Bayo Oluwasanmi

Justice Alpha Belgore For Sale...Going Fast

Buyer: Reprobate Bukola Saraki

Price: Negotiable In The Billions

The judicial system in any country constitutes the bedrock of good governance. Sadly, the halo around the Nigerian judiciary has been dimmed due to malady of corruption plaguing the system.

Nigeria's judicial system is corrupt. Nigerian judges have been bought the way our politicians have been purchased. There are many loopholes, rigged systems, bribes taken, and extortion involved. A legal system of a country is supposed to develop and create justice and equality for everyone. But the Nigerian system is a system that punishes the innocent and let the guilty get away with unfair rulings.

Justice is not being served in an astonishing number of cases that involved  corrupt politicians and elites, with verdicts leaving the public scratching their heads – and not because of dandruff. The system emboldens criminals in breaking the law, as they know they can buy off cases. With rigged courts, bribed judges, phony trials, extortion, big fishes like Saraki with sufficient stolen funds are off the hook while poor Nigerians sit in jails for years for minor misdemeanor.

The former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Salihu Moddibo Alpha Belgore is on the auction block and he's going fast. The buyer is none other than the reprobate Senate President Bukola Saraki. According to SaharaReporters (SR), Belgore was hired by Saraki as his go-between with the appellate justices to strike a secret deal to quash Saraki's trial at Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT). Though, Belgore presents himself as a well regarded justice, he never won the inward battles. On the outside, however, he amounts to little more than a shrimp. Greed is his most noticeable quality.

Like any other corruption case in Nigeria, SR has been exceptionally successful in preempting unfair rulings that might have acquitted the enemies of Nigeria.  As a contributor to SR, it sounds immodest of me to heap praises on SR. Nonetheless, I'm proud to say that if not because of SR's  timely preemptive story on Belgore's backdoor dealings to abort Saraki's case, Saraki's case would have been history.

SR combines journalism of courage and investigative journalism to fulfill the social obligations of modern media. SR's journalism of courage is a form of storytelling that probes the boundaries of Nigeria's civic conscience. The investigative journalism aspect is to provoke outrage in the reports of malfeasance. And in both cases, SR dwarfs other Internet Portals. Last week, SR preempted Belgore  behind the scenes maneuvers to quash Saraki's trial at the CCT. Two Abuja lawyers who spoke on condition of anonymity in a telephone interview with SR described Belgore as “massively corrupt and engaging in subversion of justice.”

When you think of a corrupt justice like Belgore, you think of someone who trades rulings for cash.  Behind the scenes ploy by Belgore to arrange a verdict by the Court of Appeal to nullify or dismiss Saraki's trial by the CCT on the grounds of “irregular and a violation of the senator's fundamental rights,” means Belgore is not crawling to the dark hole alone, but he's taking the already pulverized judicial apparatus with him. For ignoring “nicer rules of conscience,” Belgore is a text book example of a pirate and a corrupt puppet in our judicial system.

The fact that Belgore a former Chief Justice of Nigeria was bought by a criminal who in this case the Senate President, confers on Belgore an ignominious title of senior member of dishonorable justices who ignore the evidence, twist the rules and procedures, obstruct the record, retaliate, manufacture facts, deny the admission of evidence prejudicial to the favored party, mischaracterize pleadings, engage in ex parte communication and misapply the law. This is not merely misbehavior, it's criminal behavior on the part of Belgore. Belgore should be tried for bribery, corruption, influence peddling, and obstruction of justice.

Belgore a fellow Ilorin Mesujamba and a close confidant of Saraki's father, believes Saraki is one of the untouchables. He believes members of the Saraki corruption dynasty are above the law. He believes they could dupe Nigerians into believing justice, according to the law, has been served, simply on the appearance of justice. Belgore conspired with dubious minds to intercede on behalf of their native son to rob Nigerians the much needed justice in the ground work for the war on corruption. 

Because of the interventions of god fathers like Belgore, Saraki in all his business and political career, has been a criminal who has never been caught or prosecuted and roams free to strike again. Belgore and other well connected members of the Saraki corruption dynasty believe they could use the appearance of law to assist Saraki to continue committing fraud and forgery, get away with it, and thumbs his nose at the rest of us.

For making himself a willing tool in the hands of Saraki, Belgore is without moral compass. It is important that a man of his caliber – a former chief justice of the federation – should have one. If not, he'll die with all the money in the world, but he will die with a broken and sad heart. Like a doctor who uses magic instead of medicine, Belgore uses greed, corruption, and extortion for injustice.

How many leaders have ruined their lives and damaged the lives of others through greed and corruption? Character has become a crucial issue precisely because of the myriad leaders in the political, business, judiciary, and religious worlds who have fallen morally.

A morally bankrupt leader like Belgore is more or less a curse to himself, his people, and his country. He has only one commitment to one cause: where his bread is buttered. He shies away from honesty. He does nothing for the world around him, he leaves it unchanged, except for pillaging some of its resources. He leaves the world no better than he found it, and  perhaps a little poorer. When a former Chief Justice of a nation is greedy, corrupt, insatiable, and lose his diligence in doing good for his people and country, he's all programmed with human error and he becomes worthless and dangerous to his nation.

How can individual hold the entire judiciary of a nation hostage by pocketing both retired and active judges in his pocket? Is Saraki bigger and powerful than Nigeria? What will it take to force Saraki to obey the laws of the land like any ordinary Nigerian? It cannot be stressed enough that these mercenary judges should be purged from the system.

Four months ago, in an article titled The Beginning Of The End Of Saraki Corruption Dynasty published in SR July 27, I said “We need to prune and purge corrupt judges who allies with the criminals.” While President Buhari was on a state visit to the US, Loretta Lynch the US Attorney General, at a meeting with President Buhari; advised him that in order to get conviction against corrupt politicians, he must identify and purge corrupt judges. President Buhari in response vowed that he would take decisive steps to rid Nigeria of corrupt judges to ensure the success of his anti-corruption agenda. Time for President Buhari to send these cash and carry judges packing.

By Bayo Oluwasanmi

[email protected]

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