Okolie and the Real Fear at the Supreme Court


Simon Agadah
Reading the piece titled “Bayelsa: Who is afraid of the Supreme Court” by Anayo Okolie in Thisday, the Sunday Newspaper dated October 30, 2016, the impression, ordinarily, was that of a journalist weighing in on the pertinent issues in the Bayelsa governorship election regarding the appeal by the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, Timipre Sylva, pending at the Supreme Court. As such, the expectation should have been one of a careful analysis of the matter essentially elucidated on merit thereby educating the public on the substance of the case.

But a cursory look at the publication in question, especially in the latter part, Anayo Okolie’s mischief and blatant misinformation came too clear, giving the obvious fact that his skewed effort at misrepresenting the facts of the case was nothing but a hatchet job as Sylva’s surrogate. It was a publication to ventilate the same warped and fallacious positions Sylva and his acolytes had been taking on the governorship election which the incumbent, Seriake Dickson, won overwhelmingly.

Perhaps, the point must be made that Sylva and his co-collaborators are desperate in all forms to unseat Governor Dickson but that kind of mindless attitude will lead them nowhere as the mandate of the good people of Bayelsa State that was freely given to him will subsist and therefore he will also win resoundingly at the apex court as he did at both the tribunal and the Court of Appeal. Yes, it has to be emphasized that Sylva lost woefully in that election but being a desperate power monger, he’s exploring a gamble probably informed by his closeness to power hoping he could wangle a magic but it will end up in fiasco. A bad case is a bad case, no matter the understanding that the law is an ass.

Now who is really afraid of the Supreme Court? Is it Dickson or Sylva who has been dodging the Supreme Court by evading being served the court papers regarding Dickson’s appeal to his own case that he, Sylva, lacked the qualification and integrity to have even contested that election? Or shall we ignore the indecent equivocations by Anayo Okolie that the questionable“election” in Southern Ijaw as canvassed in the piece and as Sylva had ignorantly presented over time were legitimate and should be accepted when there were no elections held and as supported by the verdict of the electoral umpire, INEC, local and foreign observers? Of course, the well -considered positions of the tribunal and the Court of Appeal on the phony election being concocted illogically by Sylva and his surrogates like Anayo Okolie signposted the decoy to mislead the Supreme Court on the matter but we trust that the apex court is no respecter of anyone and will accordingly dispense justice mainly on facts of the case to the extent that no election was held in Southern Ijaw as being peddled. As such Sylva’s case lacks merit no matter the media propaganda.

Thus if there is anyone who’s afraid of the Supreme Court, it can only be Timipre Sylva and his band of desperate acolytes trying riotously to influence the outcome of the case but we wait to see how this can be done in the face of the clear distortions and outright dubious orchestrations weighing down heavily on his case as lacking in merit. No one is in doubt that the good people of Bayelsa State will continue to defend their mandate freely given to their governor no matter whose ox is gored. The intimidation campaign which Anayo Okolie referred to in his piece would rather be properly assigned to his own jaundiced narrative which reeked of professional crookedness and misjudgment. But no matter, we must call a spade a spade. It is only in Anayo Okolie’s understanding of journalism that a piece meant to be an analysis (features) turned out to be a decoy to support a particular narrow end of a subsisting case, even taking an awkward stand on why the case must be decided in favour of Sylva. So what happened to objectivity? This is clearly an anathema in journalism, indeed an aberration, denouncing everything about ethical practice.

This is why Anayo Okolie must now inform his sponsors that they need to be afraid of the Supreme Court because the apex court will not pander to such ill-motivated media insinuations but only interested in the merit of the case. Again, Anayo Okolie must endeavor to persuade Sylva to allow his lawyers open their doors to receive the court papers being served Sylva via Dickson’s appeal at the Supreme Court which has till date been evaded for obvious reasons. But what is sure is that reason will prevail and justice will be done no matter the length of time. Facts are sacred, still.
––Agadah, a public affairs analyst, wrote from Yenagoa.