Tinubu: Between Justice Ariwoola And Justice

Tinubu Guinea

Following the recently-held but hotly-contested presidential poll result the ‘President-elect’, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, had jetted out of the country early last week. Reports online indicated that he was fagged out and was therefore seeking medical attention abroad. It has been confirmed officially that Tinubu is currently receiving medical treatment in Paris, France!

The statement made it clear that he had travelled abroad to rest and plan his transition programme ahead of the May 29, 2023 inauguration. From Europe he would be heading to Saudi Arabia for Umrah (lesser hajj).

Asiwaju Tinubu’s health condition remains a source of worry for many Nigerians. With the Buhari London medical tourism conundrum it remains to be seen how Tinubu would either continue in Buhari’s standard or consider building a world-class hospital in Abuja or Lagos capable of taking good care of his medical needs.

But suddenly online last week rumours started making the rounds online that Asiwaju Tinubu was locked in a clandestine meeting with the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola (GCON). According to the reports since denied by the Director, Media and Publicity of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Council (PCC), Bayo Onanuga, the CJN had disguised himself as a cripple on a wheelchair and seen being wheeled into an unknown location outside Nigeria!

Bayo Onanuga, a veteran journalist, has been transformed by politics into a local champion, an ethnic bigot and an Igbophobic scoundrel. During the military dictatorship of the past this dude was a pro-democracy advocate of repute, a sound brilliant mind using his newsmagazine to fight for a better society.

He deservedly earned our respect from the journalistic odyssey of sailing against the wind when many of his mates walked a road paved with comfort and relative safety. Names like Nosa Igiebor, Ray Ekpu, Onome Osifo-Whiskey, Dare Babarinsa, Tunji Bello, Reuben Abati, Azu Ishiekwene, Mike Awoyinfa, Dimgba Igwe, Adekunbi Ero etc rang a bell during the dark days of Babangidaised and Abacharaised dictatorships.


In the mid 90’s in Benin City as a young student I had met Mrs Ero one on one on more than one occasion inside her office along Airport Road (the headquarters of the then ‘Nigerian Observer’ newspaper company where I went every other weekend for my reading pleasure and research in the library). She was a Managing Editor of one of the titles.


Mrs Ero, a combination of brain and beauty, made sure the stipends due me as a regular contributor got paid to me. I still remember her encouraging words, always telling me that with hardwork and commitment the sky was the limit!

Today, like Femi Adesina, President Buhari’s Special media aide, Onanuga has suddenly lost his journalistic mojo! He is now in the company of scoundrels like Femi Fani-Kayode and MC Oluomo! The current fear among Nigerians is that with Bayo in Aso Rock as ‘President’ Tinubu’s media aide then Adesina may well end up a ‘saint’!

Yet, the truth of the matter is that Adesina and Onanuga are not the only professional journalists of yore now corrupted and compromised. Politics Nigeriana has a way of bringing out the beast in some of us no matter how hard we try to mask our true intentions!

After initial denials (including one from Onanuga) the truth had finally emerged last weekend when the Supreme Court confirmed in a statement issued by its Spokesperson that the CJN did indeed travel to the United Kingdom for medical attention. In due course more revelations are bound to follow suit.

Pray, why is London a special place for the Nigerian elite to engage in medical tourism? President Buhari has shown the way, others are now following in his footsteps. Aso Rock Clinic can go to hell without drugs or qualified personnel even though millions of Naira are budgeded annually for drugs and other matters — including salaries to the ghost workers!

It appears that there is this pervading atmosphere of jittery in Asiwaju Tinubu’s camp. That is what happens and what one expects in an atmosphere of a purloined mandate. If he had won fair and square then there should have been no basis for the panic, the fear being covertly expressed.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola was appointed substantive Chief Justice of Nigeria on 27 June 2022 following the resignation of incumbent Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad accused of sundry judicial misdemeanour. Justice Ariwoola had been mired in controversy in the past following a social function he attended in the Rivers State Capital.

Speaking in Port Harcourt as the special guest of the Rivers State Government, Justice Ariwoola had said: “That is why we should not be scared to have these men of the Integrity Group. And I am happy that my Governor is among them because he would try to imitate his friend and in-law because we came here to marry for my Governor.”

Now, given this partisan display by the CJN controversy had trailed this declaration in the middle of a political battle in the opposition PDP pitting Governor Nyesom Wike and the five PDP Governors against the PDP presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar, and the national leadership led by Iyorchia Ayu.

Gov. Wike is reputed to be a judicial fixer! He knows how to get around complex judicial issues. Governors Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State must be grateful to Gov. Wike for ‘fixing’ successfully their gubernatorial challenges of the past.

Only God knows how much (in terms of millions of Dollars) the two Governors must have shelled out prior to their judicial triumph at the supreme of all ‘cults’! If Wike and his corrupt judicial network had not intervened perhaps Governors Udom and Ikpeazu would have been gubernatorial history since then.

Now, another serious challenge has presented itself, that of the pyrrhic victory handed over to Asiwaju Tinubu by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). Tinubu has since recruited Wike secretly into his camp even though the latter still stands as a PDP loyal party man.

There are these ongoing litigations involving the two ‘losing’ candidates in the presidential election, the LP’s Peter Obi and PDP’s Atiku Abubakar, and the announced ‘winner’, Asiwaju Tinubu. The matter is still at the Election Petition Tribunal. But whatever decision reached there must be challenged by the disfavoured party up to the Supreme Court.

And that is where Justice Ariwoola comes in dramatically. The Supreme Court Justices’s decision is final in the matter hence the significance attached to whatever verdict they reached. We hope the Supreme Court (and not Cult) would do justice to the electoral dispute.

Given the fact that their controversial interventions in the Governor Hope Uzodinma judicial heist and Senate President Ahmed Lawan’s supreme electoral robbery, the rumoured meeting in London between the frail-looking indisposed Tinubu and Justice Ariwoola comes into sharp perspective.

Tinubu we know can do anything to move into the Aso Villa come May 29th this year. Even if the Supreme Court Justices ask him to shell out a billion Dollars he can do it or promise them something tangible in return for a favourable denouement of the case.

So, was there a subterranean negotiation going on somewhere in London or Paris? Well, time shall tell. But for now let electoral justice be done to the Atiku and Obi cases.

If wishes were horses beggars might ride, you might conclude. With Nyesom Wike (who knows where the judicial dead bodies are buried!) by his side Asiwaju may well trump the opposition at the apex court. Whatever ‘condition’ he is given by the Supreme ‘Cultists’ he may not be in a position to reject given the fact that the stakes are high!

For now all eyes are on Justice Ariwoola and other Justices sitting at the Supreme Court. This is so because it is expected that the Atiku/Obi litigation would definitely terminate its course at the Supreme Court.

Whatever verdict (whether a compromising one or one that stands scrutiny at the fullest of time) they reach would definitely have a negative or positive impact in our chaotic national political life.

Between Justice Ariwoola and justice, therefore, something must give! Either justice is done and seen to be done without fear or favour or Justice Ariwoola gets ‘inducted’ into the hall of infamy.


SOC Okenwa



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