Justice Gabriel Kolawole expressed shock as he
presided over Charles Okah’s case when it came up
for mention on Thursday 7th march, 2013.
Okah was carried into the court room by
prison warders leaving his wheel chair outside the
court room. The judge was informed by Okah’s lawyer that Okah, who is facing charges relating to
the October 1, 2010 bomb blast is now paralysed as
a result of a nervous disorder made worse by his
solitary confinement at the Kuje prison where he is
not allowed any form of movement.
Okah requested to speak to the judge and when he was granted audience, he did not mince
Justice Kolawole who deserves
commendation for his diplomacy and carriage
listened attentively as Okah narrated how the prison
faulted and disregarded court orders issued in April 2012. Okah who was hale and hearty when he was
arrested on the 16th of October 2010 made it clear
that his paralysis was as a result of the ill treatment
at the hands of the Nigerian prison service.
Justice Kolawole however replied that there
was nothing he could do if the prison service decided to go against their own laid down rules and
regulations regarding inmates in their custody.
It behaves the mind to think that at the level
of the Nigerian democracy, a government
establishment can disregard a court order with
impunity and get away with it. The worst part is the judge’s seeming act of indifference and
It is obvious that certain political forces are
responsible for his ill treatment which up till now
shows no signs of abating. His trial date was fixed
for 19th and 20th of June 2013. Let’s hope Justice will serve its course. Next conversation