Thursday, May 26, 2011
DISMISSED MAGISTRATE TO FACE PROSECUTION SOON?
Mr. Wilberforce Meigbope, formerly Senior Magistrate with the Lagos State Judiciary is today a sad, broken man.
A few weeks ago, the man would have been described as an imperial magistrate, who was all-in-all in his rather humble post at the magistrate court in Isolo, Lagos.
The judicial emperor’s reign however came to a sudden and rude end on Thursday 28th April 2011 when a small delegation led by Mr. T.A Elias Deputy Chief Registrar (Admin) paid his highness a visit.
According to geckos, Emperor Meigbope was already holding court when the Elias team arrived.
He quickly rose to receive the team in his office. The leader of the team gently handed over a letter to Meigbope. Some of our invisible geckos resident in every magistrate and judge’s chambers, almost fell off their perch when the “bomb” hit Meigbope.
According to the geckos, Meigbope exclaimed and shouted when his eyes confronted the contents of the letter. He raised his hands up in shock and fell off his chair, much to the bewilderment of his visitor, who encouraged him to take his fate like a man. Geckos saw the emperor breaking out in hot sweat, hold his head in his hands and valiantly struggle to keep back tears from badly reddened eyes.
Thereafter Mr. Elias took his leave but not before instructing the registrar of the court to adjourn all pending matters.
The news of the dismissal of the “Alaseju” magistrate soon floated out. Some stunned and bemused lawyers in court now went in to pay the ex-magistrate condolence visits.
However going by the information reaching us from ever trusty geckos, the dismissal of Meigbope from office is not the end of the story. Plans are said to be afoot by the authorities to ensure his arrest and prosecution for alleged acts of demanding and receiving bribes when he was in office.
The action is said not to be targeted at Meigbope alone but his alleged co-extortioners and bribe takers in the court, to wit the court registrar, the prosecutor and some lawyers who acted as go betweens and bribe-brokers.
If the plan succeeds, observers say that it will deter other corrupt magistrates and their court staff from continuing in the despicable act of bribe taking.