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PERCEPTOR: 5 Questions On The Roforofo In The Judiciary

February 16, 2011

“By doubting we come to question, and by questioning, we perceive the truth.”
(Peter Abelard, 1079-1142)

“By doubting we come to question, and by questioning, we perceive the truth.”
(Peter Abelard, 1079-1142)

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5 Questions on the roforofo in the judiciary

Perceptor has been as spellbound, shocked and stupefied (sss) by the dispute between the nation’s top two judges in which, as you will know gentle reader, the top judge wanted to turn the next top judge into a nowhere-on-the-list judge, i.e. the Chief Justice of Nigeria wanted to send the President of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court and thus make him an ordinary (and very junior) JSC.

Perceptor wonders if Chief Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu ever dreamed that Appeal Court President Ayo Salami would open his mouth quite as wide as he did, repeating all that we had heard before but refused to pay any attention to about the Sokoto gubernatorial appeal.  He should have known that on this matter, there was no point in relying on the judicial code of omertà in which you don’t reveal your brother judge’s dirty dealings.  And he doesn’t reveal yours.  If you have any.  Which of course, you don’t.

But the CJN’s forgetfulness or otherwise is only one of the many things about which Perceptor wonders in relation to this roforofo judiciary fight.  And when Perceptor wonders, Perceptor must necessarily have some questions …


1.    Who is the “minion or stooge”?
Justice Salami said that Justice Katsina-Alu wanted to remove him so that he could appoint his own “minion or stooge” as President of the Court of Appeal.  Perceptor is afraid that the said “minion or stooge” might already be a member of the Court of Appeal.  And Perceptor just wonders who it could be.  Is it the next most senior judge after Salami?  Or is it someone else?  This uncertainty leaves Perceptor looking uneasily at ALL the judges in the Court of Appeal and wondering which of them is the “minion or stooge” of the Chief Justice of Nigeria.

2.    Did the Sultan really lean on the Chief?

According to Salami PCA, Katsina-Alu CJN tried to interfere in the appeal over the Sokoto State governorship election petition because the Sultan of Sokoto was worried that if the person who actually won the election succeeded at the Court of Appeal, he (the Sultan) would be removed.  Perceptor has waited anxiously but in vain for a refutation of this lése majèste, this terrible slur on the honour of the sultanate.  Perceptor can only assume that the silence from Sokoto is because … well, one doesn’t take notice of what is … er, beneath one’s notice.

But if noblesse does not oblige, surely a Chief should say something?  On account of, er, well, some people have tried to imply that he just made it up and that the real reason had more to do with, er … well, more mundane considerations (you know, ummm, … naira, cash … money) than volunteering for royal protection duty, and honestly, Perceptor does think that the CJN should say something by way of denial.  If he has a denial to deny.  Otherwise, the combination of sultanic silence and chieflish closed lips might be interpreted as meaning consent. …  Which leaves Perceptor unable to help wondering …
3.    What can the Sultan have done to warrant removal?

Well, naturally if anybody – even a whole Sultan of Sokoto – tries to interfere with the temple of justice and influence a decision, Perceptor would be the first to say that that in itself is good enough reason to ask him to either ‘step aside’ or be removed.

    But that rather begs the whole question of why Chief Justice Katsina-Alu would say that if the Governor who didn’t win the election was removed “the ripple effect would lead to a removal of our highly-revered Sultan of Sokoto.”  Perceptor wants to know why the removal of a politician would lead to the removal of a Sultan?  What can he have done?  After all, while we can see that a Chief can try some tricks on a President, in the end, it was the President who floored the Chief.  So how can an ordinary Governor – even one who really won an election – try any tricks on a whole Sultan?  Yes, Perceptor is quite aware that when we were under a brutal and oppressive military dictatorship a Military Governor could remove a Sultan.  But surely now that we’re in the twelfth year of civilian government heaven …

4.    Wazzup FAG?

Perceptor thought that what with having to intervene in cases involving Federal Ministers whose prosecution for corruption it is no longer politically expedient to leave in the hands of Independent prosecutors from the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, Federal Attorney-General Bello Adoke would no longer have time hanging on his hands.  He was so silent and inactive when he took over from Michael Aondoaaaakaaaa, even when controversy raged about the constitutional amendments and so on that Perceptor began to fear that the Devil might Find Work for his Idle Hands.

Perceptor would not like to suggest that the devil has indeed found work for the FAG’s idle hands, whatever the original impression that might be created by that Minister’s case, and now this plotting that he is accused of doing to get Justice Salami out of the Court of Appeal, holding secret meetings with the CJN and what not …

But honestly, in the face of all this sudden energy from the FAG, Perceptor can’t help wondering whether the FAG is under orders …

5.    So why has it suddenly become necessary to replace the President of the Court of Appeal?

It’s one thing for the CJN to not be BFFs with the PCA (after all, the CJN got what he wanted in that Sokoto appeal in the end didn’t he?) but why, Perceptor wonders, might the FAG want Salami out of the Court of Appeal?  Isn’t the FAG aware that President Goodluck Jonathan is insisting on observing the Rule of Law (just like his predecessor)?
Or could it be that … well, a bit like his predecessor, the President can afford to say that he will observe the Rule of Law because he is making jolly well sure what the Law that is going to Rule will be …?

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Dullards Expelled from Government Institution
A large number of dullards and intellectual dimwits have been asked to withdraw from a government institution.  They are said to have failed to meet the minimum standard of performance expected of those who are granted admission.  Some of the mentally challenged persons who are now to be expelled are said to have gained admission to the institution under false pretences, having failed to actually score the number of marks that they claimed they had scored, while others were simply unable to meet the required minimum standards.  Some communities which are said to have sent their sons and daughters to the institution in the expectation that they would do them proud and bring prestige and investment to their communities are particularly disappointed that those in whom they placed so much reliance have proved to be idiots.

Interviewed, one of the thickos explained that he just thought it would be nice to rest his brain somewhere with what he described as a modest stipend from government.  He complained that he was not the only nincompoop in the institution and said that he would be taking the university’s authorities to court since the other dumbkopfs were still ‘on seat’.


Perceptor wishes to make it clear that the story about the dullards expelled from a government institution refers to the 365 students expelled from the University of Ibadan for failing to meet the minimum academic standards, or for having gained admission under false pretences and has nothing to do with legislative institutions.  Perceptor emphasizes that the dullards expelled were those in the University of Ibadan, not the ones in the National Assembly.  Perceptor points out that the dullards expelled from the University of Ibadan are less than 2% of the total student population, whereas the percentage who will not be returning to the National Assembly is much higher.  Another obvious difference is that the University of Ibadan will have got rid of all its dunces and that it will carry out another trawl for twits each academic year, whereas the National Assembly, er … um, anyway, every four years there is er … um … (Cont’d. on page 2011)

Clarification (2)

Perceptor also wishes to correct any impression that may have been corrected by any statements which Perceptor may have made to the effect that Nigeria is being run by a bunch of crooks.  By ‘Nigeria’ Perceptor did not in any way mean to refer to the geographical area called ‘Nigeria’ or to any part of it.  By ‘run’ Perceptor did not mean those who are in charge of affairs at any level in Nigeria, particularly not at the Federal level.  By ‘bunch of crooks’ Perceptor did not mean to imply that the people in charge of Nigeria are in any way dishonest, or corrupt, or fond of taking bribes or stealing from the Nigerian people.*

Perceptor wishes to state that what Perceptor meant by “bunch of crooks” was in fact the word “rascals” for the explanation and meaning of which Perceptor defers to the wisdom of Mr. President and Mr. President’s Presidential spokesperson in insisting that “rascals” is one of those words which means only and exactly what Perceptor (or Mr. President) wish it to mean.

*Clarification (3)

Perceptor wishes to clarify that taking bribes from foreign corporations does not count as stealing from the Nigerian people because it is foreign money and is classified as Really Direct Foreign Investment (RFDI).  Perceptor also wishes to clarify that only if the price of any contracts awarded to foreign corporations are inflated can the question of the Nigerian people’s money even arise.  This is because executing contracts with substandard cheaper materials does not, technically speaking, constitute ‘stealing’.

Perceptor also wishes to clarify that even if inflated contracts are originally paid for with Nigerian taxpayers’ money, that does not really constitute stealing from the Nigerian people because once money has been liberated from the geographical space called Nigeria and laundered through the bank accounts of foreign corporations, it ceases to be Nigerian money.

Any money any foreign corporation chooses to donate to Nigerian high officials cannot be classified as money stolen from the Nigerian people because such foreign corporation did not have to make any donation to the said Nigerian high officials in any case, and was therefore obviously donating any money either as RFDI or purely out of sheer voluntary good-heartedness and … (Contd. on page 2011)


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