Danladi Umar, chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) was caught dancing naked in the market square, at the “tomatoes selling point”, in Abuja a few days ago. And there were no mad people’s professional-tenders; those with proficiencies proportionate to that of our own world acclaimed best Psychiatrist – the late Professor Thomas Adeoye Lambo, around to put him under chain.
In the world of madness, there are three most needed instruments of remedy that help the patient to a quicker route of being caged, and not recovery, because recovery is always a longer journey through a very dark tunnel.
The first is the Cain: Truth is that the only instrument that puts mad person on strict check (which is why the rural people of African communities would say that the only language a mad person understands is the Cain or horsewhip).
The second is Chain: It is true that chain is a necessary “equipment” that needed to be permanent around the person, be it around the waist or one leg – it could sometimes be in both legs, depending on the severity of the madness. This instrument is very essential if you want to meet a mad person where you left him or her – otherwise he [or she] “goes to town of no return”.
The third instrument, which is very necessary in the life of a mad person, is a permanent place of Residency. It could be Yaba Mental Rehabilitation Center or the Aro Mental Home in Abeokuta. There are many other Psychiatrists Homes around Nigeria; serving the purpose of prosecuting the third Instrument, the two mentioned above easily come to mind because of their popularity. And natives around the Africa continent have thousands of such Homes.
The essential of the third Instrument is purely to separate the mad person from others – that is others who are sane totally; which is rare because the Psychologist would say that there is 5 minutes of madness for every sane person in every 24 hours.
Madness is bad enough that anyone under that spell cannot be a predicted good neighbour. The best way to guarantee safety of all within the “neighbourhood of madness” is quarantining the identified mad individual within a guaranteed enclave of safety.
Let us return back to the man caught dancing nakedly in the market square in Abuja for further analysis. But first, we need to know this man proper and we may be doing better by meeting him officially more than in his private capacity.
The most tenure-guaranteed and secured office in Nigeria; under the Nigerian Constitution, is not the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This is not an admission that the Nigerian President’s office has no guarantee of tenure, but what is being said here is that it is not the most secured office.
Neither can we point to the office of the Chief Justice of Nigeria; who doubles as the Chairman of the Nigerian Judicial Council, as the most secured in terms of tenure. This is in spite of the fact that the appointment of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is not an exclusive function of only one Institution. It is a tripartite responsibility of three Institutions – to wit: the Nigerian Judicial Council; which nominates the candidate, the Presidency; which forwards the candidate’s to the National Assembly, and the Nigerian Senate; which confirms the nominee.
Yet that office’s tenure; as rigorous as it is, is not the most secured. If you are in doubt, check out the profile and credentials of Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen – former Chief justice of Nigeria.
The most constitutionally secured office in the Nigerian Federation is the office of the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal. Time and space surely will fail me to go into details of the instrumentality of his (it could be her also) appointment, but suffice to say that the beneficiary of that office is always recruited from the Nigerian Judiciary – the Bench, and once confirmed by the Nigerian Senate into that office, the person is no more a judicial official any more.
Neither is he subject to the rules of the Nigerian Judicial Council any more, but instead, he becomes officially responsible to the Ministry of Justice, under the supervision of the Attorney General of the Federation (administratively) and Minister of Justice (politically). And in Nigeria, both offices are fussed into one.
The Code of Conduct Tribunal was set up by Section 20 of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal Act, CAP C15, Volume 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to deal with complaints of corruption by public servants for the breaches of its provisions.
It is this highly most placed man – Danladi Umar, the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal [CCT] that was caught in the video that went viral – humiliating, abusing and dehumanizing; in a most terrifying way, a security man at Banex Plaza, Wuse 2, Abuja, saying the guard was “rude”. The CCT chairman was seen [in the video] violently kicking and slapping the guard, before he was restrained and led into his car by police officers.
As disgraceful as the action of the man dancing naked in the market square on the day in question was, narration that came from his office; a narration that turned the show of shame from private involvement into officialdom, spoke in volume – albeit perfidiously. And this narration, given by Ibraheem Al-Hassan; the official Spokesman of the CCT, forgot to take into cognizance that the man performed his show of madness at the Banex Plaza in Wuse 2, Abuja, in his private capacity, and not on official strength. All the same, let us look at how the Public Relations Officer of the Code of Conduct Tribunal presented the matter.
Al-Hassan said the “altercations started over a parking lot which chairman met vacant, and it was directly opposite a shop where he wanted to make a purchase and to fix his phone”.
“When the young security guard sighted him, he ordered that the chairman should not park his car in that particular space.” Al-Hassan said the security personnel could not provide a reasonable explanation why Umar could not park in the empty space. He said although the tribunal chairman did not identify himself, “the boy was rude in his approach and threatened to deal with chairman if he refused to leave the scene.”
“Again, if the chairman had gone there to cause trouble or intimidate someone, as suggested, he would have gone there in his full official paraphernalia. But he went there alone with his younger brother,” the statement reads. “The policemen seen in the video clip were not the chairman’s police team. They were policemen operating around the plaza, who at first instance intervened before the arrival of the police team from Maitama police station.”
Ibraheem Al-Hassan delved deeper into the narration of absurdity by saying that a mob in the plaza started throwing machetes and sharp objects at Umar’s car, “which led to a deep cut and dislocation in one of his fingers, causing damage to his car and smashing his windscreen”. “At the point he attempted to leave the scene, these same miscreants ordered for the closure of the gate, thereby assaulting him before the arrival of police team from Maitama police station.”
The matter is now before the Nigerian Senate for “hearing,” in line with a petition brought by a Senator representing the victim of the attack; Clement Sargwak. Many Nigerians are not too sure of the extent of punishment that would be exerted on Danladi Umar, if the Senate finds him guilty – and that is if the Senate finds him guilty at all. That is on one hand. And in the other hand, has the Nigerian Senate the legal power to suspend, punish or sack Danladi Umar; the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal?
What happens if the Senate returns the verdict of “not guilty” on this manifested Octopus; dangerous specie of Nigerian Public Official presiding in a Temple of Justice in Nigeria? Can we vow that the Executive of the Federation may not go comatose on this matter; as usual?
If these entire hypotheses projected above happen; we are not saying it shall so much happened, what becomes the definition of justice to the victim of the Banex Plaza – Clement Sargwak? And what becomes the glory of expectation on higher Nigerian officials taking to the floor of dancing nakedly in the market places, in the future?
For the sake of motherland – Nigeria, any mad dancer in the market place of opprobrium must be caged, and the time to do that starts now!
Godwin Etakibuebu; a veteran Journalist, wrote from Lagos.
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