A man confesses to committing murder, but his lawyer urges the court to free him because “ he was extremely provoked” to pull the trigger.

Kenneth Obi for CRSJ

Nigeria is out of Righteousness even the Church! The police is not the only institution that is guilty as charged in masses court. They are not the only one troubling this country, blessed by nature, but cursed by the very hand that should nurture and nourish it.

 Another institution behind the fate of this country, troubling it and tossing it up and down like a leaf that has fallen off a tree into a river, is the judiciary. Our learned friends have left the future of Nigeria to the waves.

The justice system, in other climes, has no sacred cows, no “untouchables” when there is evidence of wrong doing. When in Nigeria will we adopt the same? When will we the people stop shielding former leaders from arrest? 

When will we understand that a few thousands paid to rent a crowd can never make up for the billions in foreign currencies which should have gone to empowering us as a people?

“How are the lawyers the problem?

I will tell you. When people steal money, they run to lawyers, who defend them as if they did nothing wrong.

Lawyers defend blue murder. To them, the fountain of justice must soothe the throat of all – murderers, rapists and arsonists. All.

A man confesses to committing murder, but his lawyer urges the court to free him because “ he was extremely provoked” to pull the trigger. If he fails to persuade the judge, he pleads “for leniency. When all that fails, the prosecution insists that justice be served and the judge agrees with him, the defense pleads for the “mitigation of sentence”.

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Another confesses to robbing the state of cash, huge cash that is enough to build schools and hospitals, fight insurgents and pay our suffering workers.
 Lawyers – the ones called SAN; those are the best money can get, favourite of the rich and mighty because of their power to turn things around in a magical manner that keeps everyone exclaiming: ‘ah! Let’s fear God oh’ – tell him to plead not guilty.

They will, with so much passion and incredible certitude, tell the judge they object to the charge. If he rejects the objection, they urge him to disqualify himself from the case because, they will state boldly, there is a likelihood of his being biased because his cousin’s son was a party to a matter in a court of coordinate jurisdiction about ten years ago.

If they see that this may not work, they will then ask the accused, the one who confessed to stealing but feels no sense of guilt, to surrender a negligible portion of what he has stolen. It is called plea bargain. No contrition. Nor remorse. He is left off the hook and he is told to go in peace and sin no more.

The lawyer’s dexterity at using his skills to avert justice and pervert the principles of Jurisprudence is not helping, but the question remains: don’t judges have the final say?

The Judges themselves are corrupt. So where lies the hope of the common man?
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