Though the legal battle for the rightful winner of the February 23, 2019 Senatorial election in Imo West (Orlu Zone) is ongoing, the decision by an Abuja Federal High Court to order the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to issue certificate of return to the loser, Owelle Rochas Okorocha, instead of the real winner, Hon. Chudi Jones Onyereri is in various ways and reasons an unfair gift.
For me, it’s an unfair gift because of one salient reason. And that is the fact that Owelle Rochas Okorocha has no iota of faith in the orders of court. He is the reigning national heavyweight champion in disobedience to court orders category. He is the President, National Association of People Lacking Respect for Rule of Law and Due Process. He is the National Chairman, Association of Lawlessness and Impunity of Nigeria.
Since 2011, shortly after his emergency emergence as the governor of Imo State till now, Owelle Rochas Okorocha has never hidden his disdain for courts and their orders. He was always in and out of court, either as plainthief or defendant. His main opponents were revered members of the Imo State Council of Traditional Rulers. He began with Eze Ndieze, HRM Eze Cletus Ilomuanya, who secured positive and favourable verdicts from the courts against Owelle Rochas Okorocha as Imo governor. But the anti-court verdict governor never obeyed a single one.
As I stated earlier, the situation was the same, whether you dragged Rochas Okorocha to court or he dragged you to court, he only expected a judgement that’s in his favour. He never accepted nor obeyed any other judgement that didn’t favour him. It’s such that judgement debts incurred by the man when he was Imo governor runs into multiple billions of naira.
This short essay won’t be complete without my mention of the case between the native owners of Owerri and Owelle Rochas Okorocha, especially over the demolition of Ekeukwu Market in Owerri. While the court gave an order that the market must not be demolished until the final judgement by the court was given, Rochas went on and bulldozed the market and in the process killed little Master Somtoochukwu.
Evidence abound of the ex-governor being recalcitrant and adamant about obeying court orders. There’s no gainsaying it. My angst is why the cheat will be a beneficiary of a court order in a matter that is clearly in his disfavour.
Since Rochas hates obeying court orders, why should INEC obey a court order that favours Rochas? That’s a proof that the law is truly an ass in Nigeria, where beggars ride it rough.
The thrust of my stream of consciousness in this discourse is deliberately not conventional. But the situation it’s addressing is equally an unorthodox and unconventional.
It was indeed shameless of the embattled controversial ex-governor to have contemplated and actually approached a court to seek an order that must be obeyed to his favour.
The development with this Rochas’ certificate of return saga should afford the judicial system in Nigeria an opportunity for a major amendment.
No proven enemy of the court and orders of court should benefit from the courts in Nigeria as Rochas Okorocha, a notorious hater of court orders has just benefitted, albeit for a short interim. That’s my point!
Let those that come to justice come with clean hands of fairness and equity. Owelle Rochas Okorocha’s hands are unclean. They are unfair. They are soaked with inequity. Under normal circumstances, he should not come to justice. Let me rest my case on that note.
By Ogu Bundu Nwadike, M.A