“Witch-haunt Of Obi & Justice Odili: Demonization Of Our Own Champions And Canonization Of Criminals Unacceptable”

The leaders of Int’l Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety), Southeast Zone of the Civil Liberties Organization (Southeast CLO) and Southeast Based Coalition of Democracy and Human Rights Organizations (SBCHROs) had risen from their joint international press conference in Enugu on: Anambra Governorship Election, Agitation for Self Determination and its Generated Insecurity in Eastern Nigeria as well as Other Critical Issues of National Importance, held last Sunday, 24th October 2021 to strongly condemn a grand sinister plan by desperate dirty politicians and ethnic jingoists using some sectional media to sponsor procured “investigative reports” such as “PANDORA Papers Reports”, targeted at ruining the celebrated characters and reputations of distinguished present and past public office leaders from Eastern Nigeria. The so called “PANDORA PAPERS” published by the Premium Times on 4th October 2021, has been carefully studied and analyzed by the Coalition especially in the area of motives behind same and found same to be highly sponsored, governmentally plotted and vindictively executed.

The Publishers of the controversial and politically and ill-conceived Report had also after their publication struggled in vain to convince the reading public of their “neutrality and unbiased intents”. This, they attempted doing by citing the inclusion of others indicted so as to camouflage and legitimize same; all to no avail. The watery report principally aimed at criminalizing and ruining the character, integrity and reputation of the respected former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, is nothing short of the “Voice of Jacob but Hands of Esau”. This is considering the events that had taken place after the report which the Coalition had carefully monitored. An example of which is the speed with which the EFCC extended an invitation to the respected former Governor as well as the speed with which the invitation was published by Premium Times. We had expected the EFCC to have also extended its invitations to camouflaged others mentioned in the report, all to no avail till date. This is more so when the Publishers of the report did not find the former Governor anywhere in the report stealing or embezzling or looting Anambra public funds and have same located or linked to criminal investments overseas when or after he held sway as Anambra Governor from March 2006 to March 2014. The “Report” was also acutely selective and shadow chasing. It brazenly turned its blind eyes on the country’s ‘doyens of corruption’ and sought to pull down and destroy the innocent.

The Publishers vindictively trivialized their watery investigation and concluded that the respected former Governor “is guilty by not including or declaring his overseas assets and liabilities during his asset declaration and refusing to resign from boards of some of the companies he had business interests before becoming the Governor”. The respected former Governor had since strongly and factually denied the accusations. For the avoidance of doubt, the Nigerian Constitution in its Section 182 (1) (g) provided that: “A person is unfit to be a Governor if he being a person employed in the PUBLIC SERVICE of the Federation, or of any State, he has not resigned or withdrawn or retired from the employment at least thirty-days to the date of the Election”. By Section 183: “the Gov shall not, during the period when he holds office, hold any other executive office or paid employment in any capacity whatsoever”. The Code of Conduct for Public Officers contained in the Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Constitution is also clear and unambiguous regarding conditions imposed for declaration of assets and liabilities, reception of gifts, remunerations and involvement in companies’ investments and managements, etc. These authorities are just to cite but a few and in all, the respected former Anambra Governor was never found anywhere to have stolen or looted or stashed away Anambra Public Funds.

The Coalition is therefore not supposed to be bordered by the Premium Times watery conclusion and indictment on the respected former Governor. Rather, we are deeply concerned to the extent that the Publishers are bent on being used to destroy him and his future social, economic and political career and moral integrity and reputation. This is more so when the grip of the country’s mainstream media by the tribesmen of the publishers of the watery report have been converted into inter-tribal willing tool and weapon for execution of ethnic and religious dirty politics. The Coalition, therefore, will not fold its hands and watch sponsored entities to “demonize our own champions and canonize criminals as national leaders”. Truth be told, the hurried and politically motivated publication of “PANDORA PAPERS”, destructively targeted at the respected former Anambra Governor, was independently found to have arisen as a result of secret survey by mobilized Southwest intellectuals on Eastern Nigeria and their political class ahead of 2023 Presidential Poll and in the end, the secret survey found the respected former Governor to be among very few ‘saints standing tall’ in the East and therefore ‘seen as a major obstacle to the realization of their 2023 Presidential ambition. Following this finding, some willing entities were mobilized leading to the latest watery report on the respected former Governor. We also have it on good authority that the present Government of Nigeria has not let the respected former Anambra Governor be since 2015, to the extent he was recently humiliated in the UK by the country’s immigration officials who held and ransacked his luggage for hours on the ground that “they received intelligence from the Nigerian Government that he was stashing away Ten Million British Pound Sterling”. Yet in the end nothing was found and he was apologized to.

Gestapo Raiding Of Madam Justice Mary Odili’s Residence Condemned

The Coalition also strongly condemns the recent Gestapo invasion and raiding of the residence of a serving Justice of the Supreme Court, Madam Justice Mary Odili by Nigeria’s secret agents camouflaging as “anti graft agents”. The witch-hunt of Madam Justice Odili is clearly understood to be politically motivated and ill-conceived and must have originated from her decision to remain an independent Judge and refusal to join the cabal in the country’s highest adjudicatory Bench. The Nigeria’s cabalistic Government must have also seen her as a major threat in the post Anambra’s kangaroo Governorship Poll’s litigation and a stumbling block to the repetition of the Imo Supreme Court infamy of Jan 2020. The witche-hunt of Madam Justice Odili is therefore a clear repetition of a harvest of ungodly hours of the night invasions of the official residences of some respected Judges of High, Appellate and Apex Courts in 2016 and their trumped up arraignments and charges and unceremonious exits from the Bench as well as the framed removal of the respected Chief Justice of Nigeria (Walter Samuel Onnoghen) in January 2019 prior to the country’s 2019 General Elections. The Coalition hereby warns strongly that the present Government of Nigeria is dangerously putting the country, its bureaucracies and the citizenry at the crossroads of grave uncertainties and must rewind and retract before the situation becomes intractably irreversible.

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