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In this Literature-in-English tutorial, our focus in on the character and role of Justice Odili in Frank Ogodo Ogbeche’s Harvest of Corruption.
Who is Justice Odili?
Justice Odili is the morally bankrupt Chief Justice of Jacassa. He is a pot-belied man. He is round and robust. Justice Odili is of average height. He has scars of small pox all over his face.
In Harvest of Corruption, Justice Odili is a high ranking member of the judiciary.
It is an irony that the Chief Justice’s central role is to use his high office to aid and abet crime in Jacassa. He makes sure that any case involving the corrupt Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka, the Minister of External Relations, does not see the light of day.
The crimes of Justice Odili
The following are instances in which he helps Chief Ade Haladu Amaka to indulge in his corrupt practices with impunity.
Abuse of power and official negligence
As the Chief Justice, he is able to allow the law to completely gloss over the minister’s numerous criminal activities.
The most obscene instance of this dereliction of duty on the part of the Chief Justice is when, in a bizarre court scene, he publicly makes total nonsense of the drug-trafficking case against Aloho.
He is not ashamed to hush up cases of this nature for what he calls “want of evidence”. Aloho herself receives the decision to set her free with shock and disbelief. As for the court registrar, his protestations are not enough to make his irredeemably corrupt superior see reason.
In fact whenever we hear him caution Chief Ade Haladu Amaka about his corrupt practices it is not because he thinks it is wrong. Rather, he is doing so only out of concern that he may run into trouble.
The basic motivation for his willingness to let Chief Haladu Ade-Amaka to get off the hook each time he breaks the law is the huge sums of stolen money the minister keeps giving him.
- Apart from physical cash, Justice Odili also takes expensive gifts from the minister.
Here is a senior judge who has no qualms about using the threat of blackmail and arm-twisting to get as much as money as he can from the minister. After all, he is aware that all that money and the gifts of cars are not coming from Chief’s own toils.
Thus,the bundles of bribe money and assorted gifts are enough to make him overlook Chief’s crimes.
Indeed, he is a Chief Justice who sees nothing wrong with criminal behaviour. He is happy to benefit from wrongdoing by. This is why he turns a blind eye to crimes like smuggling, drug-trafficking and embezzlement of state funds.
- Clearly, Justice Odili is corrupt, greedy and a self-serving individual.
The theme of corruption
He therefore contributes significantly to the themes of corruption.
His blatant disregard for the law is mind-boggling. This behaviour enables people like Chief Ade Haladu-Amaka to continue to rape the country.
Contribution to the development of the plot.
Another important issue in the plot of Harvest of Corruption is the idea of nemesis. At the end of the day, Justice Odili receives his punishment. He will serve twenty years in prison.
This shows that there is still hope for the country. With upright individuals like ACP Yakubu around, the likes of Justice Odili will one day atone for their crimes.
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