It’s Time To Outlaw Jungle Justice In Nigeria – Tony Ogunlowo

jungle justice in nigeria

November 18, 2016 – It’s Time To Outlaw Jungle Justice In Nigeria

An Article By Tony Ogunlowo

For as long as one can remember there has always been ‘jungle justice’ in Nigeria. All it takes is for somebody to shout ‘ole’ (thief) and anybody seen running away – the suspect or not – is apprehended, subject to a kangaroo court before being beaten mercilessly to a pulp – or even killed in the most gruesome fashion imaginable.

It is wrong.

Yes, the suspect might have committed a serious crime – murder, kidnapping etc – but it’s not up to the members of the public to take justice into their own hands. The police and courts, however inept they are, are there to deal with these kinds of things.

In the eyes of the law everybody is innocent until proven guilty. A man about to be lynched will not have a fair trial at the hands of a baying mob. And most important of all tragic mistakes can be made. How many times have some unfortunate ones happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time? Take the case of the ALUU 4; four Uniport students who were murdered by a lynch mob in Aluu , a town in Port Harcourt, in 2012 for a crime they were totally innocent of. How many more innocent people have been killed by lynch mobs who think they have the moral right to play judge, jury and executioner? Countless and unless something is done there will be more. And to the lynch mob how does it feel to have blood on your hands?

Anybody participating in a lynch mob is guilty of MURDER and they are no different to the person they’ve just killed. It becomes a simple story of the kettle calling the pot black; one murderer killing another because they have no legal right to kill anybody.

In the past few days a video, that has gone viral online, has emerged of what appears to be a young boy being lynched and set ablaze by a mob for stealing. What could he possibly have stolen that could warrant him being beaten to death and then set ablaze? And the adults meting out ‘jungle justice’, don’t they have brothers, sisters or offspring the boys’ age that they can’t show mercy? If you want to punish him, beat him(reasonably) and hand him over to the police.

The sad thing is that most Nigerians are hypocrites; when you see a real thief, like a politician who has stolen billions of naira from the public coffers, you bow down and prostrate in front of them. You show reverence to a big thief and lynch a small insignificant thief – double standards especially when a thief is a thief!

It’s high time our lawmakers who like to busy themselves passing tolotolo laws pass a law that outlaws ‘jungle justice’! Nobody has the right to play judge, jury and executioner taking the life of a criminal suspect however heinous their crimes might be . The courts are there to pass judgement and not the people – the rule of law is what prevents anarchy and what makes us different from animals that kill each other at random. And in the words of the Bible, ‘let he who has no sin cast the first stone!’

8 thoughts on “It’s Time To Outlaw Jungle Justice In Nigeria – Tony Ogunlowo

  1. Are these our local people or police reading this article. Do not think so. How will it stop? How will they learn if they dont make public announcement or warn on TV

  2. True ! But it is difficult to contain “mob mentality”; once one person deals that first blow, only the Grace of God can successfully intervene to save a victim.

  3. From the picture above,It is so shameful and disheartening to have a police officer who should have intervene into an attempted murder by the irate mob but eventually seen taking the lead in lynching the alleged criminal sitting on the ground.

    Now the question is,when exactly are we going to be civilized in this country? When are we going to know that life is precious? When are we going to acknowledge that criminals can still be rehabilitated and be re-integrated back into the society to become useful? When are we going to accept the fact that their are people saddled with the responsibility to respond to crime committed by any individually in our society? When are we going to know that a criminal still remain a suspect and innocent until it is proving otherwise in the court?

    Their should be tougher response from our law enforcement agencies against anyone caught in this barbaric act of lynching any person accused of whatever crime. And any bystanders watching such heinous crime during when it is happening should be picked up and be charged with conspiring with killers to take away peoples lives. This action should be taking by our security agencies if we are to see the end to jungle justice in nigeria. Something should also be done to our economy which is among the leading cause of several crimes we see in the country today. When people have job,there would be limited crime in the society but absence of that could translate to an upsurge in violent crime in the society. We just hope the administration will quickly act to end this economic recession so we can see reduction in crime and lawlessness in the country.

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