When Professor Itse Sagay was summarily dismissed or sacked as a PROFESSOR OF LAW at the University of Benin in 1987, by the Babangida Regime, he was a broken man. The night he was sacked students demonstrated on his behalf and some of the University infrastructures were destroyed.
The Babangida’s regime did not arrest him for the riots.
He went to the High Court, Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court before he was reinstated by the Supreme Court and all his emoluments paid to him. The Supreme Court did not look at the riot that followed his dismissal, to witch hunt him, the Supreme Court did not stay on the subjective side of the government to determine his case.
It is THIS SAME SUPREME COURT that Professor Sagay and his Political ASSOCIATES are assaulting today.
A matter being challenged in Court, Professor Sagay, has jumped in like Scqilla or Snowball of the ANIMAL FARM to make Categorical statements prejudicial to the substantive matters in the Court of Appeal.
Let me also remind us that for the sake Sagay, the ENTIRE STUDENTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF BENIN were suspended from school and academic works for more than 3 months. Each was made to pay a levy for damages to the University.
If the then Military Government terrorised the Supreme Court and other Courts where will Professor Sagay have gotten reprieve?
By virtue of Supreme Court judgement, Professor Sagay was warmly received back to the University of Benin by the students and lecturers that suffered grievously for his sake.
On the University of Benin attempting to to evict Professor Sagay from his official residence, Professor Sagay ran and filed a Motion at the Customary Court (I REPEAT PROFESSOR SAGAY RAN TO THE CUSTOMARY COURT) in Oredo Local Government Ares to secure an ORDER OF INJUNCTION.
SAGAY, ran then TO:
(1) the High Court,
(2) the Customary Court of Oredo Local Government,
(3) the Court of Appeal and
(4) the Supreme Court.
IT WAS AT THE SUPREME COURT, he got reinstated as a Professor of law at the University of Benin.
47 lecturers of Ilorin also got reprieve from this same SUPREME COURT.
It is shocking how Professor Sagay has forgotten that DUE PROCESS IS THE NORMATIVE SOUL OF LAW AND ORDER. This happening frighteningly, so fast, that he once suffered governmental oppression till the Supreme Court gave him reprieve.
The Supreme Court being a regulatory norm of the Society cannot be compromised FOR THOSE THAT WANTS TO SUBVERT due process and the hierarchy of Courts.
With all respect to the learned Professor, I only want to throw light to the judiciary being the last hope of all.
Let all that have disputes in Court be accorded laid down standard of due process for both the state and the citizens.
J. E. Oshoke is a Nigerian lawyer and political activist.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.