The situation of this country is pathetic. It calls for serious sober reflection. The political atmosphere in Nigeria shows sheer disrespect for the rule of law. It is in this country that offences are not investigated, talk-more of prosecuting them. In Nigeria, as far as prosecution of offences are concerned, citizens are divided into two (2): namely; “the touchables” and the “untouchables”.
The habit of breaking the laws of the land with impunity is not only customary to Nigeria, it has been embraced and embedded in our justice system by successive governments. Was it not in this country that an election acclaimed to be the fairest in Nigeria’s history was annulled without satisfactory explanation? It was in this country that MKO Abiola and Sani Abacha died mysteriously without proper investigation. It was in this country that Kudirat Abiola, Bola Ige, Alfred Rewane, Ken Saro Wiwa, Dele Giwa etc were apparently murdered without proper investigation. Recently, one Muhammad Yusuf was extra-judiciously killed by the security forces without any meaningful steps taken towards bringing the culprits to book. This unfortunately led to the horror of Boko Haram insurgency we are facing today in Nigeria.
Apart from the high profile cases I have mentioned above, several innocent Nigerians have been killed without substantial justice. Several innocent Nigerians are suffering in our prisons without committing any offence. By the international human rights convention, failure to bring perpetrators of offences to justice constitute denial of the victim’s right to justice and redress.
Our politicians are converting billions of Naira to their own private use. We are being led by former public officers and soldiers who looted the nation’s treasury in a wicked manner. All cases of corruption are not diligently prosecuted. Why is it that successive governments in this country keep covering the activities of our past leaders? Where did they all make their money if not from the nation’s treasury. It is not a curse, the problems of this country would continue as we have refused to uncover the atrocities of our past leaders.
It has been critically noted and identified in the legal parlance that impunity is common in countries like Nigeria where the rule of law is disregarded, where corruption is entrenched in government institutions, where the Judiciary is suffering from executive manipulation and where members of the security forces are protected by special jurisdictions and immunity.
We must learn from the Italian example. Just yesterday the immediate past Italian Prime Minister and the Chairman of AC Milan F.C, Silvio Berlusconi was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for a sexual related offence. The 76 years old leader was also banned from holding public posts for life. If you don’t know, Silvio was the 74th richest person in the world based on Forbes Magazine’s rating before his legal battle began in 2009. The legal proceedings affected his business to the extent that he is now rated 194th in the world. He spent over $47 million on his defence and yet he was convicted. That was the case of a former number one in Italy.
Let us ask ourselves, could this ever happen in Nigeria? Who is going to prosecute the likes of Ibrahim Babangida, Abdulsalami Abubakar, Atiku Abubakar, Olusegun Obasanjo, Theophilus Danjuma and even Muhammadu Buhari for the atrocities they might have committed while they were in power.
By now, there are many of our leaders who ought to have been executed or jailed for life for their role in the present deplorable condition of this country. Instead, few of them who were convicted with inadequate sentences are offered state pardon by clueless Jonathan led government.
It is pathetic that the greatest criminals in Nigeria are the ones receiving the highest honors of the land from the Presidency. They buy chieftaincy titles from Obas, Obis and Emirs with their ill-gotten wealth.
The American example in the Boston bombing is also pertinent here. The whole of Boston was shutdown for almost 24 hours just to trap the perpetrators of the crime. And they eventually arrested some prime suspects. What is our own problem in Nigeria? Our intelligence gathering is so poor to the extent that a whole Commissioner of Police was killed without proper arrests being made. The various security agencies give conflicting information on issues. I think it is high time for us to base appointments of public officer on what people know and not who they know. Most of our recruitment are based on who candidates know and not what they know.
The importance of administration of justice in any ideal society cannot be over emphasized. The federal government and all stake holders must rise to this challenge. Laws are not working in Nigeria society at all. Laws are being broken persistently with impunity by those who see themselves as being above the law. The untouchables in Nigeria are protected by successive administrations. The constant preaching in our Mosques and Churches are not reflecting in us. Laws should be applied accordingly no matter whose Ox is gored.
The case of Abdulrasheed Maina who was accused of stealing pension fund is painful. The Presidency has exhibited its shameful reluctance to see to the root of the matter. Someone who was declared wanted by the Nigerian Police now resurfaced at the National Industrial Court, challenging his dismissal from the civil service. What kind of thing is this for God sake? What are the Police doing? Even if the case is not going to be prosecuted for the sake of justice, law and order, it should be prosecuted bearing in mind the plight of millions of pensioners who are suffering from the consequence of the fraud.
As far as I am concerned, our leaders have turned government business to a Cinema where several dramas are unfolding. They have produced several Acts and Scenes that calls for tears and sorrow. The Act of the fuel subsidy removal with scenes featuring Otedola, Faruk Lawan and some others are there for us to ponder about. You would find out at the end of the day that nothing satisfactory would come of the bribery incident.
In conclusion, many people do not know that up till now, the 2013 budget has not yet been signed talk-more of its implementation. The National Assembly and the Presidency are battling for supremacy to the detriment of Nigerians. Their personal interests have over-shadowed the interest of the nation. The federal government has been distracting itself with 2015 second term bid. What have we seen in recent years in terms of social, economic and political developments that entitles Jonathan led administration to a second term?
We pray God comes to our aid as soon as possible.
Ibn Abdallah As-sudaisiy
While we respect the opinion of the learned Author and his need to be balance, it should be noted that we at NAIJAINFOMAN do not doubt in the least, the kindheartedness, honesty and integrity of General Muhammad Buhari and we take exception to any negative insinuation directed at him. Our support for the beloved General is unflinching.