Ndoma-Egba, A Politically Stabilized Shining Star, By Utum Eteng
The name Victor Ndoma-Egba SAN, would continue for a while to mean different things to different persons in Cross River State, depending however on ones political alignment. To the 5th 6th and 7th Senates of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ndoma-Egba means the three term Senator who became the Deputy Senate Leader, who while in the Senate met the compulsory requirements to wear the prestigious lawyers silk of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, the first ever in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Thus, in the 7th Senate arising from Ndoma-Egba’s leadership disposition in the 5th and 6th Senates he expectedly became the Leader of the 7th Senate, a position he held until June 4th, 2015.
To the government and people of Cross River State, the name Ndoma-Egba meant; a likeable team player, a politically dependable asset not only to the Central Senatorial District where Ndoma-Egba and Imoke, near inseparable twins come from. It was publicly acknowledged that Ndoma-Egba SAN, as an honest brother, friend and team player was always available to Imoke especially in his many travails. This was at a time the Court of Appeal Calabar Division following the legal jabs of a young Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Advocate, Chief (Barr) Okoi Obono-Obla, pulled the toga of immunity from prosecution off Imoke’s sleeves. The said Court of Appeal in an appeal matter removed Imoke as governor.
To many others, the name Ndoma-Egba means, the 27year ebullient young lawyer to be made Commissioner for Works and Transport, and Acting AG in the old Cross River Executive Council, the 4th crack lawyer in Cross River State to be admitted into the Exclusive Silk Club of Senior Advocate of Nigeria SAN after Late Dr. Okoi Arikpo (SAN), Late Chief Effiom Ekong (SAN), Chief kanu Godwin Agabi (SAN). To the lawyers, Ndoma-Egba means the only lawyer of history who became the Chairman of the NBA, Calabar branch more than twice, a rare feat.
However, it is to be placed on record that the phenomenal horizontal rise of Ndoma-Egba and the attendant easy and unrestrained access to the power base at the centre, coupled with his philosophy of “everybody is somebody” soon made the local political hawks in Cross River State sooner than later to commence political hostility against him. Politics of mudslinging, blackmail, put him down syndrome with all manner of dirty tricks and antics soon became best suited for their scheme. Thus, Ndoma-Egba must be traded-off for a senator from Delta State to become senate leader; he must be traded-off if an overzealous Jonathan propagandist cum apologist is to become the Chief-of-staff to Jonathan after 2015 election. Biblically, when an act is not of God’s it fails, for that supreme reason, there is not a President Jonathan for the head of Ndoma-Egba’s blackmailers to be Chief-of-staff, nor is there a PDP majority in the senate to have a PDP senate leader. Today, Ndoma-Egba drives himself freely in and out of the court rooms to do the business of advocacy he knows best to do. Like former President Obasanjo, Ndoma-Egba is not only laughing but doing so broadly.
It is pertinent to point it at this juncture that, one is taking the time to reel out in summary Ndoma-Egba’s dossier as a way of addressing one SAMSON EGBE the jaundiced facts published at page 14 of This Day Newspaper of 24th September, 2015, entitled; PDP, NDOMA-EGBA AND BURDEN OF HISTORY He claimed howbeit falsely that Ndoma-Egba SAN is a political opportunist who “Those of us who are privy to the minutest details of how the party plucked him from the backwaters of an uneventful legal practice and transformed him into a star…”. From the foregoing alone, it is either SAMSON EGBE is not a real Cross Riverians from the Central Senatorial District, he may be lured to do a dirty job or that he does not know Ndoma_Egba SAN well. Not sure of who Egbe is, one would still request him to examine the strict legal requirements for one to be made a SAN in Nigeria, an equivalent of QC, the Queen Counsel in the UK.
Perhaps, as a lawyer of more than 30years post call, a Cross Riverian, from the same Senatorial District with Ndoma-Egba and Liyel Imoke before Donald Duke begged him to go to the Senate was a savvy private legal practitioner in the class of lawyers in Cross River State who took the legal profession by storm. They include; Okoi Arikpo, Effiom Ekong, Chief Okoi Ikpi Itam (now the CJ of CRS), Walter Onneghen (now JSC), Late Chief Orok Ironbar, Late Aniekan Bassey, Late N.O. Nsefik, Late Chief Richard Efa, Late Chief E. E. Yellow Duke, Chief Assam Assam SAN, Paul Erokoro SAN, Chief Kekung Asu, Justice Mike Edem, Justice Eyo Ita, Justice Philomena Ekpe JCA and later Joe Agi SAN. Ndoma-Egba understudied Chief Kanu Agabi for many years, before setting up his law firm at a time he was a huge success. One could say on authority that Egbe may not truly know the legal antecedents of Ndoma-Egba well enough to know that Ndoma-Egba SAN featured prominently at the national level of the NBA and today, remains a member of the body of Benchers, the National engine room for lawyers enrolled in the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
It is expected that now that SAMSON EGBE has known that much, he would be honest and humble enough to tender an unreserved apology to the man whose political sagacity and sympathy for him created a real opposition for once on record in Cross River State.
Finally, let it be emphasized for the record that, the current attempt to smear Ndoma-Egba’s name is an offshoot organized and sponsored by the failing PDP and that the current propaganda by Elder John Okon Umoren the Cross River State PDP State chairman against Ndoma-Egba is as a result of the current phenomenal swell of quality membership into APC as influenced by Ndoma-Egba’s with himself possibly moving into APC to continue his political service to the people. It should be understood that by all standards, in recent times, the PDP in the state see the emerging high velocity force of the APC as a possible future treat to political dominance in the state, hence, the organized distraction and blackmail of Ndoma-Egba whose name is a household name in the Cross River State political landscape.
CHIEF (BARR) UTUM ETENG
Private Legal Practitioner
Human Rights Activist and