Digging the Fossils of Cicero, as Ikem Okuhu Seeks Cemetery for Edeoga’s Political Corpse

By Eze Nwamadi, Ogbonna Asadu and Ezema Igwenunu

Reading Ikem Okuhu’s treatise on Cicero this, Cicero that, we were amused at his attempt at classical allusion and the myth of law, and wonder why he hallucinated on Cicero. It is not only Cicero; what about Aristotle, Plato and even Socrates? Cicero my foot! Any other Greek ancient could go, since he merely wanted to flaunt his smattering of the Ancient Greek and its philosophers. Okuhu is quite ludicrous with his infantile playing to the gallery with a little learning. Alexander Pope succinctly captured the danger of a little learning when in his “Essay on Criticism” he wrote, “A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep or taste not the Pierien Spring. A shallow draught intoxicates the brain; drinking largely sobers us again.” The little of Cicero Rev. Fr. Ejiofor taught Okuhu’s Mass Communication class of 1993 at UNN was so intoxicating its hangover had lasted for many years that Okuhu now found sobriety on the morbidity of Edeoga’s governorship misadventure. Cicero’s thoughts on the universal application and the happening of the natural truth of law has no anchor on Okuhu’s misinterpretation of the judgment of the Enugu Election Petition Tribunal on the governorship. Okuhu merely wanted to flaunt his spurious erudition in the misinterpretation of Cicero’s thoughts on the university of law and its application. Quite childish!

Well, navigating through his wobbly piece, one could only hear an echo of Okuhu’s lamentation of Chijioke Edeoga’s political death. Okuhu’s tears dropped hot on Edeoga’s political coffin. Edeoga’s is a political death that deserves no mourning. It is a political suicide. In Igbo culture, or as we read in Achebe’s Things Fall Apart , suicide is shamefully an abominable death. And so, the remains of them who die by suicide are thrown into the evil forest with no funerals. And in the spiritual world, they are denied access. So, they roam the fringes between the physical and spiritual worlds. They are such dead as optically seen in the physical world from time to time. So, Okuhu’s lamentation of Edeoga is also an abomination. Edeoga did commit the suicide but Okuhu and co handed him the rope and egged him to the gallows.

The verdict of the Enugu Election Petition Tribunal against which Ikem Okuhu invoked the spirit of Cicero is clearly detailed and exhaustive, and does not in anyway preclude the said universal application of law. Nothing discriminatory is found in the judgment which Ikem Okuhu mischieviously misinterpreted.The ruling on the NYSC certificate forgery allegation does not in anyway contravene Section 182 (I) to which Okuhu referred. The tribunal did not rule that Governor Mbah’s NYSC certificate was forged. It rather ruled that besides the fact that the petitioner did not provide before it the original certificate which he purported claimed was forged, NYSC certificate is not a prerequisite qualification for governorship. What purpose does the deliberate misinterpretation of the judgment serve? Section 182(I) of the constitution applies when it is established that the certificate is forged. The mere fact that Ibrahim Muhammad, the Director of Corps Certification, who was subpoenaed before the tribunal, claimed NYSC did not issue the certificate, even when Peter Mbah served and was cleared and paid his NYSC allowances, and issued last clearance letter which Muhammad corroborated, does not hold water. Muhammad had corroborated all that Mbah said, yet failed to show why Mbah would not collect the original certificate, only to go and forge it. Does that in any way sound reasonable? What would be Mbah’s intention of forging NYSC certificate when he had satisfied necessary conditions to be issued the certificate by the NYSC? It is absolutely non-sequitur a claim, quite clear even to the daft. Left for Okuhu and the dead ambition he serves, once a compromised body repudiates a certificate it issued, it stands as a valid ground for the disqualification of the bearer or the victim of institutional corruption. Meanwhile, the same NYSC had confirmed to INEC the same certificate as authentic, stamping it “Certified True Copy.” The Department of State Services (DSS) also investigated the forgery claims against Mbah and found NYSC in error. There is even a subsisting ruling on the certificate as authentic by an Abuja High Court which also restrained NYSC from further renunciation of Mbah’s NYSC certificate.

So, how does the judgment contradict Cicero’s thoughts on law? Did Cicero tell Ikem Okuhu an issuing authority would not prove beyond reasonable doubt its claim on a certificate that has its imprimatur, apart from the fact that the said body had earlier verified the same certificate it now disclaims? Who is fooling who? Those who hatched the spurious NYSC certificate forgery narratives against Peter Mbah dropped it as one would a hot iron, yet Edeoga and his co-travellers on the route to political idiocy would carry another’s load to the court. Now that the come has come to become, and the load grows heavier on their head, Edeoga and co are crying all over the place, seeking to tar the image of the judiciary.

The fly that has no adviser follows the corpse to the grave. But for desperate overambition, Edeoga has no business at the tribunal. His overambition was stoked by the self-selving quest of jobbers like Okuhu and others whom Edeoga had promised plum political appointments when he became governor, a surreal promise that left everlasting bitter taste in the jaded palates of the selfish dissidents who would wishfully hope to subvert the will of the people of Enugu State who gave Peter Ndubuisi Mbah their mandate. They are the same evil men dragging Edeoga to the appellate court that he may die a second death.

These are also the evil men who drag Edeoga about like a baby learning to walk (what we call ‘deedede’ in Nsukka dialect). They exploit Edeoga’s vulnerability and inordinate crave for power, and make him take decisions that have marred his political career forever. It has gone beyond the deep. Even the horse and its rider can no more meet up. Dave Umahi, the former governor of Ebonyi State, and now Minister of Works, yesterday captured it succinctly. Umahi told those taking Mbah to court to stop wasting their time, for Mbah was duly elected the governor of Enugu State by the people. He extolled Mbah’s competence manifest in his achievements so far. In fact, flesh and blood did not reveal this truth to Umahi; the spirit did. So, let those who have ears hear what the spirit says through Engr. David Nweze Umahi.

If Okuhu cries from now till eternity, and one Emeka Ugwuonye pointlessly pontificates on law from Nigeria to Hague, even when he is debarred from practising law anywhere in the world, even when Edeoga did not hire him as a lawyer, but consigned him to the dustbin of propaganda, the best they could do for the dead is get them buried. Edeoga’s governorship bid is a corpse for which a grave had better and quickly be dug for internment. Okuhu need not go to Greece, to the sepulchre of Cicero, Mgbuji has enough burial ground for the dead Edeoganized.

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