
I expected that Your Lordship/NJC/AB Mahmoud should never have given in to such cheap executive gimmicks.
Similarly sir, I also expect that the Supreme Court should never, under any circumstances suggests that the rule of law/fundamental rights is secondary to national security, which they regrettably said in Asari Dokubo’s case; and which the present dictatorship anchors its argument in continuing to detain Dasuki and several others.
I also expected that the Body of Benchers should never have capitulated under pressure as to allow that young lady (Fidaus) to wear her hijab for her call to Bar.
I, for instance sir, am a staunch Catholic. In Christianity generally and in the Catholic Church in particular, male laity and indeed clergy (with the exception of the Bishops and Pope) are not expected to wear a headdress (cap, hat) of any sort when you’re inside the church or at any other place, when prayers are being said; but as a lawyer I reluctantly don my wig inside the church during Legal Year commencement Church services. Hence, certain religious observances must be subject to the dictates of the Nigerian Legal Profession. Judicial authorities in support of this assertion abound sir.
The summary of my point being that whenever age old rules and/or norms are bent in order to suit a particular person or situation, it will almost always come back to haunt those who bent same!
These are indeed teachable moments for us all and for posterity.
God save Nigeria!
S. U. Nwankwo Esq.
Steve Sun .