Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

Nigeria’s constitution is a fraud – Rtd Justice Ononiba

0 176

Can you briefly talk about Justice Godwin Ude Ononiba?

It is a long story, a long story in the sense that I was not born into
a Christian family. My parents were none Christians. So, I was just a
village boy that attended church because my father told me
to do so. He did not choose any church for me. There were only two
churches – the CMS and the Catholic Church then. I chose
Catholic Church and was baptized there in 1945. Before then I was
already answering Ude as my name and some people called me Udegbunam.
Some called me Udechukwu and others called me Udeye. So, I wasn’t quite
sure which one was the right one and I decided to call myself Ude. I
shortened it and did not enlarge it. I just left it as Godwin Ude
Ononiba. That is my name and was the name I carried on until I got
into Government College, Umuahia. As for the date of birth, I am not
even sure because there was no registration of birth when I was born. They would
only tell you this one is older than you and then you take a bearing.
That was how I took my own bearing because there was no birth
certificate, no record at all at my birth. So I took a bearing of the
man said to be older than me because that man was born in 1932, his
brother happened to be a teacher so he recorded it. There was no other
record, so I took my bearing from him because they said he was older
than me. That is how I took my date of birth to be 1937. I adjusted it
in order for me to be qualified enough to be admitted into the Federal
Government College, Umuahia, which said you must not be more than 11
years. I calculated it so that I will be eleven in order for me to
gain admission into the college. Thereafter, when I was about to pass out of Federal Government College, Umuahia, Shell came to
the school, in the final year, December 1956. Some Shell personnel came to the principal’s office and requested to see me. The principal invited me to the office and said: “These people are from Shell and they said you would work for them. I started arguing with the principal but was told to keep quiet because when they are
talking you don’t talk, you keep quiet and listen. I can still
remember it was 1956. That was before Nigeria’s independence. I just took the
instructions but told them I was preparing to go and study Engineering
at the University College,Ibadan. Immediately I said that, they said “don’t bother about it,
Shell will train you” and the matter closed without argument.

Thereafter, I followed them and that was how I started work with Shell
on 2nd January, immediately after New Year, in 1957. The rest is just
difficult to understand because I was just moving from place to place
and white people just liked me and I made progress beyond my own
control. I can’t say I contributed anything but was just moving. I
didn’t know how much they were paying me. I worked with a team and they were just
taking us to the bush after which they would just call
me and say, “this is your bush allowance”. I had no idea how they
calculate it but I was collecting the money. When I got up to three
hundred pounds, they asked me to go to account and sign. I signed and was
given the money. I asked my boss, an Australian who was about 26;
what the money was for? He said he didn’t know, but informed me that
it was my bush allowance. It was surprising to me because I do not go
to bush every day. They gave me the amount every month whether I went to
bush or not. When I took the money, I dropped hundred pounds in my
cupboard, took two hundred pounds and raced home back to my father’s
house. I put it in an envelope and wrapped it with old newspaper. When my
father queried me about what I was doing, I told him it is money. He
asked me how much? I said “Akpa ego n’ abo” (two hundred pounds).  He began to open it, then declared: “This
money will not sleep in my house”. When I tried to explain, he said,
“shut up. People who have been working before I was born have not been
able to make this amount of money. Now, you, after working for a few months you
are bringing this to me. Go and return this money to where you stole
it from. In my family we don’t steal and for you to steal you have finished
yourself and if I find out you are a thief, I will disown you.” I was
trying to explain to him what happened but he did not listen to me;
instead, he threw me out of his house. That was the first time my
father scolded me because as a child he used to pet me. I was shocked
at that moment and took the money back to Port Harcourt that evening.
Less than two weeks later, my brother who was a carpenter at Nsukka
came to Port Harcourt, Rumukrushi, to be precise, where I was working
but I was living 11 miles away. When my brother came, they told me I
was wanted at the gate. I went to the gate and saw him. I thought
either my father or my mother was dead and was terrified. I asked why
he visited and to know if all was well but he replied that everything
was fine. Initially, I did not believe him until he said let’s go to
your office. The office was in cubicles but good enough for a
 civil engineer. There was no strong building; it was all cubicles.
 My own cubicle was as good as my own boss’s. When my
brother came in, first of all, he was terrified because it was air
conditioned but I made him calm down. He said my father sent him to
find out if I had returned the money I stole. I was shocked. I took
him to the next door where my immediate boss, Mr. Garnar, from
Australia, a young man of almost my age, was. I got into his office and he
asked me who the man behind me was. I said, “he is my brother”. He then
said, “okay, but what does he want?” I asked him to call somebody else
to interpret because I did not want to interpret. When they asked my
brother again, ‘why are you here?’ He was looking at me to advise him on
what to say. I told him to tell them what he wanted to say. He was
afraid that if he said it, I would be sent to prison but I urged him
on. He then told them that my father sent him to find out whether I
have returned the money I stole (laughter). The white man turned
and looked at me, then said: “He didn’t steal any money. The white man
asked my brother how much the money in question was. He said two
hundred pounds and the man looked at him and said ‘no, it’s three
hundred pounds, not two hundred’. Mr.
Garnar said to me, ‘why didn’t you give them three hundred’ but I replied,
‘that it is my money’. He turned to my brother and told him the same
thing.  My brother and I went back to the house. We had launch and he
left. But before he left, he asked me, ‘how about the other
hundred because I understand that it is three hundred pounds”. I
replied: ”Is it your money?” I brought out the two hundred they drove me away with.
The incident had a lot of impact on me and it changed my life completely. I realized my father was always telling me that in our family, if one steals, that one will be caught.
So, while he held to it, I was listening to it as ordinary story
though I had no intention of stealing.

Again, it was forbidden in school. If you steal another
student’s pencil, teachers would flog the hell out of you. So it was
pure discipline for a man who was not a Christian, who did not go to
church to emphasize that you must not steal. It was, however,
jubilation when my brother returned and told them the story that I
didn’t steal. He was very happy but I learned from that. I can never
do anything like stealing in my life. I had to be very tough. You know
Nigerian environment. It is a difficult thing to escape being a thief
because the thieves guide you, thieves are your boss, and thieves are
everywhere and that is a terrible situation. It was difficult but my
father really helped me, because even in Shell, the rumor spread all
over the place. It helped me and the period I was in Shell was like a
reference point. I was preparing to go abroad to study Engineering but
I had to first acquire National Certificate. In Umuahia, we heard about people
who were doing B.Sc in Engineering, B.Sc. in Chemistry,

 that was what I knew. Some were talking about HND in engineering but I had no interest in such. Shell wanted to send me to a polytechnic in England but I
declined because I didn’t know what it was. I preferred to go to
Ibadan to read B.Sc. in Engineering, nothing short of that. I must say
there was element of arrogance, childish things in those days and to
have gone to Federal Government College, Umuahia, was a special accomplishment.
You don’t believe any other person is more than you because Umuahia
was first and always first. When I had this experience with Shell,
that I should go for HND, I refused.

Turning point

 They said they would require special permission for me to go to a university. My going
to university was waiting for approval when I visited a friend who was
a legal practitioner. I don’t want to talk about him because he was
not particularly a successful one. He was an Igbo man married to a
white woman but he couldn’t maintain the white woman and there was
always problem about money coupled with his rickety car. By then, I
had bought a car which I didn’t need. I bought it because I wanted to
feel good as a youth and because I was being paid two guineas a day as
touring allowance by Shell. Some of my contemporaries hid
their bush allowances when they returned from tour but I gave my own to
my boss each time I returned, because I didn’t believe in lies and such
was the training I gained from CKC, Onitsha. The day that I visited
that my legal practitioner friend I bought a bottle of drink because I
knew that my friend could not afford one. When we were drinking in his
house, somebody sounded a horn, he stood up and peeped out through the
window and said, “Goddy you have to start going, there is a lawyer
friend coming to see me.” I was shocked at that utterance; that a man
that I was practically feeding just dismissed me because a lawyer was
coming to see him. I did not say much. I just picked my car key and
started going down the long staircase at the backyard. As I walked,
the thought of my dismissal revolved in my mind and l couldn’t bear it.
That was how I made up my mind to study law. It was the turning point
of my life and it was later that I found out that the man that got me
dismissed had no degree in law. He was just called to the bar as done in
those days. I walked down to my car, drove straight to Nimo to tell my
father that I had resigned my appointment and that I wanted to travel
to England to study law. My father told me he had no house or land to
sell to sponsor the trip to study law but I was adamant and assured
him that I had money that could see me through. Then, he sent me to call my
mother from her hut. When I brought my mother to his Obi, my father
ordered me to repeat what I had told him in her presence. I repeated
myself and she started shedding tears and asked “is it not after going
to overseas that someone sits on the throne of the white man but now you
are already sitting on the throne, what are you going there to do?”
This question moved me and I had no ready answer to it. It was my
father that came to my rescue and told her to leave me to go where God
has sent me and that was how I was allowed to travel to England. If he had said I should not go, that would have been the end to it. Immediately he gave me that blessing, I drove to Port Harcourt and the next day, I resigned my appointment with  Shell. I gave them one month notice as was the custom in Shell and
surprisingly, I was the first black man to have a send forth party organized for him
by the firm and even given gifts.

In London

I remember the engineers gave me five hundred pounds as thank you for my services. Immediately I got to England, I started my Law degree programme in the London University. I first started as an external student because I had small money in my
pocket and was afraid because ‘once it finishes, I’m finished’. Those
who had rich parents were taking it easy but I had
nobody to help me and so I advised myself. Again, most of our people
there who ran out of money worked, because there was provision to work
while still going to school. Because of the limited money I had, I
didn’t take it easy and within three years, I finished my A level, my
degree, and was called to the bar and then started heading home immediately.

When did you graduate as a lawyer in England?

I graduated in 1962. I got three degrees there, the A level, my degree
and call to the bar. I did not go to the law school. Actually, why I
did it fast was that in 1962, the attorney general introduced a law
that if anyone gets law degree in England, that when such person returns, he  will go
to law school but if the person passes the bar final before September
1962, the person will not go to law school. So, all my classmates were
the first set to go to law school except me because I was determined
not to go to the law school. I tackled the exam before hand and was
able to scale through and finished before the September benchmark.
That was how I became senior to all my classmates because once you are
called to the bar and you return, you will be registered at the
Supreme Court and the Chief Justice will admit you as a lawyer.

Government College Umuahia where you did your secondary school had a lot of prominent Nigerians who were and are still successful in their different callings; can you mention some of your contemporaries at the college?

I remember meeting the Traditional Ruler of Oko Community, Igwe
Lazarus Ekwueme. He was two years my senior and was so much interested
in music. He played piano in those days and that made me describe him as a
strange human being. I was not interested in music and each time he went to
play piano, I go away because I see music as a complicated thing. There was also Nathaniel from Obosi. He was my good friend too.In fact, we
entered school the same time and did things together but ironically, I
had Catholic upbringing while most of my friends had Anglican
background but we never had religious issues or
differences in those days. Also, there was Alex Nwaosisi who was a first
class man in hockey, football and cricket. He was an all round
sportsman. I remember Paul Mbaenyi who was very good in history and he
ended up being professor of history. We also have Gab Menakaya, a
surgeon who was the first black man to teach at Federal Government College,
Umuahia. He wrote a book in Geography and was the first Igbo man, as
far as I know, that has a degree in Geography. He was our Geography
teacher then and ended up becoming Chief Education Officer in the
Eastern region. We have so many others like Cornel Agwuna, Alex
Maduekwe and the rest.

What about your contemporaries as a law student in England?

Louis … was my bosom friend and we went to law school together with
Senator Onyeagbobi. I was also there with Nsofor from Oguta, Ejimofor
and the rest.

How would you describe your law career after returning from England, both as a private legal practitioner and civil servant?

Good. I did not tell you that I got married while in London. The truth
is when I arrived in England in 1959; I had to live with a family. If
Nigerian government did not give you where to stay, it is preferable to
stay with a family. With time, I found the place not only boring but
totally distasteful. I was fed up with their food and I realised I was
in trouble because I never bargained for it. I sought for a way out of my
problem. So, l visited my friend. I told him my problems and after
laughing at me, he told me ‘let’s go and eat.’ He took me to their
dining room and brought out Garri and Egusi soup. I descended on it. It
was after eating that I asked him how he managed to get that kind of
food. He told me “it is done here”. He took me to a shop where all those
items were sold.


But I had no idea. We bought few things but I
had no knowledge of how to cook. That was why I sent for the girl I
was betrothed to who joined me over there in London. So, she came to
England and we wedded and that was how I escaped eating the English
kind of food. We had our first child in London a year after. By God’s
grace, the little Uzoamaka later became a High Court Judge.
So, I came home with a woman and a child and because of that, it was
difficult for me. I was young but that would not be an excuse for not
giving my family a comfortable living. I thought I would be able to
cope like others but did not know that I couldn’t and few things I had
left in the house before my journey to England were dispersed in a way
I did not want to talk about. I remember I had two taxis that
were running for me before I left for England. They all disappeared
and I wasn’t prepared to go and start quarrelling. I remember it
wasn’t difficult to get appointments in England in those days, and during
one of our vacations, you could choose where to work and I chose
employment in the Department of Internally Generated Revenue.
I worked there briefly and they told me anytime you want to work
permanently, we are ready to take you. But before I left England, the
Nigeria High Commissioner contacted the students who had finished
their programme and asked which job we would like to do. Because of
my previous stint in Internal Revenue, I chose to work there and
afterwards they came and interviewed me and told me as soon as I get
home, I should go and start work there. They paid my transport to
return to Nigeria and when I returned, I had a short stint at Port
Harcourt and then decided not to waste my time there and left. I went
to the internal revenue and became their adviser for few months and
was not excited either. I needed an opportunity to go to court. I
reasoned that if as a lawyer, I don’t go to court, then I am not
fulfilled. I needed the court experience. So, I teamed up with Sir
Louis Mbanefo law firm. If you had worked with Mbanefo, the man will bully
you with questions as if you are writing exam. So, you have to prepare
as if you are going to court every day. I later joined the Ministry of
Justice and worked in the Department of Public Prosecution, headed by
G. C.M. Onyiuke who was the Director of Public Prosecution in the
Eastern Region and it was an independent department. He was the man who taught me the rudiments and was sending me to court everyday without break. Before three months, I had acquired skills even more than lawyers who were there before me. I was
going to court everyday and it prepared me in a hard way which paid
off. Again, I did not appreciate it those days and was grumbling. He
once ordered a white man who was then commissioner of police to give
me full loyalty at every point in time that I needed him and with that,
I developed a very cordial relationship with the police. Those were
the days when the police were very efficient and I remember going with
the White man to Calabar where we prosecuted a policeman
for taking bribe of 2 pounds and 6 shillings; that shows you how the system was

What was the outcome of that prosecution?

The policeman was convicted and he went to prison. The worst was a
case of a man from Rivers State called Golden Sobolare. He was a
solicitor general and a permanent secretary of the Ministry of
Justice. He went to Lagos and made claim about discharging a person,
eventually, it was discovered that he went to Lagos once and not twice
and so the claim he made was false and he was charged to court. I
had to prosecute him and he lost his job.  That was how perfect
Nigeria was working in those days but politicians have destroyed the
system today. Politicians of those days were men who were in the Houses
of Assembly and the Parliament. You would not dare attempt
stealing public fund then. It was when we got these so-called modern
politicians that diversion of public fund started.

Could you tell us how you rose to become the Chief Judge of Anambra State?

I never thought about where I will go. I was only interested in
feeding my family and being relevant.  I have told you how I got into
politics and if you are in public practice, you are living on
speculation because no one knows what will happen next. As a man whose
child was born in London and wife used to Western life, I had to start
scratching in order to feed them.  I was comfortable feeding myself
but in order to feed them (wife and child) I had to go into service.
So, they gave us quarters and where we lived was the same standard
as obtainable in England and I was living in a Government Reserved
Area (GRA). That was how my career started. I was in the internal
revenue department but resigned because I had wanted to learn the job inside
courtrooms and not outside.

How long did you work with the Department of Public Prosecution?

I started work there around March 1962 and by 1963 I was in charge of
public prosecution. Then, after the war, I appeared before Justice
Agbakoba, the then Chief Justice of Old Anambra State and was working
in the Department of Public Prosecution as a State Counsel.  Now, I
appeared before Agbakoba as a prosecutor and worked under Omereonye
Nwokedi who was the Director of Public Prosecution.

Senior Magistrate

At a point, Agbakoba, the Acting Judge then, liked me and subsequently appointed
me as the Senior Magistrate. After the appointment, he informed the
Solicitor General who objected, saying that I should not leave my position to
become Senior Magistrate because I would develop the habit of taking bribe. We then wrote a petition to the attorney general, Nnaemeka Agu, that the man was accusing me of having the intention to take bribe if I become the Senior Magistrate.  I made him
know that as a prosecutor, I could have been taking bribe but I did not, because
l did not possess the character to indulge in corrupt practices. Against the
aspersions, I wrote that “this man that is accusing me of bad
intention has never worked in a place where his integrity could be
or opportunity of him being corrupt is tested and that he was only a
redress officer. The Attorney General, Nnaemeka Agu, ordered the
Solicitor General to answer the questions I raised line by line and the
Solicitor General started battling for his position. That was how I
became Senior Magistrate Grade II and from there I was promoted to
Senior Magistrate grade 1.


I was later transferred from Enugu to Umuahia. I was covering Abiriba,
Arochukwu and Ohafia. I was covering the three areas with base in Ohofia. I had a
lot of experiences there. Abiriba, for instance, are people that
 trade on ‘drinks’ and when the Chief Magistrate of
Umuahia, Anisiobi arrived, we visited the various places including the
traditional ruler. The monarch gave us cartons of hot drinks each and
Magistrate Anisiobi called me aside and said,’is this not the drink
that was described as …? I said ‘yes’ and he suggested we return
it but I convinced him we should not, for security reasons. Again, the
people of Abiriba are very rich and there was a Magistrate Court
office that was established in Abiriba that time but the High Court
did not sit for one day. There was a police station there but no
report was brought to the station for once. The cells were empty
because there was no criminal. A book that was bought for record of
cases was the way it was when it was bought. So, the person that was
transferred there stayed for two weeks without entering the court to
decide any case and left because he had nothing to do. That was my
experience in the Magistrate.

 The Gambian experience

Then, Aniagolu, a former Chief Judge of old Anambra State called me to
inform me that then Head of State, Yakubu Gowon wrote to him and
requested that he wanted a Chief Magistrate from Anambra State that
would go to Gambia to work for Gambian Government. Initially, I
declined the offer until I was asked the conditions that could make me to
change my mind and I wrote a bloated list of allowances for myself, wife
 and children. Sometime later, Justice Aniagolu called me to his
office for the documentations. He told me that if he had known that my
conditions would be granted, to be honest, he would have gone by himself. We were formally received by the Nigerian ambassador to
Gambia and I was subsequently invited for discussion in a hotel by one elderly

The man told me that the Christians population in the country is just
five percent and that the rest is fetish and even wear it on
the body. He told me that why the Gambian government imported a Chief Magistrate was that no Gambian lawyer agreed to take the post of Chief Magistrate because the last person that held the position was killed. Ironically, the request from
Gambia came after the civil war and Gowon decided to send an Igbo man
for the work. The elderly man told me the reason for the advice was to
clear his conscience and that I was like a son to him. He told me to
choose taking up juju to do the work or go home. Instantly, I became
worried and refused to tell my wife what I heard because if I did
she would insist we travel back to Nigeria that night. Then,
something occurred to my mind. I told myself that before this people
can get me, they have to get God first and I took the decision to
embrace God without telling my wife. After I took the decision, I was
transformed and started witnessing magic in my life. That was when I
understood the phrase that even if a Christian gets a faith as little as a mustard seed,
that he can order a mountain to move and it would obey. My stay in
Gambia became a myth to the citizens. On one occasion, the Inspector
General of Police in the country told me there was a native doctor they
wanted to arrest and that if he was arrested, would the court try
him? I told him to bring anyone they arrest, even if it is the
president; that my role is to try anyone brought before me. I
remembered an occasion we wanted to try a fetish man. He had a
reputation for fetish practice and people were scared. I called the
IGP  and told him to get his men ready that we are moving the
court to Kudan (the fetish man’s village), to try the suspected fetish
man. The IGP told me that we are taking a big risk going to the place.

What if the villagers attack us? I was not moved and I told him we
have armed police to protect us. We moved and got to a certain
place and had to drop our convoy and trek on foot. As we walked, the
fetish suspect turned and said to me: “You are like a son to me. I
would not like to destroy you. Did you ask people who I am and you
are going to my house?” I told him he can’t destroy me for I was only
doing my job and may destroy him. By the time we got to his house,
the IGP was visibly shaking and refused entering the man’s house.

 I personally entered his house and tried him there. So, a lot of
things happened in Gambia but the fact is that I did something
different from what they were doing. When I checked the court register of the
previous Chief Magistrates, I saw that they only gave fines to people
convicted of stealing and other crimes and it was a lucrative business
for them because they were fined below what they stole. However, they
stopped having space in their cells when I took over.

How long did you stay in Gambia?

I spent two and a half years there.

 Did you continue as a Magistrate on your return to Nigeria?

My wife and children left Gambia six months before me because my
children had to start school in September of that year. They took home
most of our property including the car I came with and I had to return
with only a small suitcase.  I left Gambia as a Senior Magistrate
Grade One and when I came back, I went back to the judiciary where I
retained my position as Magistrate. I was posted to Abakaliki as
the Magistrate in charge of Abakaliki District and that was in early
1976 but it was short-lived. I was there for two weeks when a new
Anambra State was created. One Ihejiekwu was Deputy Chief Registrar in
charge of old Anambra State. When Anambra and Imo States were created,
Ihejiekwu went home to Imo State to become their Chief Registrar and
his earlier position became vacant. I was yet to settle in any house
in Abakaliki when Justice Aniagolu asked me to move straight back to
Enugu. There I was appointed the new Deputy Registrar of the Old
Anambra State to work with Clement Ike who was the acting Chief
Registrar then. He was from Ndikelionwu.

Afterwards, I noticed that Aniagolu was not on good terms with Clement
and was sending Memos to me directly which was not right. To put
myself out of the delicate situation, I made sure I passed the Memo
through the Chief Registrar after I signed it and he would forward to
Aniagolu, the Chief Judge. Eventually, Clement resigned and became the
traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu in Old Aguata Local Government Area.
However, I became uncomfortable with the situation and turned down offer from Aniagolu to become the Chief Registrar. I advised him to
choose from the hierarchy of the Chief Magistrates among who were
Nwazota and Uyanna. He sent me to go and invite Nwazota from Onitsha
and afterwards he was made the Chief Registrar. When Nwazota was later appointed judge, the position of Chief Registrar became vacant again. There were qualified candidates to fill the position namely: Moses Nweje from Nnobi and another  Mr. NwejeFrom Onitsha. Mr. Moses Nweje from Nnobi was senior to Mr. Nweje from Onitsha. Then, it was Chief R.M.C. Chukwura from Onitsha who was to make recommendations to Governor Atom Kpera. Chukwura was the acting Secretary to the State Government. He recommended Moses Nweje thinking it was the Nweje from Onitsha. When he realized the mistake he appealed to the governor, Atom Kpera to substitute Moses Nweje but the governor rejected the request saying even the two people are from the same parents the most senior should go.
Later, the appointment was confirmed and I remained the Deputy Registrar.
When he (Nweje) came in, he did not understand the systemic flow of administration of the office of the Chief Registrar, being all along a field magistrate.
The court had its language and it was difficult for him to cope. When he came, he was avoiding me and I avoided him too. He thought I was being
angry with him and he was doing everything alone without delegating
duties to me. He didn’t know that his appointment was on error and
that the court had wanted to appoint another Nweje from Onitsha. So, l seized the opportunity to secure a N45, 000 housing loan the
deduction of which from my salary was spread for over 15 years. I knew about the
loan because the secretary of the body, Mrs Carol Ugochukwu, told me
about it and no other person in the judiciary knew they could equally
access such loan. Then, Muoneke from Ihiala was in charge of the
committee and he helped to facilitate the loan for me. I used the loan
money to build a house on the land that I bought on my return from
Gambia. There was nobody in the judiciary that knew about the loan policy then, even the Chief Judge and the Chief Registrar had no knowledge of it. I knew about it
because I was friendly with the administration officer. I had worked
in the Shell with the husband of the admin officer and that was where
I knew her. I used the N45, 000 loan to purchase a piece of land at
Uwani at N6,000 and started building a house. I also had two plots of
land at New Heaven presently. It was Edward Nnaji through Mogbo that
helped me acquire the land after he gave it to me to pay by
installments and I was able to complete the payment after heavy struggles.

When Aniagolu returned from leave and saw what happened, what did he do?

He didn’t do anything. You know this is civil service and unlike now
that things are being manipulated, there was nothing he could do.
Then, the man was Acting Secretary to the State Government. I was Deputy Chief Registrar then and was standing well. I used the
opportunity of Nweje’s attitude to start buildingthe house because I was not busy.
What I did was to read newspapers and after reading newspaper in the
morning, I went to my site for inspection of work and returned to the
office to continue with my paper.
Eventually, Nweje summoned courage to call me. He asked if anything
was the problem between both of us, I responded to him, “diokpa, have
we been enemies before”, I asked him? “Before your appointment as the
Chief Registrar, you were a Chief Magistrate at Awka,” I told him, and
he responded in the affirmative. I asked again, “when you had problem was
it not me that helped to solve your problem?” He said yes, again. I then
told him if I do not like him, I could have destroyed him at that
opportunity. I told him it was because he did not campaign for the
position he was occupying that made him not know the value and that it
was because somebody wanted to put someone from Onitsha
 called Nweje not knowing that the Nweje he mentioned was not the
one from Onitsha. He asked me, “so you are not angry with me?” and I
replied, “why should I”? I told him it was not his fault and that if he
was ready, he would learn the job the same way I learnt it. After that
meeting, we became friends as we ought to be and I started working
from that day. I thanked God for that problem I had with him because
it gave me the opportunity to build my house. Every situation has
positive and negative effect. Some people only study the negative
aspect of situations and leave the positive side. Look at my
predicament, I was supposed to be promoted from the Deputy Chief
Registrar to the Chief Registrar but was denied the opportunity. So, I
used the opportunity to explore the outside opportunities to build my
duplex at New Heaven and my boss (Chief Registrar) did not have even a
plot of land to his name. It was not because I was too clever, but the
act of divine intervention.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More