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Monday, 21 March 2016

Open letter to Justice John Tsoho.

Open letter to Justice John Tsoho.

By Amanda Uzor
Published by Family Writers

Let me start by saying, congratulation for making it to the seat of a judge through your call to the most important ministry in the world, -the ministry of justice. As a judge I do know you have managed many legal processes and oversee court proceedings to ensure that they are fair and follow the law. In that case I do know that you know what justness means and if we all protect the human rights of every individual we are contributors in the human rights economy.

As a judge I do not expect you to be reluctant to press those in power to effect changes in laws and policies that respect fundamental human rights. As a judge you understand that the rule of law is what distinguished a civilized country from all the others, people willing to trust that they cannot take justice into their hands and that law will treat people fairly and impartially with no regards to politics, religion or tribe and whatsoever else.   As a seating judge I do know that your first role is to make sure all the parties and witnesses follow proper court room procedure which is of vital importance to the legal system. It was designed to ensure that everyone who comes to court gets a fair trial and at one hand you will ensure that people don’t settle their differences violently and on the other hand to make sure that a justice system works according to the constitution so that issues are resolved in an appropriate way.

I think what every judge must do is to make sure he/she is faithful to the constitution, faithful to law and has people’s trust when they come before a judge they will get an honest ruling and the case will be resolved by the law and no extreme factor such as politics, religion and race will stand by the way. Now, I have a question, do you understand that a wrongful conviction is anathema to the very idea of Democracy?  Do you know the percentage of innocent Nigerian citizens that have died due to wrongful conviction?  Have you asked yourself what an acceptable error rate should be in your system of justice? I’ll suggest instead of asking about acceptable error rate, you should remember why you are a judge because one error rate is unacceptable.  Following the case of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the indigenous people of Biafra and director of radio Biafra versus department of security services (DSS) I’m compelled to agree that separation of powers system of democratic rule in Nigerian has been badly fractured and the Nigerian judiciary has lost completely its integrity and no one can trust Nigerian judiciary for the smallest dispute.  What do you make of the two judges that have handled the same case you are seating on for this long who granted bail to Nnamdi Kanu and even acquitted him following the DSS dropping all the charges against him?

ALSO READ : EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH KANU’S LAWYER, HON. EJIOFOR ON ALL LEGAL ACTIONS.

“The judge said that the state security service (DSS) – who arrested Kanu in Lagos earlier in October – dropped the charged against him, local media reported.”The accused person is hereby discharged and the case struck out," the court confirmed.  As a judge isn’t this enough for you to smell some rats in your courtroom?  As a judge you know it more than everyone else that justice delayed is justice denied. As a judge, do the DSS have the power to refusing release of an accused person after a court order to do so and isn’t that contempt of court? Although questions about evidence are settled before the start of trial in pre-trial motions, yet you even went as far as considering a masquerade to appear at the witness stand to testify against a man that has been acquitted by your own colleagues following charges dropped against him by his accusers.  What is the moral justification of the new charges formulated after a case has been struck out, which is the reason you have a job in your hands right now or is that your style of ruling on the part of procedure that governs evidence?

As a judge do you believe in the leadership of tyranny, keeping people in dismay, denied people their rights and deprive people their inheritance by threats, deceit and force? Going by your name, John, you are a Christian.  Isn’t the situation of the present government in Nigeria confirms the truth of Ecclesiastes 8 verse 9, “Man has dominated man to his injury” So from all you have heard from Nnamid Kanu’s speeches, do you consider him a liar? Again, let me bring you closer to the scripture in confirmation of Nnamdi Kanu’s case with you, Romans 3 verse 7, “If by my lie the truth of God has been made prominent to his glory, why am I also being judged as a sinner” Justice John Tosho, may I also remind you that Boko haram is still out there wrecking untold havoc to the entire society but you chose to hold down an innocent man whose only sin is exercising his fundamental human rights to self-determination stipulated in the general accepted UN convention on the rights of indigenous people.  So you are the Pontius Pilate here and Nnamdi Kanu is the messiah of his people, now you choose whom you will want crucified. Biafrans are disappointed in you, so do many good Nigerians who believed your justice is sold to the highest bidder.  May I remind you that the law is a bill of righteousness.

ALSO READ :  Nnamdi Kanu as a prisoner of conscience

But here is what I think you should do. What I think you should work on is your moral authority, the legitimacy of authority, so that the people you are asking to participate in your system believe that your motivations are true and believe that you are trying to do the right thing for the right reasons, and if you make a mistake you will admit it and say you are sorry and then correct it. As a man on a seat of power in the ministry that signifies righteousness- the ministry of justice, your moral integrity is a priority and you can’t trade it for extra cash, I guess. We can’t change the human condition but we can change the condition in which human live through a fair justice system.  We just stand for fundamental fairness. You can’t have the notion that you are fair and effective if you are aware that someone is wrongfully convicted and you do nothing about it. Don’t you think you should be morally hitting a higher standard than what you are doing right now with Nnamdi Kanu’s case, that gives faith to the public out there. The people who make up your court team be active participants and have confidence in your criminal justice system.

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