A group of young intellectual lawyers has come together to draw the attention of the National Judicial council and Federal government, to the unprofessional conduct and selective justice style of the ICPC Chairman who happens to be a Professor of law. In their words they said;
It has become evident that the person who is saddled with the responsibilities of ridding corrupt elements from government establishment with fairness and integrity has taken on a path of Bias and selective justice.
Earlier, the ICPC announced its 4th National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public Sector themed “Corruption and the Education Sector” in collaboration with JAMB under the leadership of Professor Is-haq Oloyede.
We would recall that the Transparency Advocacy for Development Initiative Director of Compliance, Ibrahim Muhammad Auwal, Esq. in the letter dated 19th September, 2022 said his group took time to highlight the corrupt activities of Professor Is-haq Oloyede and Mr. Mufutau Alabi Bello who presently serve as Registrar and Director of Finance & Accounts (DFA) of JAMB in an earlier letter submitted to ICPC on 24th August, 2022. However, the anti-graft seems to have refused to perform its statutory duty by conducting the necessary investigation.
It would also be recalled that another organization, the Integrity & Transparency Watchdog had on 24th July, 2022 written a similar letter to ICPC calling for the investigation of Professor Is-haq Oloyede and Mr. Mufutau Alabi Bello for the atrocities they have committed.
Rather than inviting Professor Is-haq Oloyede and Mr. Mufutau Alabi Bello for thorough questioning based on the avalanche of indicting facts and documents submitted against them, the ICPC had opted to collaborate with the same JAMB under the leadership of Professor Is-haq Oloyede for the purpose of organizing the 4th National Summit on Diminishing Corruption in the Public. How else can this be explained if not a case of selective justice or Could this be based on tribal sentiment?
The attainment of the prestigious academic rank of a professor is no trivial feat
and same commands prestige and respect.
Such an academic feat presupposes the holder to be a person of circumspect,
research, methodology and verifiable results.
The aforementioned admiration and qualities are sadly not present in the current
Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices commission (ICPC) Professor
His gaffes would have been excusable but for the fact that he is a professor of
Law and is expected to be more knowledgeable in that field.
Rather than painstakingly carry out his functions meticulously as would be
required of a professor; his favorite past time has become the role of a frantic
town crier on steroids moving from one forum to another issuing out baseless
accusation and defaming persons whose mental acumen has been proven to
dwarf that of his.
The Chairman of the ICPC while basking in his folly and probably on the
prodding of another less than intelligent higher authority, decided to file
charges at the Federal High Court against a retired unnamed Military Chief.
Charges of a nature that a social studies student of primary four would know
reeks of malarkey not to mention a professor.
Having filed this piffle disguised as charges, the ICPC Chairman expected a
Learned judge who has served extremely well and with a deluge of knowledge
to ratify such a cattywampus. As expected, the piffle was thrown away by the court.
While it is expected that a professor of law should be abreast of the rules of
professional conduct and the entire gamut of the concept of contempt of
Court, the ICPC Chairmanship became an odious media sensation moving from
place to place like a used goods sales man, lampooning an unnamed Justice of
the Federal High court Abuja whose only crime was to have a higher mental
sagacity and character compared to the ICPC Chairman.
The unnamed Justice has been known over the years for standing firmly for justice, how he has delivered professional and outstanding judgements in difficult cases without fear or favor regardless of whom it has to do with.
The Address of the NBA President given at the valedictory court session held in the honor of the retiring Justice is enough to confirm that the Justice was known to be a fearless Jurist who gives verdict only according to the provisions of the law. In the words of the NBA President he called him “The face of Modern Judiciary”.
The NBA president went further to give examples of professional judgements given by the Fearless Jurist;
“In FHC/ABJ/CS/113/2021 – E-Naira Payment Solutions Limited v. Central Bank
of Nigeria, where he posited that the plaintiff had urged the Court to stop the proposed launch of
the digital currency over an alleged trademark infringement. The court, under the retiring Judge held the view that the launch of the digital
currency was in the interest of national economic advancement, and since the
plaintiff could be adequately compensated by damages, His lordship ordered that
the launch should proceed.
Similarly, the Ruling by the in Suit No.
FHC/ABJ/CS/1370/2021 – Federal Republic of Nigeria v. Yan Bindiga Group &
Yan Ta Adda Group, also speaks to the partnership between the judiciary and the
executive in dealing with matters of insecurity. It took the pronouncement of the
court in that case to declare the group, and similar groups, involved in banditry,
kidnappings for ransom, kidnappings for marriage, mass abductions of children,
cattle rustling, etc., as terrorist groups. The Court made an order proscribing them as
such. In making that order, the Court per Honourable Justice took judicial
notice of the prevalence of those criminal activities in our society, which has made
the security of the nation difficult to manage, unless some actions were taken
In the case of Miss Grace Anita Paul v. The Chief of Army Staff, the Army,
Inspector General of Police & the Nigerian Police Force; a fundamental rights
application, Justice Taiwo held that the Nigerian Army lacks the power to arrest,
investigate and hold in custody, anyone who is not subject to the Armed Forces Act
or any other military law. He also took the time to make this remark “for
Democracy to thrive, all agencies of government should act within the law.”
In the case of FHC/ABJ/CS/822/2021 – CBN Governor v. Rise Vest Technologies
Ltd & 5 Others, an application was brought before his lordship, challenging an ex-
parte order obtained by the CBN that froze the account of the defendant because of
a CBN circular barring banks from processing cryptocurrency-related transactions.
In doing what his lordship knows how to do best, my lord “put the Central Bank of
Nigeria in its place” by invoking Section 36(12) of the Constitution of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria, 1999 which provides that:
“Subject as otherwise provided by this Constitution a person shall not be
convicted of a criminal offense unless that offense is defined and the penalty
therefore is prescribed by a written law; and in this subsection, a written law
refers to an Act of the National Assembly or a Law of a State, and subsidiary
legislation or instrument under the provisions of the law.”
One will ask, why will the ICPC Chairman who could not stick to a simple professional conduct, commenting on an already appealed case be Lampooning someone with this track record of excellence and achievement simply because he delivered a judgment in line with the provisions of the law? Maybe for personal gains who knows.
The relationship of the ICPC chairman with the National Security Adviser may be for financial gains. On the 5 August 2022, the National Security Adviser approached and requested the retiring Judge at home to withdraw the Security details of the unnamed Military Chief which he declined, Only a courageous Judge that has respect for the rule of law can take this step.
On the contrary, the ICPC Chairman who was sponsored by the Vice President for the job would have preferred the killing of the retired Military Chief as he who pays the piper dictates the tone. It was therefore not surprising that the Chairman has been moving from one place to the other castigating the Military Chief and the unnamed Judge on the case.
Along the line, glimmer of hope arose when the ICPC Chairman demonstrated
signs of him possessing some remnants of brain cells when he filed an appeal
to the judgment within the time allowed for an appeal.
At this point it demonstrated that he has some regard for due process after all.
The saying goes “it is better to be contemplated to be a dingleberry than to
speak and remove all doubt” true to the saying, all assumptions and the
glimmer of hope vanished when the ICPC chairman resumed his mental
affliction in the guise of a media sensation immediately after filing an appeal.
It is a thing of utmost concern if a professor of Law cannot grasp important
basic elements of the Legal profession such as rules of professional conduct
and contempt of the court. What then will this very professor of law teach his students?
Not only that the ICPC Chairman is a professor of Law, he is the head of an antigraft agency whose job schedule requires constant interface with the courts.
If the person of the ICPC Chairman continues to carry on in this manner the consequences of such behavior is all but guaranteed to damage the judicial system and the Legal profession.
We sincerely hope that a higher authority calls the ICPC chairman to order or
better still replace him with a true professor with high intellectual capacity and
That being said, the national judicial council should as a matter of urgency call to order the ICPC Chairman before it soils further the good name of the nigerian judiciary with his unprofessional conduct and selective justice style.
Bar. Danjuma Mohammed
Writes from Kaduna