Implications of civic reception for S’Court Justice Nwosu Chioma-Iheme, by Prince Mike Akubueze Asaigbo.


Last weekend, the press was awash with photos of the Executive Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, His Excellency Rt. Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, and Supreme Court Justice, Justice Nwosu Chioma-Iheme. While many people celebrated that Ihedioha and Uzodimma were seen smiling and exchanging pleasantries, as if they were sworn enemies now reconciled, I was deeply disappointed by the debasement of the principle of separation of powers, particularly by the politicians seen around a serving Supreme Court Judge. My thoughts immediately went to one of the most impactful books I read in JSS2, “The Incorruptible Judge,” written by D. Olu Olagoke.

Before I delve into why the event in Owerri, where politicians and the Executive were seen celebrating with a serving Supreme Court Judge, is problematic, I will briefly summarize Ola Olagoke’s “The Incorruptible Judge.” The book is a moralistic play dealing with the evils of bribery and corruption. It conveys the fundamental truth that no sinner will go unpunished, as demonstrated in the final scene where the unscrupulous employer James Ade Agbalowomeri is arrested and tried by the incorruptible Judge, Justice Faderin, despite pressures from influential personalities and politicians. Justice Faderin was able to uphold justice because he had no ‘debts’ to repay to politicians, as he neither attended their events nor they his.

The following politically exposed persons attended Justice Chioma’s event last weekend in Owerri: Their Excellencies, Hope Uzodimma, Alex Otti, and Chukwuma Soludo.

Do I need a soothsayer to tell us that the above-mentioned politicians, who were dancing with the Supreme Court Judge, have direct access to her 24/7? God save any politician who contests against any of these friends of Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme and whose case reaches the Supreme Court, where she holds sway. Your guess is as good as mine.

The principle of separation of powers is not mere rhetoric. It is formulated for checks and balances to avoid abuse of power and uphold the sanctity of the constitution for the betterment of the entire citizenry and country. Judges all over the world are heard but not seen. Nigerians should condemn this event because allowing such actions to fester is a recipe for disaster, especially before, during, and after the 2027 general elections, where these three governors will likely have one political case or another that will end up in the Supreme Court.

I call on all men of good conscience across the nation to raise their voices so that together we can nip this aberration in the bud.

We give both Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme and her three friends, who happen to be politically exposed politicians, 72 hours to apologize to the entire country for fraternizing in a manner that goes against the principle of separation of powers.

Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme’s appearance in photographs with these governors, as the buildup to the 2027 general election gathers momentum, has already cast aspersions on both her integrity and the credibility of the 2027 general elections. The Nigerian constitution and electoral law stipulate that each presidential, governorship, and federal parliamentary election shall be deemed concluded after the Supreme Court verdicts. Therefore, their presence together is enough of an advance alibi for anyone to request that she recuse herself from any case involving these governors and others who do not have such close access to her.

Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme will only be forgiven if she writes an UNDERTAKING that henceforth she will recuse herself from any case in the Supreme Court, whether civil, criminal, or political, involving Their Excellencies, Hope Uzodimma, Chukwuma Soludo, and Alex Otti until she retires from the bench.

This is a moral burden on both the Executive and the judiciary. If not, our school curriculum should be altered to remove the principle of separation of powers and replace it with the fusion of power.

We would have followed the first channel of dispute resolution by reporting Justice Chioma Iheme to her boss, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola. Unfortunately, the Chief Justice himself committed this same kind of moral transgression on the eve of the 2023 general elections. The Chief Justice was reported to have attended a social event with the then G5 Governors led by Nyesom Wike, where he was accused of making biased political statements in favor of APC.

It is high time we tested what the law says about these close proximities between what ought to be like two parallel lines.

We are also interested in knowing who hosted and financed the event. Is it the Imo State government? If so, was the money spent budgeted in the 2024 Imo State appropriation bill? If not, the Imo State House of Assembly should take appropriate action.

It might be evening in Kenya, but it is still morning in Nigeria. As long as there is morning, there will be evening.

Nigerian politicians and their counterparts in the judiciary should continue in their debasement of the constitution and keep dancing with the masses’ destiny. However, they should not forget that the dance of the spirits—surugede—is the dance of the people. The day of reckoning shall soon be here. As it is happening in Kenya, so shall it happen in Nigeria because, according to my friend Victor Hugo, “No force on earth can stop an idea whose time has come.”

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