Emeka Ugwuonye:

The views of Professor Ijalaye are very interesting and critical. They demonstrate again that the issues involved are not as simplistic as some of the earlier commentators have suggested. I am particularly delighted to know that even without reading my contribution on this topic, which was aired only two days ago in the Weekend Guardian, Professor Ijalaye raised similar questions as I did. For example; what is the status of the heads of component states in a federation? What is the implication of this case on the Constitutional provisions on immunity for governors? What is the true intent of the Nigerian Constitution? How could the Constitution forbid the prosecution of Governors in Nigeria, only to turn around and allow Nigerian authorities to instigate such prosecution overseas?

It has been said that this is British case. But the role of the Nigerian Government in it is obvious and it makes the case look like a prosecution by proxy. Indeed, we just read that British Detectives are meeting with the President of Nigeria. That's most puzzling. There should never have been any need for them to meet the President. If the President must get involved personally, let him speak with Tony Blair. If it's just the police, let them speak with the IGP or Mr. Ribadu or if they are truly highly placed police officers and need to speak with someone higher than these men, then let them speak with the Attorney General of Nigeria. The work of Government under the rule of law is not to use a torch light to discover how to circumvent its own Constitution. I might not have agreed with the Professor in all respects, but certainly his analysis is much more comprehensive than the students-like copying of sections of incomplete body of rules on immunity in international law. Also, I must add that those who doubt the legal soundness of the case against the Governor of Bayelsa, are not assuming such position either because they sympathize with the Governor or because they do not realize the dangerous effect of corruption on the country. The means does not always justify the end. The only way to fight corruption or carry out any meaningful and sustainable reform is to do it in full compliance with the rule of law. Governments should never engage in tricks or resort to means with questionable validity. This is not a soccer game, for goodness sake, where it may be okay to trick your opponent.