Months leading to the burial of Nigeria’s late Socrates of the Supreme Court, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, the Imo State Government led by Governor Rochas Okorocha lied that the Oputa family had been given N20 million to assist it in the burial arrangements of the late Justice.
It was however revealed that no amount was donated from the state government at the Arequiem where the mass was organised for the late Oputa at his country home in Oguta Local Government Area of Imo State . Charley Boy prevented Governor Rochas Okorocha from paying tribute to his father and openly disgraced the governor who has continued to lie and manipulate many in the state for a while since assumption of office, our source say.
At the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Oguta, venue where the service was conducted by the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Rt Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah. The Procession and tributes went on smoothly but was disrupted by the late son the the Justice, when governor Okorocha was permitted by the Bishop to pay his tribute to the fallen judge.
As the governor held the mic and began to shower praises to the dead in the admiration of some of his supporters present at the mass, Charly Boy walked to the altar, snatched the micro-phone from the governor, and asked him to step down from the podium.
Our sources said Charly’s action was necessary as Okorocha did not only issue a statement claiming to have sponsored the burial of Justice Oputa, he also went round telling the people not to border as the late Justice was to enjoy a state burial befitting of him.
The state governor is known for making claims and taking credits for projects and activities he deliberately does not take part of, which many say has been his ploy to either use embarrass or score cheap political points. Family members had all believed the burial was sponsored by the state government had claimed until Charly Boy made it clear during the mass that nothing of such happened and the state government had lied all along.
Among eminent Nigerians present at the church service included representative of President Goodluck Jonathan, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, Governors Willie Obiano (Anambra), Theodore Orji (Abia); the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Chief Emeka Ihedioha and former governors of Anambra State, Senator Chris Ngige and Mr Peter Obi respectively.
The former governor of Imo State, Ikedi Ohakim,, Senator Uche Chukwumerije and the Minister of Labour, Chief Emeka Wogu, the state Police Commsiioner, Almajid Ali and the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, for Oguta, Ikembuchukwu Abugu were also present.
Embarrassed by Charley Boy’s action, the Governor and members of his entourage hurriedly left the church service mid -way, despite entreaties from the officiating Bishop Kuka for them to stay on.
Bishop Kukah had earlier in his sermon lauded the virtues of Justice Oputa, stressed that “to tolerate a son like Charley Boy by a man of late Justice Oputa’s reputation, is a measure of the greatness of the man.”
He called on Nigerians to stand up in defence of justice and equity. ”Oputa before he died, was worried about the quality of Nigerian lawyers and judges because he believed in the judiciary as the last hope of the nation. Today, his legacies are beyond his immediate family,” Bishop Kuka said.