Opinion By Olasupo Ayodeji
Observing the trend of ruthlessness being exhibited by Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court Abuja, against several high profile cases that he adjudicates upon. It has become pertinent to trace his records so far as a Judge.
In the not too faraway past, several voices have been heard calling on the authorities concerned to do away with people like Abang to clear the integrity of the bench as a major stakeholder in demonizing it.
It is more like Abang is kept and protected in the bench to serve the biddings of the highest bidder, in this case, the powers that be. This is not too difficult to acertain judging by the fact that many controversial cases have passed through him and the supposed victors became the vanquished.
A five member panel of the Appeal court led by Justice Morenike Ogunwumiju once said about Abang that he “raped democracy” when he annulled the election of Abia state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu and ordered INEC to issue a certificate of return to Mr Uchechukwu Ogah without evidence of forgery against Dr. Ikpeazu.
The court went further to say that Abang embarked on a goose chase and that he spoke from both sides of his mouth.
Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti state had once asked the National Judicial Commission to sack Justice Okon Abang saying, it will save Nigeria judiciary from disgrace. Governor Fayose issued a reaction to the Appeal court’s ruling saying “it is obvious that Justice Abang is representing the dirty interests of some cabals, who are protecting him despite the incalculable damages he has done to the judiciary.”
He also said “Today again, three justices of the Appeal court descended on Justice Abang, describing his judgement imposing Jimoh Ibrahim as the PDP governorship candidate in Ondo state and the one affirming Senator Ali Modu Sherif and the PDP national chairman as fraudulent.”
Abang is seen by a lot of observers as unashamedly and blatantly a pawn in the hands of APC puppeteers. He makes no attempt to disguise or hide the authorship of the script he is acting. He has penchant for abuse of court processes and actions of impunity.
He is also the same judge today that is acting a gangster dictator in his court instructing the former Pensions boss Abdulrasheed Maina not to look at him in the court room.
Responding to a petition against him filed before the chief judge, Abang only acted the script of a man being chased by his enemies instead of responding to the charges against him.
It is such that people taken before him loose hope for justice and this negativity goes back to the entire judiciary. Understanding
To even buttress this fact further, it is on record that Abang had been transfered from Abuja headquarters to the Federal High Court division in Asaba but to the surprise of all the EFCC worked their way out and brought him back to Abuja.
Definitely in return of one good turn, other people’s rights are compromised by the judge to please the EFCC.It is is true that in a civilised society, a public judicial worker facing these allegations against him will resign to protect his image. With Abang, reverse is the case as he enjoys protection to unveil his mischiefs at the expense of the image and integrity of the judiciary.
We will not relent in our call to the National Judicial Commission to get rid of Justice Okon Abang before he rids the judiciary of its image as the final hope of the common man.
Olasupo Ayodeji writes from Kaduna