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Orji Uzor Kalu: A Socio-jurisprudential Disagreement With The Supreme Court Of Nigeria By Ayo Ademiluyi Esq.

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With that class-conscious clarity, it will be easier to interpret that the SUPREME COURT RULING is for the SANCTIFICATION of ORJI UZOR KALU for the roles he will play in the upcoming battle for power in the 2023 polls

A naked legal glance at the Supreme Court ruling on the appeal by Orji Uzor Kalu will echo all the tenets of classical Anglo-American jurisprudence of “jurisdiction” , “constitutionality” and “the rule of law”. But I decide to dig deeper.

Every legal system is a product of the prevailing social, economic and political  dynamics of the society. Till date, Nigeria as a construct of Anglo-American imperialism was installed with the  Anglicised Legal System. Through the Statutes of General Application, long established Anglo-Common Law and Equity principles were installed into the Nigerian space.

Prior to the coming of European imperialists, the peoples of Africa were not beasts and Barbarians living in the ” heart of darkness ” that Joseph Conrad and his ilk in the English pro-imperialist literary community would want to make us believe. 

From all historical accounts , the history of the nationalities lumped up into the artificial construct called Nigeria is part of the history of class struggles worldwide. The earliest communalistic societies gave way to monarchies as the competition for land and labour becomes intense. 

Afro-Arabian imperialism conquered large swathes of the Maghreb region , subjugating the current land and people of Hausa, which controls arguably the biggest part of today’s Nigeria. That is why the Emirates and Sultanates of today’s Northern Nigeria are less than a millennium old. The unconquered El-Kanemi of Bornu is the starting point of neo-Arabian imperialist point men, Boko Haram.

The coming of British imperialism into Southern Nigeria was met with stiff resistance and it took bullets and blood to conquer both the swamps and vegetations of both Western and Eastern parts of today’s Nigeria. British and Arabian imperialism entered into a bloodless power-sharing agreement of domination of  their colonies . 

The almagamation of 1914 was meant strictly for the technical convenience of moving the pyramids of groundnuts to the coastal city of Lagos for onward shipping to the old Great Britain. It was never at any time for the prosperity of the colonies.

The flag independence of 1960 was purely to retain the power equilibrium in the interest of the pliant partner of British imperialism- the Afro-Fulani-Arabian ruling class with the Southern nationalist elite playing second fiddle

This explains why all such terms as “federal character” were adopted to move up lawyers from the Northern ruling establishment , who entered the Anglophonic legal profession late, with the first Northern Nigerian called to the Bar in 1967 and a Northern Nigerian Yoruba for that matter , from Kwara State , almost a century after Angophonic legal profession has come to stay in Southern Nigeria, particularly Lagos .

The Supreme Court of Nigeria itself  is a reflection of the intra-class struggle within the Nigerian ruling class after flag independence. With the first set of Chief Justices of Nigeria being of Southern Nigerian extraction, particularly from 1960 to 1987,  the competition for power blew out the Southern legal ilk , leaving the prime seat of the Supreme Court in the hands of the Northern bourgeois legal establishment, till the ” accident  of history ” appointment of Walter Onnogehen , who was thrown out in the most unceremonious manner.

Till date, there is no single Chief Justice of Nigeria from the mainstream Igbo bourgeoisie . The 60’s saw the fledging Igbo bourgeois class in the army, judiciary , academia and politics thrown aside in the run-up to the bloody three-year long Biafra-Nigerian civil war. Till date, that section of the country has not recovered from the ravaging effects of the Civil War educationally, socially and politically.

It is not an accident that power in post-flag independence Nigeria has been dominated by the Hausa-Fulani section of the ruling elite , shared with the Western section of the ruling elite. The two Azikwes (Nnamdi Azikwe , 1960-1966 and Goodluck Azikwe Jonathan,2010-2015 ) are both accidents of history. Needless to say, they were overwhelmed by the higher balance of forces within the intra-class struggle of the ruling class.

The “marginalisation cry” of the Igbo ruling elite continues to find traction within youth and oppressed layers of that section of the country. The scars of the war , which is everywhere to see continue to make the Biafran dream relevant. This explains why demagogues like Nnamdi Kanu attract bigger crowds than Rochas Okorocha.

The Igbo ruling elite , with its morbid sense of individualism and materialism produced 10 Senate Presidents within 60 years of Nigeria’s post-flag independence. During the Obasanjo’s years, it produced 5 different Senate Presidents within 8 years. Despite its fluidity, as 2023 warms up, the Igbo ruling elite is a section other ruling class sections cannot ignore.

Now, back to the Supreme Court ruling on Orji Uzor Kalu’s case , some socio-jurisprudential questions arise therefrom:

1. Why was Orji Uzor Kalu’s case given such a speedy hearing , even with the constraints of the Coronavirus Pandemic?

2. Why has similar cases with Orji Uzor Kalu , with similar jurisdictional  defects , by people of low estate not been given such a speedy dispatch?

3. Why are such statutes such as the Administration of Criminal Justice Act with clear constitutional flaws not given proper vetting at the legislative chambers ?

The answers to 1 and 2 above lies in the class nature of the Anglo-Nigerian legal system obtainable . It is notorious fact that proceedings at the Supreme take ages to complete . However, where the mighty and powerful come to justice , every hindrance and delay disappears.

This is in consonance with the fact that the crux of Nigeria’s society is NEO-COLONIAL, PREBENDALIST CAPITALISM where JUSTICE is for the SUPER-RICH. LAW and the COURTS under CAPITALISM is for the prioritisation of the SUPER-RICH.

The answer to 3 above lies in the fact that Nigeria is yet to break with the Anglo- imperialist legal system or even attempt to revise such neocolonial relics such as wearing of wigs and gowns in courts in a tropical climate. In countries like the United States Of America , where bourgeois revolution has been completed, the statutes are vetted to conform with the bourgeois Constitution . In neo-colonies like Nigeria, it’s the other way round.

With that class-conscious clarity, it will be easier to interpret that the SUPREME COURT RULING is for the SANCTIFICATION of ORJI UZOR KALU for the roles he will play in the upcoming battle for power in the 2023 polls.

What the current COVID-19 experience has brought to bear is that:

1. A ruthless power struggle is ongoing within the current Buhari-led regime that has thrown an Osinbajo to the backstage of history.

2. The entire ruling class action against Coronavirus is a COMEDY just like the case of a HIV Patient battling to resolve headache.

3. The chaotic international economic situation with crash in oil prices globally which is an attendant effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic has been used as an excuse to obtain loans from IMF and WORLD BANK and send the oppressed masses to DEBT SLAVERY and REPATRIATION of the ABACHA LOOT , a case of the gangster having knowledge of the booty caught by a deceased colleague.

4. A class confrontation between the oppressed layers and their oppressors was consciously avoided by the oppressors class by easing the lockdown , despite all glaring scientific realities to the contrary.

5. A bitter power play for power in 2023 and beyond has opened up  for a THIRD TERM IN POWER by the BUHARI-LED REGIME or in the ALTERNATIVE a PLIANT IGBO PRESIDENCY to pacify the SECESSION-SEEKING IGBO OPPRESSED LAYERS. 
This is arguably the REASON why ORJI UZOR KALU was given a clean slate.

Don’t Die in their War!

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