It’s axiomatic after all. Irascibility is the flagship of small men. Most times they present as physical giants, but always intellectual dwarfs. A combination of brief frame and small mind is not uncommon. As a leopard cannot change its spots else and evil man will do good! “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” So the Bible records in Jeremiah 13:23. This is also is the relationship between a stammerer and anger.
Barr. Emmanuel Enoidem is the National Legal Adviser of the Peoples Democratic Party. He changeth not! Not with age and time nor by elevation or environment. His elevation nay relocation to Wadata Plaza is a relief of some sort back home though. The alleged and unbelievable cases of disruptions in equilibrium of conjugal has not been heard of late. But has he changed? Changing him is obliterating his true identity. A bully with scant regards for decorum or rules. The stammering legal practitioner is renowned for his despicable exploits on the political turf rather than any positive mark in his profession in the last three decades.
Truly, it is not about ‘how long’, but ‘how well’! Three decades in the profession has not left any appreciable imprint on him. And so he appeared as star witness for his Party to defend the outcome of the March 9, 2019 Governorship election in Akwa Ibom State. While led by his lawyer and fed milk, he was surprisingly fluent but loquacious. Excited. He was running political commentary from the witness box. He simply sang away and when it became too boring, upon objection by learned Professor Ojukwu SAN for the Petitioners, he was cautioned. Stick to affirming the contents of documents and leave the geography of politics!.
Jamboree over. Being put through the furnace of cross examination brought out the fangs in the Etim Ekpo born-politician. It was a hard bone to chew. He spoke about everything except answer the questions put across to him. He could not be pacified. Answer the question, he was urged severally.
Justice AM Yakubu who chairs the Tribunal could not ignore the ignoble mouthing and had to subject Enoidem to elementary tutorials in courtroom decorum – especially for a lawyer who boasts of thirty years at the Bar; “we are not here to tell stories”. Momentarily, calm returns. But it was short-lived.
The questions under cross examination pour in in torrents. ‘Do you see the boxes on the voters register’? ‘Are there ticks in the boxes’? Apparently drawing consolation from passage of the Holy books that he may rise and fall at will, he flipped-flopped on his testimony. He insisted he was accredited, de-accredited and re-accredited. He says there was a tick, a cancellation, a thumbprint and a tick where you have “FA” which means, according to him “Federal Assembly” What a Legal Adviser!
The questions won’t abate. ‘Do you see cancellations on the sheets you are holding’? No answers. Counsel persists. His Counsel spits out to the amazement of all; “Ernest, you cannot shout on my client”! Like a recalcitrant child feigning oppression, he equally cries out, “My lord, I need protection”.
And a deserved response roared back from the bench, “keep quiet”!. “Even a one year old lawyer knows this. I am surprised that you have not taken the hint of the Tribunal”.
He finally blurted out with unusual fluency, “this has been the best election in Nigeria since 1999”. He contradicts his Party. The PDP is fighting frantically to make a clear case out of an empty petition predicated on a non-existent ‘ INEC server”. Enoidem is jolted back to senses by their lordships. Belatedly, he sought to qualify his infantile outburst but that too ended up an indiscretion. The point was made. Loquaciousness has no place in the hallowed chambers of Law.
The entire proceeding was replay of a well choreographed brawl led on by his lawyer, himself, apparently a veteran in Courtroom indecorum, they acted the shameful movie in defence of a more shameful election.
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