While I quickly admit that I am not a lawyer trained to interpret the law and adjudicate matters before the court, the Freedom of Information Bill places me in a position to follow up on proceedings at any court of competent jurisdiction.
Just like in developed climes, in Nigeria also, news reporters and journalists are allowed to go to court and report anything which is said or given as evidence in court. They are also at liberty to print certain information about people who go to court or give evidence including their addresses.
It will only become an offence to preempt court judgement or matter which is yet to be decided by the honourable court. Mind you, ignorance of the law is not an excuse.
It’s from the strength of above , that I am compelled to raise the issue of a court petition instituted at the High Court of Imo State, Nigeria, Owerri Judicial Divison, by Chief Golden Maduabuchukwu now plaintiff against four principal defendants ; inter alia :
√Imo State Government√Attormey -General of the State√ Special Adviser to the governor on Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs√Chief Ndubueze Maduchukwu nay Eze Ndubueze Madubuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba).
Upon reading through the motion exparte for substituted service , dated and filed on the 16th September , 2020, brought pursuant to section 6 (6) (B) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ; which leave has been granted to the plaintiff (Chief Golden Maduabuchukwu) to effect the service of his writ of summons, statement of claim, motion for interlocutory injunction and other processes in the suit on the 4th defendant (Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu).
From the foregoing , it therefore means, the plaintiff , Chief GM Maduabuchukwu, has wittingly or unwittingly entered the wrestling ground or ring against four major challengers; the Imo state government, Attorney -General of the state| Commissioner for Justice, Special Adviser to the governor on Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs and HRH Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu; including a 5th background defendant , the good people of Abba.
Granted it is within the confines of the law and also the constitutional rights of an aggrieved to seek redress in the court of competent jurisdiction, the personal decision taken by the plaintiff , Chief GM Maduabuchukwu, who was also declared an Eze-Elect by a select Abba leaders in what could best be described as a kangaroo election on Sunday , January 29, 2019, wouldn’t be completely faulted or seen as a taboo. He has the right to fair hearing , which is the beauty of democracy.
However, the sour taste of picking up randomly a fight against established authorities ought to have been a decision taken in retrospect and in circumspect; since the cost of seeking for justice is a cause for prepared minds that are willing to go the extra miles and not one that would be stopped half way because the penalty is also severe.
No doubt, life is an endless battle and conflict , and you cannot fight effectively unless you can identify your enemies. Regrettably, Chief Golden Maduabuchukwu seems to have picked up a wrong enemy for his legal battle and fireworks. The 4th defendant he dragged to court , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba), is his elder brother with over 7 years age gap or difference. A man, 4thestatereporters.com authoritatively gathered , that has stood by him during his trying times and days of ‘wilderness experience’ in business.
Unfortunately, he doesn’t know that his ‘real enemies’ are those ‘ umu nnadi’ (kinsmen) from neighbouring village who are drumming the beat for war by instigating him against his kind -hearted brother , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba).
The decision taken by the plaintiff could be said to be a sheer ignorance , quite ironical, and a case of misleading advice by the progenitors of his Ezeship ascendancy which is allegedly targeted at further polarising the leadership of the community with deeper rift between these two beloved brothers and respected community leaders.
If not, how could one explain the fact that the plaintiff , Chief Golden Maduabuchukwu , has thrown caution to the wind and insisted on dragging his elder brother to court?A man who has government letter of recognition, staff of office, cleared by the government , coronated , and ultimately inducted into the Royal Club of Council of Nwangele Traditional Rulers?
Outside and beyond this Ezeship imbroglio, HRH, Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu (Uburu 11 of Abba) is one man truly loved by the good people of Abba and across other communities in Nwangele LGA. His leadership trajectory started earlier when he was elected the president general of the old Abba comprising ; Umuokpara Abba, Umudurunna Abba, Ekitiafor Abba and Ogwuaga Abba. Unassuming, jovial , proactive , dogged and very sound , Chief Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu nay Eze ND Maduabuchukwu is one constant factor that has fought for the unity , progress and development of Abba with remarkable leadership imprints and applauding impacts.
By constituting a Peace & Reconciliation Committee which its membership is drawn from the various four villages in Abba , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu has once again, demonstrated leadership as he is prepared to extend the olive branch to all aggrieved persons during the Ezeship tussle and to reconcile them so as to be on the same page for the unity , peace , progress and development of the community.
Therefore , in post -conflict situations, reconciliation is not about returning to a past reality which may have contributed to the conflict , but rather about forging a “social transformation” and a new way forward.
To this end, may I cease the opportunity that this space has created to passionately appeal to Chief Golden Maduabuchukwu to shield his legal sword and embrace out of court settlement with his elder brother , Eze Ndubueze Maduabuchukwu.
To all interested parties in this case , this is not time to play ‘ James Bond ‘ and apportion blames , but time to listen to the voice of reasoning as Abba cannot continue this way if actually we wanted to make progress in the comity of fast developing neighboring towns in Nwangele LGA and Imo State.
Conversely, insisting on this case may sell the plaintiff out , and also in records, as a man who places self above the community as posterity may not be fair in judging him.
In making reference to many war strategies , this reporter has also gathered that what most often weighs one down and brings one misery is the past, in the form of unnecessary attachments, repetitions of tried but failed formulas , and the memory of old victories and defeats. A wise war strategist knows when to call the shot , leaving the stage when the ovation is loudest. Also knows when to strike out new deals , new directions and possibly good negotiations as the matter was presented for hearing on Monday, October 5, 2020.
If the above are missed, the warlord may come back home in shame and unceremoniously, too, as opinions are freely expressed towards this direction.
May wisdom prevail in this case.
Njoku Macdonald Obinna writes in from the Garden City, Port Harcourt, Rivers State. He is a media consultant and publisher of one of the fastest growing online media brands .