The judiciary, they say is the last resort for the masses and the custodian of the law, but the Nigerian judiciary is exceptional.
We are not equal before the law, every citizen is not even judged with the same law; there are laws for the elite, the high profile politicians and another one for the masses, the defenceless man on the streets.
A Nigerian somewhere bagged imprisonment for life for stealing N17, 000 and a mobile phone worth N4,500, a theft of approximately N21, 500, and gets no option of fine – though I’m not in support stealing.
And another Nigerian, an assistant director in the Police Pension Office, Mr. John Yakubu Yusuf defrauded the nation of N27.2 billion and gets JUST two years’ imprisonment with an OPTION of N750, 000 fine.
Yes! Different judges presided over the two cases but the questions:
How many laws do we really operate in the country?
Are the two judges not operating under the same law?
Why is it that the relatively minute offense attracts higher punishments?
Is it that the stealing of the government officials are more corporate or what?
Wait, before deviating from the cause, a Magistrate court of law in Ikoyi, Lagos, in January 2013 sentenced a man to 3 years imprisonment as he failed to remit the sum of N2, 340,000 to the owner of cows put under his care.
But the convict who pleaded guilty have the option of refunding a million naira to the cow owner. Hmmm *thinking*
Going by my calculator’s data, for someone who could not remit N2,340,000 to its owner to get 3 years’ imprisonment, the person who defrauded the nation to the tune of N27.2 billion is supposed to be sentenced to 34,871 years’ imprisonment or a refund of N11,623,931,623.93.
And if going by the N21, 500 theft; then life imprisonment would be appropriate if there is no other imprisonment above life imprisonment.
According to the definition of the rule of law given by my secondary school government teacher, the one adopted by Nigerian government is far away from the concept of my teacher’s definition.
Nigerian laws build muscle against little offenses committed by the masses just to go to bed when the elite and politicians are on the field. What an injustice!