The Criminal Contempt By The Junior Petroleum Minister, Timipriye Silva

The Criminal Contempt By The Junior Petroleum Minister, Timipriye Silva [MUST READ]

By Opinions | The Trent on November 16, 2019
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Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria's minister of state for petroleum | MD Magazine
Chief Timipre Sylva, Nigeria's minister of state for petroleum | MD Magazine

Just tonight, on prime time television (Channels) programme monitored by me in Lagos, Timipriye Silva,  a former governor of Bayelsa State and minister of state for petroleum resources, described a sitting judge of the Federal High Court, Yenagoa Division, Hon Justice Ekwo as a “bad egg that deserves to be flushed out of the judiciary”.

I have read earlier in the day that on another radio programme, he variously described her as a “harlot”.

Timipriye Silva is not a party to the case pending before the court and he is not a lawyer to any of the parties. Even at that, it is uncouth and undignified for a serving Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to descend so low in employing gutter language against a sitting judge.

It is the greatest act of contempt against the authority and integrity of the judiciary for a citizen to describe a judicial officer as a bad egg or a harlot, all because a judgment was delivered by the said judge which is considered unfavorable and for which an appeal has already been filed.

We cannot sit by and watch this flagrant desecration of the temple of justice by people who should serve as role models for others.

I therefore urge the Nigerian Bar Association, the National Judicial Council and the Hon Chief Justice of Nigeria, to proceed against Timipriye Silva urgently, until such a time that he is able to purge himself of the contempt brazenly committed against His Lordship, in the due exercise of a judicial function.

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa is a human rights lawyer who is a member of the National Executive Council of the Nigerian Bar Association; chairman of the Justice Sector Reform Programme Commission of the African Bar Association and patron of the Nigerian Bar Association, Okitipupa Branch. 

The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.

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