“Justice” in Nigeria

by Tola Adenle

While it is heartening to learn of the swiftness and efficiency of law enforcement and the dispensing of justice in the case of breaking and entering a car that temporarily yielded the thief a car stereo at Abuja recently, I wish the system would operate the same way every time.  

Forty-one year-old Umoh Asuquo, who received one year imprisonment for stealing a car stereo a few weeks back should have joined the Police Force where he could rake in thousands weekly by mounting road blocks with his colleagues.  In that job, he could threaten drivers with loaded guns or even get away with killing speeding commercial drivers who would want to refuse dropping “toll” fees, proceeds from which are purportedly shared all the way to top police hierarchy; who knows?

Better still, Umoh could have gone back to his Calabar constituency where “his people” who must love him dearly could have sent him to the State Assembly, to the Federal House or Senate.  Pardon my cynicism, if he could wangle the papers together and he plays his card well, he could have joined “Africa’s largest party”, the PDP and run for governor or whatever post.  As Speaker of Nigeria’s House, Deputy Speaker, etcetera – OR, the Senate, etcetera, billions would be at his disposal and any amount he could have looted would NOT really be that criminal an offence.

Poor Umoh apparently is a luckless guy because the N18,000 car stereo got recovered.  He could not have ended up within the most corrupt political party Africa – or, perhaps anywhere else – higher than a cutlass-wielding thug, the type that is very prevalent among PDP ranks; they get paid daily in cash and other means.

It is incredible to believe that an offence committed on September 16 – a mere twelve days ago has already gone to trial and disposed off when people who stole elections and became governors spent nearly the entire four years when others who actually won the elections were left paying expensive legal fees in attempts to get back what were theirs.  Meanwhile, after stealing mandates, the thieves went ahead to loot state treasuries.  Okay, the police did not make the arrest as they would have been busy extorting motorists elsewhere.

By the way, did Abacha’s son not reportedly negotiate with government regarding how much he would return of Nigeria’s looted billions?  He ran for governor under the PDP last elections.  How about former head of police, Tafa Balogun?  What happened to the billions NEGOATIATED with him to be returned to government?  The last we all read:  the “recovered” funds could not be found.  How ‘bout the “loan” paid back by Nigerian government to foreign donor even though the news report stated nobody could say which agency or governments of the “federation” actually took the loan (http://emotanafricana.com/2011/06/16/abracadabra-nigerian-government-accounting/

The list of the Nigerian masses not getting justice on the pillaging that goes on daily is endless.  Even as President Jonathan presented his list for new ministers, there were damning evidences that Ms. Dieziani Allison Madueke should – at the very least – answer a few questions not only about her fudged – not necessarily forged – date of graduation but also of OILY dealings in the oil ministry she headed under the last government.  A president who promised “fresh air” in his campaigns merely waved these aside.

How about the Saburi Bankole (former House leader) case or where has it gone? There are reports it’s going to be settled the [PDP] family way.

Back in June, I submitted for readershttp://emotanafricana.com/2011/06/22/nigeria%E2%80%99s-new-ministerial-list-portends-a-future-that-is-nigeria%E2%80%99s-immediate-past/.    While it had only a handful of readers the first day, it has since gone on top of the all-time reading with hundreds of readers, displacing favorites like Ulli Beier’s “Cloth wears to shreds:  Yoruba textiles …” and Saheela Ibrahim, “Nigerian 15-year old goes to Harvard” which were always jostling for Number 1 or 2.

Here are bits and pieces from the 234NEXT story:

The police prosecuting officer, Monday Akor had told the court that Mr Asuquo went into the vehicle of one Emmanuel Akume of Area I, Garki, and stole his car stereo … the case was reported at the Police Area Command, Garki, on September 16 by the complainant and the convict was caught and arrested by members of the public… the car stereo was recovered and given back to the complainant.”

.Senior Magistrate Ann Akobi did what had to be done for an “offence committed was punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code”, and the “option of ₦2,000 fine” given by Ms. Akobi in my opinion, represents justice with mercy.

This essay will take its place among a group for which I borrowed a blogger’s expression of disdain for his native land:  “A crime syndicate masquerading as a nation” to which I added a question mark, expecting the promised “fresh air” that would blow away at least some of the stench from the General Obasanjo era.  I wonder how long the question mark should remain.



Nigerian newspapers and online news sources
  • 234 Next News site
  • Bella Naija Magazine
  • Business Day Newspaper
  • Daily Champion Newspaper
  • Daily Independent Newspaper
  • Daily Trust Newspaper
  • Elendu Reports News site
  • Emotan Blog
  • Huhu online News site
  • jhova blog Blog
  • Leadership News site
  • Linda Ikeji Blog
  • National Daily Newspaper
  • Nigeria Plus News site
  • Nigeria Village Square News site
  • Nigerian Observer News site
  • Osun Defender News site
  • PM News Newspaper
  • Punch Newspaper
  • Sahara Reporters News site
  • Sun Newspaper
  • The Guardian Newspaper
  • This Day Newspaper
  • Tribune Newspaper
  • Vanguard Newspaper

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