At a stakeholders meeting a few days ago, Mr. OCJ Okocha SAN, was reported to have advised the embattled Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, to appeal the judgment of the Justice Ambrosa-led Rivers State Election Petition Tribunal that nullified his purported election as governor. Mr. Okocha also advised Wike to ensure he hires the best lawyers in the land to diligently handle the matter at the appeal court.
The APC finds the advice of OCJ Okocha surprising and curious. Not surprising because he advised the governor, after all, he has never relented in standing by Wike right from when he joined the fray to condemn attempts by any other section of Rivers State to agitate to govern the state. OCJ Okocha’s view is that it doesn’t matter if a particular family ruled Rivers State for a century or more.
However, what the APC finds surprising and curious is that as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria [SAN] and one time President of the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] who has surreptitiously joined politics, OCJ Okocha finds himself not worthy and erudite enough to come to the rescue of his beloved friend in time of need like now.
Many questions come to mind. Is it that OCJ Okocha does not really believe in his own ability, capability and capacity to successfully prosecute his friend’s case? Is this indicative of OCJ Okocha’s non participation in any electoral matter at the various tribunals at a time when Senior Advocates are reaping bountifully and smiling to the bank from election petition matters by politicians? Is it that OCJ [as many call him] prefers strutting Wike’s lowly political world for easy pecuniary rewards instead of the elevated, esteemed and hallowed arena where distinguished Silks call the shots?
Again, the APC is a bit puzzled that OCJ, in one fell swoop, talked down his younger colleague who has also served as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association [NBA]. He is Mr. Okey Wali SAN, who worked so hard with other Silks for Nyesom Wike at the tribunal. Why does OCJ think he is not competent to handle Wike’s matter? Is it that OCJ knows and does not simply want to admit to Wike how bad the latter’s case is? Or is it that OCJ just does not know the true state of the matter in question?
Is it really true that OCJ does not also think highly of the likes of Mr. Emmanuel Ukala SAN, Prof. Epiphany Azinge SAN and a coterie of other eminent Silks Wike paraded at the tribunal?
Again, it appears that Wike took a cue from OCJ in the attacks that he and his people mounted against the Nigerian judiciary since the tribunal judgment. OCJ was widely reported in the media with headlines such as: “OCJ Okocha takes a swipe at judiciary, insists Wike will win re-run.”
The APC does not begrudge OCJ his right to choose who to politically associate with. We are only concerned that rather than act and talk in a way that befits him, OCJ has shown that he is not ready to serve as a worthy example to younger people both in what he does and says in public about others.
State Publicity Secretary
Tues, November 3, 2015.