Senator Uzodinma

Senator Uzodinma

 ? By Emmanuel Ezenwa

I write with the disappointment of a young man who had developed so much likeness and respect for legal practitioners and the justice system. This deeply rooted affection was influenced by the conduct and charisma of legal luminaries such as Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), Justice Aloma M. Mukhtar, Justice Dahiru Musdapher, Femi Falana (SAN); and many others who had influenced the integrity of Nigerian Judiciary and serve as role models to the younger generation.

But today, most of the foundational virtues which the judicial system has earned through the painstaking efforts of men and women of goodwill and character are flagrantly despised and grossly eroded through misplacement of priorities, parochial pursuit of personal aggrandisement, sharp and corrupt practices by desperate lawyers whose value systems are marred with all sorts of despicable anomalies; thereby labeling them before the society as persons of interest.

As a student of political psychology, I learnt a couple of tricks and techniques employed by politicians to discredit their oppositions: factors such as propaganda, god-fatherism, blackmail, threat to life, and ?black powder? were used by mostly politicians during electioneering campaigns. It?s sad to note that some of our new generation lawyers have borrowed a leaf from these unlawful antics and are now grossly and shamelessly involved in the latest schemes such as media manipulation, character assassination, image damaging, political noise-making and other forms of unethical, unprofessional and barbaric means, hiding under the guise of human activist lawyers to display their ignominious acts to the detriment of the values and integrity of the institutions they swore allegiance to.

We have a situation whereby people like Festus Keyamo have allegedly engaged in all manner of conflict of interest and faction. A ?human activist? lawyer, who claims to lead the war against corruption, but was too blind to notice the presence of corrupt lawyers in the EFCC that he works for who Mr Ibrahim Lamorde is threatening to sack for their purported indulgence in sharp practices. One may be poised to ask, could it be that Keyamo is among the reported new generation lawyers who have been engaging in sharp practices, collecting money from accused persons to water down their charges or mess up with the prosecution in such a way that the cases against the accused persons would be difficult to sustain?

Just recently, the House of Representatives started an investigative public hearing on the status of assets confiscated by the EFCC since its establishment. It is sad to note that EFCC, which the ?human right activist? (Keyamo) represents, failed to honour the legislative summons; an act the lawmakers described as being equivalent to taking up arms against the Constitution. It is popularly said that he who comes to equity must come with clean hands. How can the EFCC make meaningful progress in fighting graft, when it parades men of questionable character and integrity as its prosecutorial counsel?

On an occasion, Barrister Emeka Ugwuonye said: ?Because Keyamo is the prosecutor in my cases, I shall refrain from explicit statements regarding his role or potential role; but at the end of it, I must say that firing these lawyers would not be enough, they must be prosecuted and have their licenses taken away. For those who set out to fight corruption to become the true purveyors and practitioners of corruption is a matter that this country must take seriously. It is only when EFCC comes down hard on its own men that we can take it seriously in its claims of fighting corruption?.

I beg to question the moral integrity of Keyamo, who in psychological parlance, could be best described as a sociopath, one who enjoys violating the rights of others in the society. Festus Keyamo could not even manage mere domestic issues in his own home. He shamelessly filed a suit for divorce accusing his wife of being foul-mouthed and a bad cook. Let men of good moral standing judge if these reasons are convincing enough to make a man break up a six year marriage that produced two children. A husband that is best described by his wife as being grossly irresponsible, philandering, lacks respect for womanhood and worst of all, a wife beater.

The Presiding Judge of an Ikeja High Court, in 2010, could not help but fault Keyamo for his inability to manage the affairs of his home without making it public. Mr. Keyamo was asked by the court to tender an apology to his wife for being callous to her and for using negative words to qualify her. This same man is now parading himself as the best man to occupy the Delta State Government House in the next election. With what magic does he intend to provide good governance since he could not tolerate his wife?s weaknesses, but rather chose to assault the poor woman at will?

The fact is that Keyamo has a history of witch-hunting and legally persecuting ordinary and innocent people with the delusion that it makes him appear ?tough? in public domain. I am not surprised at all if Keyamo has chosen this time to extend his sociopathic trait to Senator Hope Uzodinma. The question is, if he could do it to his own wife, why not Uzodinma?

In 2010, prior to the 2011 run up election in Imo State, Keyamo petitioned the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stop Uzodinma from contesting; he raised countless false allegations ranging from armed robbery to bankruptcy against the innocent hardworking businessman who has done him no wrong at any point in life, neither has he any case with the commission that Keyamo represents. Investigations were carried out, and the allegations were found to be baseless and emanating from hatred and envy.

No sooner than the impunity of Keyamo was disgracefully dismissed, his partners in crime conjured another insulting allegation that rumored degree certificate forgery against the person of Uzodinma, a scandal that died naturally on arrival. Today, Keyamo has started another ridiculous scandal, alleging that Senator Uzodinma does not have a WAEC certificate. It is now very clear that Keyamo is not only a sociopath, but a callous sadist as well. Otherwise, how could a supposed learned person ever conceive that a public office holder who had previously been appointed as the Chairman of Imo State Marketing Board and were duly screened by various security agencies that recorded no doubt whatsoever regarding the authenticity of his academic records, now not have a WAEC certificate? He has said in a press release that he (Uzodinma) is open to public scrutiny of his academic records.

What does Keyamo stand to gain by persistently forging scandals against the Senator? I think that Senator Hope Uzodinma?s vibrant representation in the senate and popularity in his home state (Imo) is a veritable antidote to the destructive venom of Keyamo and his allies. This indeed should serve as an eye opener to the people of Delta State in their choice of who would be their next governor. People must, as a matter of sensibility, oppose the emergence of a persecutor as leader in whatever capacity. Festus Keyamo should stop this ungentlemanly conduct and respect the judicial institution that gives him the platform to practice. A good lawyer is one who respects the right of others and preaches that where the right of one stops, there the right of another starts.

Also, it is my candid opinion that a lawyer who has been reported to have unequivocally declared himself as a gubernatorial candidate is now compromised and partisan, therefore no more fit to serve as a counsel to an anti-graft agency that should be seen to be transparent and independent of political influence.

By Emmanuel Ezenwa
An Abuja-based social scientist, researcher and writer who is currently pursuing his Master of Science in Forensic Psychology.

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