Joe Igbokwe Supreme Court Rant: Lagos Lawyer Withdraws Suit
Lagos-based lawyer and activist, Ebun Olu-Adegboruwa, has withdrawn his suit filed at the Federal High Court in Lagos seeking to compel the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, to take steps to verify the allegation or prosecute a certain Joe Igbokwe over his allegation of bribery against the Supreme Court.
Igbokwe, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos State had alleged that Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State bought electoral judgment from the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The allegation drew wide-ranging comments from Nigerians especially from the legal community whereupon Mr Adegboruwa had to file a suit to compel the AGF to dig into the matter and prosecute the author.
But on the heels of the scathing criticisms against Igbokwe, the politician withdrew the statement from his Facebook page and tendered unreserved apology. Based on his contrition, Mr Adegboruwa withdrew the suit. Below is his statement on why he had to discontinue the case:
On Monday July 16, 2018, I took up Mr Joe Igbokwe, on his Facebook post, wherein he asserted that Governor Nyesom Wike bought judgment from the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Subsequently I filed a case at the Federal High Court, to get the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, to take steps to verify the allegation or prosecute the author.
Mr Joe Igbokwe has since withdrawn the offensive post from his Facebook wall, he has retracted it, he has offered an unreserved apology and he has given a firm undertaking, not to engage in such conduct, in future, when he stated that:
“It was a mistake and I take responsibility for my action. It was a personal opinion. This is to tender an unconditional and unreserved apology to all those felt (sic) offended by my post and a promise to avoid such drivel in future.”
In my mind, this settles the substance of the case filed in court, which was meant to protect the judiciary as an institution, not necessarily to shield any person identified or suspected to be involved in corrupt practices, from probe or prosecution.
I have consulted widely, I have read and digested all comments and suggestions in this regard and I’m mindful to align with the view that the apology and undertaking of Mr Joe Igbokwe should suffice to put an end to the case filed in court.
Accordingly, the entire claims stated in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/1240/2018, between Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, Esq. v. The Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation & Mr. Joe Igbokwe, have been wholly discontinued against all the defendants in the said suit. A notice of discontinuance has been filed at the Federal High Court on July 24, 2018, effectively withdrawing the case.
Individual Judges may err, some lawyers may falter and even the judicial system may appear weak and feeble, but we cannot afford to destroy the institution itself, as the options for our nation, to function without a respectable judiciary, will be catastrophic. A society where the rule of might prevails cannot enjoy peace and prosperity.
I thank you all for your kind support, observations, criticisms and counsel.
Together, we shall make Nigeria great.