I think the Fintiri-led government in Adamawa state needs to re-evaluate itself and those holding responsible offices in it also reconsider their positions for the sake of posterity. If I’ll be lying down in the comfort of my house in Asokoro, Abuja, under lockdown without raising a finger and my name is charged for terrorism in a Magistrate Court in Yola at the misled insistence of the government just because I refused to recognize the leadership of the ruling party in the state and the poor management of state matters, it then tells a lot of the kind of leadership we have in Adamawa. We have raised issues against the party and the government in the state, instead of them to address the issues raised, both the government and the party resorted to brigandages and abuse of power.
First, they criminally sent thugs to invade my house, assault us and destroy property. Up till now the Adamawa state Police Command is still to apprehend the perpetrators of that act of vandalism. Not quite satisfied with what they did, they then unlawfully and deceptively misused the police to deny us lawful assembly and later, without any provocation, went and arrested our supporters. When they failed here too, the government finally resorted to the ridiculous rubbishing of judicial sanctity and breaching CJN’s Circular by forcing a poor Magistrate to sit and try us on such ludicrous charges of terrorism. I sympathize with the poor Magistrate who gave himself out to be misused against public good. Now that the so-called accused that he ordered their detention are released unconditionally, the so-called charges withdrawn and the file closed by the police without even referring to him, how can he extricate himself from this misdemeanour if we insist on taking the matter up against him? He is only a magistrate judge; he knows he has no jurisdiction to hear the charges brought against us. He knows terrorism is a federal crime and only a High Court can hear it; he knows that the charges are themselves fake and fabricated; he also knows that courts are officially closed, yet he defied that order and without any written authorization constituted a court and sat and ordered for our detention. In fact he was the only court that sat on that day throughout the entire country. Why? The answer is ostensibly to satisfy the so-called interest of the governor. What a petty! When did opposition become terrorism? This can only be in the minds of desperate power mongers who want to hold onto power at all costs for pillaging than for public service. It’s a shame! Thank God the police has now realized it’s errors and is retracting it’s steps. On our part we are willing to forgive the police knowing that they were misled.
But as for the judge, he knows more than anyone else that the governor is not the law. Just as the messenger, or the permsec, or the Emir, etc. is not the law, the governor too is not the law. They’re all put in their positions by the law. Therefore they’re all subject to the law. Yet, the poor Magistrate and the police would give themselves in to be misused against the law just to satisfy so-called government interest. It’s a shame. I hope we’ve all learned our lessons and such irresponsible acts wouldn’t be repeated again.
But l don’t blame government and its cohorts; I blame the law professor in the Government House who sits by and allow the regime to be misled by lunatics who’re desperate to hold onto power no matter how ignominious. If as a law professor, he cannot advice the government onto the right, lawful and honorable path, then I don’t think being there is worth the title.
Dr Umar Ardo, PhD
Writes this from Asokoro, Abuja