Hi Blog Fam,
The recent abra ka da bra of the Nigerian Justice system under the Lordship of Justice Abubakar Talba where a controversial 2 years jail term each for 3 count charges that were to run concurrently against John Yusuf for his complicity in the graft of 29 Billion Naira Police Pensions fund leaves little to be imagined. Nothing could have been more ridiculous than the option of fine that saw him parting with a meagre sum of 250,000 Naira for each of the three convictions. Although he is also to forfeit 32 houses and 323 million Naira, but is it enough restitution for the crime committed?
But na today? Guess a trip down memory lane will convince you say no be today nyash dey back. First of all, introduction... James Ibori bagged 13 years jail term in the UK for the same crimes he was discharged of by the Naija justice system. His Big Brother Diepreye Alamieyeseigha got a controversially lenient sentence of 2 years each on 6 charges that were to run concurrently, making it just 2 years in all. He was released soon after due to time already spent in detention - Na wash.
How about the one who got out of jail in style, amidst fanfare? Chief Bode George. BG also got 2 years for his complicity in the graft of 85 Billion Naira – a mere cool off time. Ah ha...remember the case of the Super Cop? The one whose last statement was “I will be back”...Tafa Balogun got a 6 months jail term and a fine of 500,000 Naira for the charges levelled against him. We are still awaiting your return Sir, perhaps as a presidential aspirant.
The first lady of the Banking industry gives credence to the saying ‘what a man can do, a woman can do better’. Cecelia Ibru spent 6months in jail and forfeited assets and cash amounting to about 150 Billion Naira. But arguably and ‘admirably’ the smartest of them all is Dr. Peter Odili, who got a controversial court injunction that made him perpetually immune from arrest and prosecution by the EFCC. But then, what do you expect when you’ve got the judicial system in your bedroom? Smart man!!!
Wait a minute, isn’t the purpose of sentencing to punish the convict, deter others from perpetrating the crime and also to compensate the victims? Justice as it applies to high profile cases in Nigeria has been nothing but a slap on the wrist. Question is, a slap on the wrist, how much does it hurt? Who does it scare? Is it deterrent enough? Or is it more like a pat on the back?
Please share your thoughts using the comment box.