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Thursday, 1 February 2018

THE JUNGLE JUSTICE IN NIGERIAN JUDICIARY

THE JUNGLE JUSTICE IN NIGERIAN JUDICIARY

By Obulose Chidiebere
For Family Writers Press

Justice could be defined as “Fairness in the way people are treated”. Jungle justice could simply be defined as a form of extra-judicial killings, tortures and where the victim is deprived the rule of law and justice meted out in a barbaric and appalling fashion usually through stoning or burning the individual in the full glare of the public. In simpler words, Jungle justice is synonymous with injustice which is defined as “a situation in which people are treated very unfairly and not given their rights”.

Jungle justice of the judiciary has become very rampant in Africa and most especially in Nigeria; and however, this form of injustice of the judiciary is highly barbaric, demonic and inhumane in the 21st century and must be condemned totally. As if Frederick Douglass, knew what to come when he said ”Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe”.

It is quite undisputable that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. More so, in an attempt to subdue injustice anywhere and establish justice everywhere, the judicial system as an arm of government was institutionalized. "The germ of destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary, an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing it's noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall render powerless the checks of one branch over the other and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated.” - Thomas Jefferson, 1821. These words were written nearly 200 years ago. They have become a prophecy which is now fulfilled in courts across the Africa and most especially in Nigeria.

This have made me asked whether laws still exist in Nigeria? Do we still have judiciary whose works are to intervene when injustices are seen? But if we still have lawyers why would President Muhammadu Buhari during his first presidential media chat at the presidential Villa, say that former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and the Supreme Leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra,(IPOB) Mazi Nnamdi KANU, should not be admitted to bail because of the enormity of the offences they committed, even when no court have convicted them.
According to the President, “If you see the atrocities these people committed against this country, we can’t allow them to jump bail." "Where law is uncertain, partial, or arbitrary; where justice is not impartially administered to all; where property is insecure, and the person is liable to insult and violence, without redress by law, the people are not free, whatever may be their form of government." Justice Samuel Chase.
                                                                                             
The principles of constitutional jurisprudence have been abandoned by Nigerian courts, both federal and state, which no longer exercise their authorities to prevent all violations of the principles of the constitution. In Truth, Nigerian courts are the perpetrators of crimes against the constitution, fulfilling the prognostication and warnings of Thomas Jefferson.

In Nigeria, you can see judges engaging in corrupt practices and criminal misconduct, perpetrating “fraud upon the court”, assisting with malicious prosecution, criminal editing of court audio records, state sanctioned kidnappings and stealings, systematic deprivation of constitutional rights of litigants, other corrupt acts and practices that constitute intentional violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct and their Oaths of Office.

Judicial atrocities in Nigeria have revealed several court cases with irrefutable evidences of criminal misconducts and other atrocities perpetrated by judges [and prosecutors] in corrupt courts that dispense injustice. These judges are provided ‘safe harbor’ by other corrupt judges and government officers under the false doctrine of “Judicial immunity” and even the so called presidency.

The Legal system in Nigeria is regarded as one of the worst, corrupt, incompetent, slowest in the world, where persons are subjected to different inhumane treatment, torture, incarceration, and sometimes poisoned to death, while court cases linger for as much as 20 years and suspects are deprived fast and speedy hearing of their cases,  so much that they most times spend out their sentence in prison still awaiting trials, or most times gruesome crimes are swept under the carpet to die a natural death, example of such cases are: The murder of Bola Ige; the murder of chief Funsho Williams; the murder of Saro Wiwa, the fuel subsidy scam; the Halliburton case as well as the Farouk Lawan’s case, the list is endless. “Crime is contagious. If the government becomes a law breaker, it breeds contempt for the law, it invites every man to become a law unto himself; it invites anarchy." Justice Louis D. Brandeis. 

In the words of a onetime Justice Of the supreme court, Oputa JSC, “the establishment of a court system is a great milestone in human journey, we are reminded how in a state of savagery and jungle justice, all men were armed and a law unto themselves". Development and civilization means that courts were established and men dropped that weapon and brought their causes to the court. But looking at the situation of the Nigerian judiciary today and Africa in general, no one is willing to go to court due to the injustices that will be meted on you, ECOWAS court have become a toothless barking dog.

Examples of egregious corruption of Nigerian courts are the IPOB/Mazi Nnamdi KANU, Sambo Dauski, El-Zarzakay and many others who has let the cat out of the bag for the world to see what Nigeria is like. This has showcased how incompetent the Nigerian judiciary is, that justice is only meant for the ruling class, that justice does not exist in Nigeria. This is because if there is justice in Nigerian courts and that judiciary is still the hope of the common man, then people like Justice John Tsoho, Justice Binta Nyako, Justice Abdul Kafafati who don’t know their rights from their lefts should not be in the court for any reason because they only administer jungle justice instead of justice itself.

Edited by: Her Excellency Oluchi Christy
For Family Writers Press.

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