Justice Yardstick



It is often said that the wheels of justice grind slowly but surely. But for a seven-year-old boy who was brutally beaten and lynched for allegedly stealing garri in an action which went viral on social media recently, his justice was swift and fatal. Now match that gory incident against a scenario where some ‘untouchables’ steal and stash away billions of naira with impunity, and it appears that there are two sets of wheels of justice in Nigeria.

Although the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) readily flaunt incredible figures on convictions of citizens for various financial crimes, there is still no former governor or deputy governor or high-ranking legislator in jail for corruption despite the mind-boggling acquisitions linked to most of these public officials. The only jailed ex-governor who is from the Niger Delta was convicted outside the shores of this country for the same charges on which he was discharged and fully acquitted here at home.

Now the wheels are turning at a slightly different speed, thanks to a recent surprise kick up the EFCC’s backside which was delivered by a sister organisation, the Department of State Security (DSS), when the latter stormed the homes of some top jurists in a brazen midnight raid to uncover some proceeds of corruption and bribery. Some top members of the Bench are now being arraigned in court by the federal government over alleged corruption charges. The problem, however, is that these corruption trials are not new, given the number of such high-profile cases which are now lying under the carpet. Until a big fish or sacred cow is nailed and jailed for a long time as a deterrent, the wheels of justice are simply on trial in this country…..just saying

– Abimbola Akosile