A former National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Adams Oshiomhole, said yesterday he would have been a convict but for a “courageous judiciary.”
Oshiomhole said in his days as a union leader, weapons were not deployed against him, he was arrested several times for crossing the government’s “redline.”
He said this while hosting members of the Law Students Association of Nigeria (LAWSON) in his office in Abuja at the weekend.
Oshiomhole has been invited by the students as guest speakers at their forthcoming National Conference on Rule of Law.
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His words: “I have been a beneficiary of a very courageous judiciary. But for a courageous judiciary, I would have been a convict because in the course of my work as a trade union leader, when I stepped on the government redline, they deployed all the weapons, including the police, and arrested me countless times.
“They had me arraigned before magistrates and judges for all kinds of charges, like unlawful assembly and incitement. But each time they did that, I was always fortunate to appear before judges with courage.
“I have been defended by lawyers, who most of the time provided their knowledge of the law and intellectual sagacity to defend me from the government after government.”
Oshiomhole, who was a former Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) president, also recalled that his decision to contest for the governorship seat of Edo State would have been truncated but for the judiciary.
He said: “I am a beneficiary of the rule of law that most Nigerians will remember. I was rigged out of the election in Edo State when I contested for governorship in 2007, but for a very courageous judiciary and the industry of very learned senior members of the bar.
“I think I am in history, the only person rigged out of the election, and courtesy of a courageous judiciary, I was declared the winner.
“All my life, I will be appreciative of the role of the judiciary in our society notwithstanding whatever criticism anybody may have. For me, I will say without fear or favor that I am a beneficiary of a courageous judiciary.”
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