“It was only a few weeks to the end of the proceedings that the convict and his team of lawyers began to defend him in court. Before then, they had thoroughly humiliated me just because I discharged my function without fear or favour.”
Justice Okon Abang on Metuh’s lawyers.
Truth be told, some lawyers are the real enemies of their clients. They compound and make delicate what would have been settled with the slightest simplicity. They made Metuh did all the ignoble antics to the extent of drooling in saliva, stool and vomits. He was subjected to very demeaning stunts to the extent of being made to feign collapse in the court, wheeled into the court, and stretched into the court like a common convulsing thief.
His lawyers should have let him be the man he is by facing the court with his sense instead of the infantile gimmicks they subjected him to. While the judgement would pass like others, the scripts of his infamous acts in the court will be a recurrent reminder of shame to him and his family. For actions taken by us, we should be honourable enough to own up to them and not go needlessly mischievous in trying to prove what is indefensible. The lamentable reality of life is that we always carry our crosses all alone. So pitiable sight it was yesterday when Olisah Metuh walked to the prison van all alone as he begins his journey to Kuje Correctional Prison – and expectedly, his lawyers stood afar as they look into the future for another Metuh as client.
You don’t grandstand before a judge, like a man with gun, he can put a bullet into your body. Judges are not party to litigations and otherwise, they are people given the mandate to adjudicate between warring parties. They sit in judgement as impartial kings and only give judgement based on evidence before them. When you choose to antagonize the judge, you make your client vulnerable. Your job as a lawyer is to curry every favour to your client, not to pitch him against the court. With constricted pains, Justice Okon Abang bemoaned how Metuh’s lawyers made life miserable for him. According to him, it took the grace of God for him not to lose his head because of the Metuh case.
Our quest to always want have our ways pushes us to the trenches of insanity, by turning fictions into fact and doing everything possible to undermine the law. As smart as you think you are, they are those gifted with the aura of superior intelligence that it will take forever to want to win them in your game of wit. Nothing weakens the justice system than when judges are intimidated. Like nature, their verdicts are final and sacrosanct and would take only another judge to reverse it. We witnessed the show of shame when the People’s Democratic Party Chairman, Uche Secondus unashamedly led his party men in protest to the US embassy! A whole party chairman challenging the decision of a court not in another court but in the domain of a foreign embassy.
That was a very low one from Mr Secondus. Barely have we recovered from that walk of shame when alleged All Progressives Congress members stormed the residence of Justice Mary Odili in protest of the Bayelsa certificate debacle. What an affront to the bench! Precedents are dangerous activators of good and evil. Championed by the PDP, other parties are now challenging the authority of the court with the unimaginable call for review of judgements passed by supposedly honourable court of law. How low can a people sink in absurdities?