We are all familiar with the biblical forbidden fruit. We are also familiar with the terrible consequences.
You may ask what correlation this has with politics. Well, plenty! Politics, sorry politricks, is a forbidden field for men with conscience. Like the seed that fell on thorny ground and was choked by the cares of this world and deceitfulness of power and riches, politics plunders a man’s dedication and commitment to virtue and nobility. That is how many who ascend into the places of authority as worthy men go downhill because the evil system constricts their conscience.
That is the reason there is severe drought of decent people in politics because they don’t have the temperament to roll in the mud. So, the agberos have taken the centre stage. The few that dared to venture into this forbidden turf got their fingers and hopes burnt, but thank God they had second addresses and quickly beat a retreat.
Some years ago, a pastor friend of mine decided to vie for councillorship of his area. I warned him but he insisted he needed to help his people. I told him he should then be prepared to stain his robe then but he dismissed my fears and plunged into it headlong. Truly, he was making waves, and would have carried the day but not until they asked him to dole out the cash. ‘For what?’ he asked, but they laughed him to scorn, saying he was a novice. Before he could say ‘Jack,’ even the ballots cast in his own polling booth mysteriously walked into his opponent’s tally; he ‘lost’. He returned to base, panting but thanking God that, at least, he returned with his integrity intact.
For daring to go into politics, Sir Frank Ibezim, the senatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the senatorial by-election in Imo State, should have been biting his fingers in regret but for the burning love he has for his people, his faith in God and implicit confidence in the judiciary, especially the Supreme Court, the final arbiter.
Ibezim has been hit by vicious conspiratorial miasma. This is a macabre case of friendship or association made sour by politics. Even schoolmates with whom Frank dined and wined, who knew him all along, as Francis but interchangeably called him Frank, are in also among the gang. Suddenly, those same names of yore and his certificates have become fake and forged. For crying out loud, must conscience die so that politics may thrive? And that learned judges endorsed such reckless claims despite preponderant evidence? Worse still, aiming to cripple this great mind for life calls for weeping.
But Frank shares a bit of the blame. He dared to play in the forbidden field but refused to be adorned by its character. He was naive. He was too trustful. He treated so many things with unacceptable carefreeness, not knowing he was dealing with jackals. Now they have stuck out their blood-soaked fangs, holding him by the jugular, waiting for the final kill.
However, I know God won’t let them. Jehovah wu Eze, as Ibezim always intones. Indeed, Jehovah is the King of all kings, including the fake ones occupying our political space with spurious swagger. He is the judge of all, including those in the bench and bar. This calls for caution because soon every one of us shall stand before Him to give account of our stewardship, in politics, in judiciary, even in journalism.
The question I long to ask is: After all this, where are we headed? The clout, the affluence, do we know it’ll end in a solitary hole in the red earth? When the worms and termites begin to enjoy the delicacy that we are, would our loot save us?
So, Ibezim took recourse to Oluwole where he procured the West African School Certificate, WASC? Why not invite WAEC and ask them if what Ibezim is flaunting is truly their certificate or Oluwole’s? Why not invite Uboma Secondary School to come validate or invalidate the statement of result Ibezim says they gave him? Should Ibezim be the one proving his innocence or he that alleges that should prove him guilty? Why do things happen here unlike in other countries?
It is both a fact and truth that Ibezim never submitted different certificates, as the judges claimed, and there were also no discrepancies. What the learned Justice Ekwo was deceived to misconstrue as discrepancy is standard WAEC practice whereby its Statement of Results and Certificate of Results may vary in number of subjects. Whereas a Statement of Results contains all subjects, which the candidate registered or intended to sit for, the Certificate of Results lists only the subjects the candidate actually sat for and passed. In Ibezim’s case, his statement of result has the nine subjects he registered for while the certificate has the seven subjects he passed. It is up to the Supreme Court and the world to now determine where the discrepancies are.
Ibezim submitted only one WASC, which, as at 1980, covered for both School Certificate and General Certificate of Education. The other two are statements of result of same examination; one issued by Ibezim’s Uboma Secondary School, Ikperejere, Etiti, in Imo State, and the other a computer printouts from WAEC portal. Anyone who wishes can still access the results by visiting the WAEC portal. Contrary to the judges’ assertion, the statement of result or certificate bear the same name, Ibezim Francis Chukwuma, and in the same sequence.
The name Frank only appeared on the INEC voter’s card and nowhere else. This is not really a big deal except for the fraudulent weavers seeking to cause mischief, as it is a settled matter in SC.CV/627/2020 delivered respect of the case between Dantiye vs APC and its candidate, Mohammed. There is also no basis to liken Ibezim’s case with that of the Bayelsa Deputy Governor’s case, as the FHC Abuja and the Appeal Court judgments because, unlike all Ibezim’s certificates consistently bore Ibezim Francis Chukwuma.
Ibezim’s case is puzzling and could open the judiciary for ridicule because the trial judges suspiciously glossed over palpable facts in their haste to nail Ibezim at all cost.
In fact, some harlotry publication may have exposed the source of Ibezim’s travails in the screaming headline of their ribald story that Ibezim shouldn’t have squared up against Araraume. Really? Did Ibezim contest for Araraume zone or Imo North Senatorial Zone? Why must Araraume dictate who gets what in Imo North, how and when?
Well, my consolation is that the Supreme Court would not be swayed by contrived clout or any underhand dealing because they have their names to protect, and the country to safeguard through sound legal interventions, not suborned of manipulated justice. Nobody is asking the Supreme Court for a favour apart from toeing the path of honour and truth, for nothing destroys a nation faster than injustice does.
Nigeria’s political space has been kidnapped by bandits who have strewn everywhere with landmines and effectively scared away great minds that would enhance this country’s advancement. This country could be likened to a stoned hippie, hitching a ride to oblivion and must be delivered from these unconscionable political vampires before it is fully drained of blood to survive and soon consigned to the junkyard of failed democracies. The country cannot continue to run on the autopilot of evil or on the basis of whims and caprices of a few individuals who want to rule over everyone and everything. Certainly, not the Supreme Court of Nigeria, the hope of all. In God we trust!