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Nigeria: Bode George's Guilt and the Logic of Deduction, By Adeolu Ademoyo

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Mr. Ọlabọde George's contract splitting as erstwhile chairman of Nigerian Ports Authority and my trading of grades as a teacher are known to a general offense called abuse of office such that if someone under the law is found guilty of the general offense he is guilty of the particular precisely because if (a) Every mother is kind(general) and (b) Bọla is a mother (particular) , then (c) Bọla is kind(the judgment).

What the honorable justices of the Supreme Court of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have told the world in freeing Mr. Ọlabọde George and others in the case of Mr. Ọlabọde George, Architect Aminu Dabo, Captain O Abidoye, Alhaji Abdullahi Aminu Tafida, Alhaji Zanna Maideribe and Engineer Sule Aliyu v. Federal Republic of Nigeria is that I have not abused my office and role as a teacher if I (as a teacher) trade my grades for money and body gratification because the university law against abuse of office does not cover grade trading. This is frightening, deadly and morally grim. It ought to send cold chill down the spine of any moral being.

If my reasoning in this essay is an illustration of what lawyers such as Mr. Jiti Ogunye and Mr. Fẹmi Falana have canvassed, and if this is a faithful illustration of the two forms of reasoning -deductive and inductive reasoning, then the Supreme Court erred in freeing Mr. Ọlabọde George and others of guilt. I move further to say with due respect that the Supreme Court not only erred , the honorable justices have not been faithful to the truth, they have actually been very hostile to truth.

I maintain this position for the following reason. To invent a straw argument as the supreme court justices have done either deliberately or by an act of omission is to be unfaithful to truth, is to be hostile to truth. This is what the supreme court has done. That is the Supreme court gave the impression that it was dealing with the case before Justice Oyewọle as the ground of the appeal. But Justice Oyewọle's judgment is a deductive judgment for he tried Mr. Ọlabọde George on a general statement before him. On the other hand the Supreme court's judgment is an inductive one for it focuses on the particular. In other words, the justices of the Supreme Court shifted the argument in the middle.

This is a serious professional and ethical failure. With all sense of responsibility and deference to knowledge, I put it before Nigerians and the world that the Nigerian Supreme Court in the case of Ọlabọde George and others Vs Federal Republic of Nigeria and in freeing the accused the Supreme Court has conducted a major offense against law, morality and reason.

The Supreme Court shifted the argument completely while giving the impression that it has not. Since what we are dealing with here is universal knowledge, these claims could be checked with any institution of knowledge (i.e. a university) in any part of the world. This is the way of knowledge. This is how we should proceed.

The Supreme Court's judgment is a moral failure, a knowledge failure and a failure of the rational.

But as previously argued on this platform, our position is that everything in the world is ethical. Any injury to the ethical in us as the judgment of the Supreme Court has shown is a moral threat to our collective being. It is this regard that the judgment of the Justices of the Supreme Court is a violation and a threat to our collective being. It is legally unstable and logically insecure.

Adeolu Ademoyo aaa54@cornell.edu is of Africana Studies and Research Center, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY.

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