Supreme Court Or Supreme Cult? By Ozodinukwe Okenwa

Senator Hope Uzodinma is about the happiest politician in Nigeria today. Not a few political animals in the declining ‘Naira-land’ would feel ecstatic (nay euphoric) were they to be in his position of power. The ‘god’ of power must have chosen Hope for Imolites for hope to come back post-Mbakwe, some may argue. The gubernatorial story of Senator Uzodinma could be likened to a miracle –God’s supernatural intervention in the natural affairs of men — if we all believe that a hand of God was in the making of the tale.

By the judicial magical grace of the Supreme Court of Nigeria the well-fed senator was ‘elected’ governor few weeks ago effectively ending ex-governor Emeka Ihedioha’s tenure as one of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors in the South-East. For purposes of emphasis it would be recalled that Senator Uzodinma of the All Progressives Congress (APC) came a distant fourth in the gubernatorial poll in Imo State of last year. Today he sits as the Executive Governor in Owerri!

The supreme judicial decision had generated a whole lot of legal interpretations and interrogations across the political divides. According to the Supreme Court Justices ex-Senator Uzodinma had polled the highest number of votes in the guber election but the electoral umpire (INEC) or their state representative had fraudulently (and criminally too) removed systematically the votes of hundreds of units cast in favour of the APC candidate! What that meant was that Ihedioha was rigged into office by the PDP rigging machinery in Imo State.

The Supreme Court verdict as it concerned Imo State governorship tussle was not without precedence. The Transportation Minister and former Governor of Rivers State, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, did not contest the guber poll in Rivers State over a decade ago. But he was made Governor by the Supreme Court! Minister Amaechi had dutifully contested for his then party’s primaries and won. But he was ‘godfatherly’ manipulated out with his name replaced with another candidate at the eleventh hour.

Minister Rotimi fought back legally and the litigation lasted for months as he sought to reclaim what was rightfully his in the ‘technical’ eyes of the law. He was in political limbo in Ghana when he was vindicated. The final verdict in form of a political bombshell came from the Supreme Court and Amaechi defeated the godfathers he was up against in Port-Harcourt and Abuja.

The Governors of Rivers, Abia and Akwa Ibom states, Nyesom Wike, Okezie Ikpeazu and Udom Emmanuel respectively, had their political and governorship careers saved by the Supreme Court some years ago. Then some detractors had alleged that millions of Dollars had changed hands before the judgement was given in their favour! Ex-Governor Peter Odili whose wife was a ‘Supreme Cultist’ was alleged to have ‘fixed’ things. 

The mastermind of the grand judicial corruption is, himself, still marooned by a judicial ruling placing him above the law in terms of prosecution by any anti-graft agency in the country! That is, he has in his possession an enduring edict barring any anti-graft agency or agent from ever laying their hands on him for whatever reason — even when evidence abound of his fiscal swindling of Rivers State during his eight years administration. Clever chap!

Days before the Supreme Court delivered the shocking judgement that terminated Ihedioha’s reign the Enugu-based Adoration Ministry Spritual Director Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka had, during the new year cross-over evangelical event in the Coal City, prophesied ‘Hope’ for Imolites. Such prognostication was neither novel nor surprising in a nation enmeshed in religious opium. What baffles was its mercantilistic dimension.

According to the controversial preacher God spoke to him about Hope Uzodinma becoming Governor of Imo State! Millions of Naira was ‘donated’ to Mbaka before or after the powerful well-publicised prediction that has now come true! Father Mbaka has lately become more of a politician than a preacher of the Gospel. And this transformation imbued with filthy lucre is what intrigues the sound mind.

Yet the ultimate posers troubling the conscience of the discerning minds remain: Did God actually speak with Mbaka? How? When? Why? Was Mbaka informed beforehand by an insider in the supreme cult that the verdict would go the way of Hope? And was he, therefore, co-opted into the scheme to give it (the verdict) a credible meaning and the cult itself a spiritual dimension?

Of course, the Nigerian politicians are capable of everything. They could turn stone into bread, Baba Sallah way, if only to hoodwink the electorate into parting with their votes. They could promise building castles in the air if only to grab power. They could play fake Jesus and Lazarus, one dying and the other raising him from dead, if only to convince people of their ability to beat back poverty and enthrone prosperity. Alas, the truth always triumphs in a sea of falsehood — even in a nation like ours where lying has been turned into a national culture.

For ex-Governor Emeka Ihedioha Father Mbaka is more of a prophet of gloom and doom who should not be taken seriously. But for Governor Uzodinma he remains a prophet of grace and glory in whose prophesies one must believe.

Governor Uzodinma was once accused and docked by the anti-graft agency for fraud and consequently forbidden from travelling outside Nigeria. Yet such a supposed ‘criminal’ was allowed to vie for governorship! And now armed with immunity prosecution is nigh impossible. In a country where high-profile criminals walk free while petty thieves rot away in jail the Uzodinmas of this world must be sleeping well knowing fully well that they belong to the Buharian winning ruling party.

The opposition PDP had vehemently protested the Ihedioha deposition claiming that the ruling APC was bent on dethroning some more PDP Governors using the Supreme Court as the last arbiter.

The overriding problem in Imo State gubernatorial battle was that no one had won. Imolites are the losers! The real ‘winner’ remains Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka who had effortfully captured a big fish in his unchecked ecumenical ambition of taking ‘prisoners’ in a season of peace. The fiery intrepid priest was invited over to the Government House like an angel or Prince to cleanse the place of power of its diabolical forces.

With Justice Walter Onnoghen dramatically removed from office and disgraced as the Chief Justice of Nigeria on ambiguous charges of false declaration of assets the Buhari regime, wittingly or unwittingly, by omission or commission, has apparently transformed the Supreme Court into the supreme cult! 

All hail the cultists!

SOC Okenwa

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