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Youth Group Carpets Falana Over Supreme Court Judgment on Bode George

 A youth group operating under the auspices of the Nigeria Youth Leaders Forum has blasted Lagos Human Rights Lawyer Mr Femi Falana for criticizing the Supreme Court judgment quashing Chief Bode George’s ex-convict status.

Mr Femi Falana

Mr Femi Falana

The group in a statement signed by its convener Comrade Olufemi Lawson noted that the leaner Senior Advocate of Nigeria allowed emotions to becloud his viewpoint rather than the provisions of the constitution.

The group also described Falana’s comment as “attempts to rewrite the Supreme Court Judgment on the pages of Newspaper.”

 The statement reads:

“The Nigeria Youth Leaders Forum is taken aback by a recent reaction credited to Mr. Femi Falana SAN on the recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Nigeria which acquitted Chief Olabode George and others of an earlier conviction by a Lagos High Court in a case instituted by the  Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC  bothering on their involvement in an offense which described as “CONTRACT SPLITTING” during their tenure as members of the governing board of the Nigeria Port Authority NPA.

Even though the said statement was made by a supposedly senior member of the Nigerian Bar, we wish to restate our earlier position and remind Mr. Falana  that what the Supreme Court did in arriving at the judgement was to apply the law of the land and not resorting to Emotions and media trails that our legal system is becoming known for in acquitting Chief Bode George and others. It is not the duty of the Highest Court of the land to sacrifice the law and the Constitution on the altar of Emotions and hearsay.

“What we have seen in the recent utterances of Mr Femi Falana is an attempt to rewrite the Supreme court Judgement on the pages of Newspaper, a conduct which has become the norm for Mr. Falana and his ilk. It is our view that as a Senior Lawyer, had Mr. Femi Falana found any thing  wrong is the Nigeria Judicial system which he is a member and SAN for that matter,there are appropriate channels this can be taken to without using it to seek another of his cheap popularities that he has become known for. Coming on the pages of the newspapers to criticize the ruling of the Highest Court of the land is not just a total disregard for the rule of law but also an indirect call on the Nigerian public to disrespect such ruling and  not to have faith in the Supreme Court of Nigeria .

“In his treatise, Mr Femi Falana struggled to explain that it was the offence of ‘Abuse of Power’ that Chief Bode George and other acquitted persons were charged with, and not CONTRACT SPLITTING. He concluded that the acquitted persons were not charged for CONTRACT SPLITTING, hence, the Supreme Court was wrong to have acquitted them, when there is an offence known in our Laws as ‘Abuse of Power’.

“Mr Falana needs to be reminded that the phrase ‘Abuse of Power’, is such a bogus one which cannot stand on its own, WITHOUT PARTICULARISING IT, or linking it with an alleged act or misconduct. And that misconduct must be known in Law as misconduct, and made an offence. In other words, the offence of ‘ABUSE OF POWER’, cannot stand on its own, unless it is linked to an actual act or misconduct, which is recognised in LAW as an offence.

‘It is the PARTICULARS of the ‘abuse’ that make the act or ‘abuse’ an UNLAWFUL ACT or OFFENCE. An ‘abuse of Power’ cannot be viewed in isolation. As the Supreme Court has rightly affirmed, the act of CONTRACT SPLITTING, was not an OFFENSE known under Nigerian Law at the time that Chief Bode George and others were convicted on its basis  . A person could not, therefore, have committed an OFFENSE of CONTRACT SPLITTING or abused power or office, if the act or conduct or, even misconduct, was not an offense.

“It is our profound view that the Supreme Court did the right thing, and made the right judgement, by acquitting Chief Olabode George and other convicted persons. In actual fact, the earlier Judgement of the Lagos High Court reminds us of the RETROSPECTIVE Judgements under the Military Junta of General Muhammadu  Buhari where accused persons charged for drug trafficking were ‘extra-judicially’ murdered under the Military Junta Court’s induced decision for OFFENSE that did not attract DEATH PENALTY, at the time of commission of the ACTS!

“May we finally remind Mr. Femi Falana that we have come a long way as a nation in entrenching the Rule of Law and the Judiciary which is the last hope of the common Nigerians cannot be subjected to such ridicules on the grounds of emotions and political sentiments which were in the first place responsible for the illegal incarceration of Chief Olabode George and others who were made to waste two good years of their lives serving punishment for an offense which they never committed. Nigeria is bigger than us all.”

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