Opinion: Justice Onnoghen and The Rising Fascism in Nigeria by Achike Chude

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Opinion: Justice Onnoghen and The Rising Fascism in Nigeria by Achike Chude
In any society that predominantly seeks excellence, it should be standard practice that every infraction, especially those by public officials is investigated. It is therefore expected that every action carried out by government towards sanitizing the polity should be upheld and applauded by the public because everybody ultimately benefits. This should naturally be our disposition over this Onnoghen matter – to support the action of the federal government to bring Onnoghen to book if he is culpable. This would be especially so if this government is all about probity, accountability, transparency and integrity. But this is a government that provides accommodation and refuge to Obanikoro, Orji Kalu, Akpabio, Tinubu, Oshiomole, etc. This is a government that accommodated Maina and the suspended NHIS boss as well as other perfidies no less sacrilegious. So this is not about probity and accountability.
This is about the usual politics of parochialism and protection of the interests of the few. This is about doing everything to stain the person and office of the CJN sufficiently enough to get him out of the way for the purpose of satiating a very sinister deed if matters get to a certain level. But I will be very disappointed with Onnoghen if he is found guilty of corruptly enriching himself through deposits of £10,000 and  $5,000 while his colleagues are collecting hundreds of millions in foreign currency. Even ordinary lawyers now get more in bribe money.  Paradoxically, the ‘small, small change’  they found in Onnoghen’s accounts seem to create a more favourable impression about the person of the CJN. I mean, how can you be a high ranking member of the bench in Nigeria, especially in the last few years and you are flirting with people who are barely floating around the  £10,000 level. Up till now, Nigerians are yet to understand how much of a rogue government this government is. Those who are yet to know or understand what real fascism is should tarry a while. This government is only manifesting it in bits. Let them wait a while and they will understand the depth of the malevolence of the few people running the government and the level of their incompatibility with, and disdain for the tenets and principles of an open society.
On the issue of the non signing of the electoral bill into law, one of the reasons given by the president for non signing was  because of the nearness to the election – even though it was months away. With regards to the insecurity in some parts of the country and his inability to change his service chiefs, the president claimed in a recent Arise Tv interview that it was also as a result of the urgency of the security situation in the country. How come that few days to the election, the executive arm of government finds it expedient to not use the same excuses when it comes to the case of the head of the judiciary?
The reality is that we are living in very dangerous times. This government is beginning to constitute itself as the biggest obstacle to freedom and civil liberty in our country. There is an apparatus of injustice and inequity in the corridors of power in the country. There is a temperament of disdain and contempt for social transparency and accountability. There is a mindset of dominance and control deep within the labyrinth of Aso Rock as well as the various crevices and fissures connected to the seat of power. All of these make the present ruling party and elites very unhealthy and unpalatable to the continuous well being of our nation state. This is not a time for petty politics and policking. This is not a time to cloak the truth with the veneer of ethno-religious dogma or geo-political affiliation. This is a time to reflect on the various flouting of court orders, illegal deployment of policemen for political purposes, the invasion of the houses of judges deep in the night by operatives of the DSS, the permission granted some people to steal the Senate mace in broad day light, the sanctification of alleged looters once they cross over from the notorious Pdp to the now clearly more dangerous Apc, the attempt to expel credible international organisations like Amnesty International and UNICEF, the rising intolerance of the free press by government, etc, etc.
There is danger in the air and all around us – enough to permanently keep us on the edge and prayerful. The rapidly developing fascist dictatorship unfolding in our country will be one more malaise too many for us to bear. A word is enough for the wise.
An oceanful of tears!
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