On the 19th of February, John Tsoho, a judge of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ruled against the application by the Federal Government of Nigeria for the masking of the faces of witnesses who were to testify in court against Nnamdi Kanu, the embattled leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, saying that, “There is no gain saying that demeanor of witnesses is very crucial in a trial.”
It was however surprising when the Judge turned around on 7th March, yesterday and granted the the same application by the government to protect its witnesses from public view following complaints by the prosecution that its witnesses were being threatened.
Reacting to the recent development through a letter posted on News Biafra site, Biafra has written a very strong-worded letter to Justice Tsoho titled: OPEN LETTER TO JOHN TSOHO ON HIS MADNESS AND ABUSE OF PROFESSION.
The letter reads:
“Sir, it is paramount to address this second letter to you, you have not done anything to deserve being given the justice title by me, hence I address you by Sir. You are constituting a constitutional or professional nuisance, and by all indications you need help, you need to take disgrace into consideration before you cause more harm to ailing image of Nigeria before the world. I know Nigeria have the sovereignty to do whatsoever she wants but Nigeria have no right to give and take life. Life belongs to us all and we have the fundamental right to agitate within the confines of law even though is against Buhari’s wish or your wish, the path you are walking will beget atomic reaction. You have abused the robe, the wig and everything professional and de-robing is a better atonement.
“On 19th of February, you gave a ruling on an application for a secret trial brought before you, in that ruling you gave every reason beyond reasonable doubt why Nnamdi Kanu must not be tried in secret. You were able to convince us that secret trial is a contravention of the law as it should be and we took you serious. I commended you on that and you took the glory. Local and international news media carried your rulings as headline, some of the news headlines stated thus:
“Court rejects request to mask witnesses in Kanu’s trial – TVC NEWS
“Biafra: Court refuses secret trial for Kanu – DAILY TRUST
“Court rejects FG’s request for masked witnesses to testify against Kanu
“Court refuses FG’s request to shield witnesses in Kanu’s trial – THE NATION
“Nigeria: Judge rules against secret trial for Ipob leader Nnamdi Kanu – IBT UK
“Nnamdi Kanu: Court dismisses FG’s application for its witnesses to wear facial masks
“Biafra: Court Turns Down FG’s Request To Shield Witnesses – THE LEADERSHIP
“Witnesses won’t wear mask in Kanu’s trial, says court – PUNCH
“Court rules masked witnesses can’t testify against Kanu – THE CABLE
“Sir, I believe you were not asleep or under the influence of any drug when you gave that ruling. You actually taught me what I don’t know and why the trial must not be done in secret.
“Sir, the trial was adjourned to Monday 8th of March and we waited, we were actually waiting for the witnesses to come and tell the court what they know and not to start all over to argue on secret trial. Like a premeditated move by you and the prosecution, they initiated the secret trial argument against your ruling which is seriously opposing to order, this is an act of contempt to the ruling of the court which has ridden this case all along. You welcomed defiance in the court and after a shambolic argument; you ate your vomit by reversing to contradict your previous ruling. I must tell you sir that I do not know what you are telling us, does it mean you can move front and back and then suddenly execute Nnamdi Kanu?. Hence you have no integrity and the court can rule and overrule on the same matter, I hope your ruling will be overruled again because you are being tossed.
“Sir, upon this your ruling, you failed to back it up, when confronted that mask witness has never been done anywhere. Sir, you ignorantly cited Ivory Coast former President’s trial but the defense counsel in his wisdom reminded you that Ivory Coast practice civil law while Nigeria practice common law as a common wealth country. Sir, by virtue of this, you failed to back your contradictory judgment. You failed to be lectured because you are hell bent on injustice, you want to live above the law because of your desperation to please your pay-master.
“You make mess of justice and legal guidelines, Sir it is now confirmed that you are a puppet used by the DSS to execute their illegal persecution. You have sold your conscience to what is very much odd and against everything sacred. You play the role of the high court and the role of the appeal court and you take everyone for a ride. There are things that can’t stand, and your blatant illegality will vehemently be opposed. As much as you want to jail Nnamdi Kanu at all cost, you must do the work of finding a reason or fault and not waking up to jailing the leader of over 70million people like you own the world.
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“I have tried to overlook your moral and reasoning deficiency but having reached to this extent I must lay it bare. I see no sense of sanity but the brain of a man that can’t be himself. I would further council you to meet Justice Ademola for what being a man is all about. Sir, I will be blunt because you disgraced law and institution. You abused the legal ethics or profession and poses threat to posterity and building a legacy of discouragement. I wonder what you are passing on to us and the entire Nigerians, that agitation without arms and bombs as Boko is doing is illegal while Boko is legal. I forbid you Sir, I forbid your generation and everything related to you. The earlier you hands off the case you have so much abused your personality and profession the better you save the face of a puppet. We shall not be like Boko Haram and neither shall we take up arms but in due time, we shall do what you so wish when injustice can no longer be tolerated.
“Before you trigger violence or 1967 we wish not, you must allow justice to prevail and justice must be done. You have right to prove to us that peaceful agitation is treasonable felony, you have right to prove to us that asking Nigerian government for Biafra without raising arms is illegal. We are waiting for you to do whatsoever you wish but must not take us for granted. We cannot watch you play pranks without playing it secretly; you are simply making us inconsequential but be rest assured that we can do something.
“Sir, if the pressure from Aso Rock is much, then you could have walked away than abusing legal profession. You have failed to grasp it and destroying legal frame, scrapping appeal court, ruling and overruling yourself is not adding up. There is need to leave the stage for a man who can be a man. Sir while stepping down, I so expect that your robe be stepped down as well to restore the dignity of the profession, You have been the person handling controversial cases for the gladiators but this time, Nnamdi Kanu’s case won’t go like every other case.
“Finally, John Tsoho, Sir, I sought to know the sanity of your brain, if you are mentally stable, you would know that just on 19th of February, you ruled that there would be nothing like secret trial and on 8th of March, you ruled again that secret trial will be held. Sir, this is happening in same court, on same matter and by same judge. By virtue of this do I ask should a mad or mentally challenged man be a judge? As a layman, I was told by my uneducated grandmother that once a court says something, that no one, not even the same court can change it, she warned that I should be very careful and fear the court. Sir, you are contravening everything just to nail a man that have no case. If you are mentally stable and knows what a court ruling is all about then I ask, what kind of judge are you.
“CC: Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).”