The famed novelist, Salman Rushdie once opined that “Two things form the bedrock of any open society – freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country.” If these two are essential ingredients, then it may be debatable whether Nigeria, “Africa’s largest democracy”, is a “free country”; “free” in the sense that citizens are assured of the government and society’s commitment to the rule of law. Talking about commitment to the rule of law, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Retd.) was just released after four years of confinement, with serious questions about the place of the rule of law in Nigeria.Continue reading “Of A General, His Colonel, and Justice”
“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche
There is this crude joke by some Nigerians that should they find themselves being sentenced to hell, they would argue that God should not cause double jeopardy since their lifetime in Nigeria was spent in hell. While this joke may seem out of place, it highlights what some (maybe many) Nigerians think about living in a country where illegality is legal. Continue reading “SARS: When Lawlessness is the Law”
The role of justice is to not only ensure that the guilty pay for their crimes, but to also ensure that the innocent is not wrongly punished. The scales are supposedly perfectly balanced, and manned by impartiality personified. In Nigeria, however, the judicial scales are obviously crooked, and manned by doyens of crookery. An American, Jack McCullough is presently celebrating his freedom, while many Nigerian McCulloughs continue to languish in decrepit jails for crimes they did not commit. Continue reading “Nigeria’s Many McCulloughs”
Over the years, some incidents in Nigeria have tried to portray it as a theatre of the absurd. Periodically, news reports spring up, bewildering many Nigerians who wonder if the main characters lack commonsense, and the decency to save Nigerians the shame of watching foolish dramas. The #FreeEse incident is a quintessential example of a lot that is wrong in Nigeria. Continue reading “#FreeEse: When The Constitution Is Not Supreme”
Yesterday, January 15, was Nigeria’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, a day set aside to remember the roles played by the armed forces in various aspects of the Nigerian polity. Whereas the commemoration ceremonies centred on praise, I think a blend of kudos with knocks is better—kudos for the good, and knocks to correct some wrong sectors in the military’s head. Continue reading “Kudos and Knocks for the Military”
A man is in jail for the heinous crime of disputing land with someone having more money and connections than he does. Like him, many prisoners groan under phoney charges by the police ably assisted by the judicial system. They seek justice, which eludes them because in Nigeria, justice is for sale and usually goes to the highest bidder.