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Author Name: Farouk Martins
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Beauty And The Beast Of Justice
Author: Farouk Martins | April 02, 2009

Many thanks to our stars that we still have many occasions to celebrate the beauty of our land. There are so many bad news, it can be overwhelming. Outsiders may think our Country is full of nothing else but gloom and doom. Our Court system is not where it should be but it can also be worse than what it is today. We get satisfaction from the ruling of our courts that give us the feeling that justice can be done without going to heaven. Many of those elected got overturned. We are never short of men and women of principle in Nigeria, such is Justice Debbie Oluwayemi. On appeal from the Magistrate Court, after a protracted effort to produce Ibinabo Fiberesima, the Judge remanded the former beauty queen to the custody of Kirikiri prison in Lagos. She was the driver of a car that had recklessly taken the life of a LSUTH medical doctor Suraju Giwa but she got away with a mere N100,000.00 fine. Nobody can blame the beauty queen for playing a game of hide and seek with the Judge in a Country where personalities are worshipped as demi-gods. In her case, she makes the hearts of men throb like loco-train. A friend drooling over her figure 8, said whatever God has spent so much time on, no lively man should put asunder. After all, the dead is gone, we should care for the living. That is where the family of Dr. Suraju must matter. Whatever she did to compensate them may be irrelevant at this point but since when has manslaughter been reduced to a mere fine in our justice system? All the tears that were shed in court after she was remanded to prison should have been saved for the family of the one that died. Well, this is Nigeria not America or England. If the judge was a man, many comments could have gone against her for not being sensitive to the cries of women. Women understand women̢۪s cries more than men. The honorable Judge was more sympathetic to the plight of poor folks who spend time in jail, though may be innocent because they could not raise the cash. Here we are fanaticizing about beauty of a lady. There are people who are genuinely worried about what those wardens of prisons would do to such an attractive woman. If they rape and got women pregnant that are not equally gifted, what would they do to her? That is exactly why we must not wait until we or someone we love find ourselves in the same situation before we cry for change. Ibinabo came to court with a new baby. That would touch anyone including the Judge but that was not a reason to avoid the law or undermine the rule of justice. Unfortunately, children are born in prisons everyday and we must gear our efforts in ensuring that babies do not suffer, no matter who those little angels belong to. Parents are sent to prisons daily and we must make every contribution no matter how small in writing, cash or kind to elevate their plights. Even in Nigerian prisons, the poor and the rich are treated differently. If you are rich you can rent a visitors̢۪ room like a hotel and get all the comfort you need provided. Food and drinks can be brought from home. It is not the system we want but that is what we get in our Country. By the way, the rent goes to the Chief Warden. There is so much noise about what is reasonable treatment of celebrities either in Nigeria or out of town. The fact is, your status may and may not work to your advantage. People have been sent to longer jail sentence because of their celebrity status. Paris Hilton 45 days in jail sentence for violating driving a ban was reinstated after spending only two days in jail because of the uproar her release caused in United States. Status comes with responsibilities. The only difference in Nigeria is that prison and police officers charge you according to how high your status is. It can even get worse, with all the money that passes hand, the chief may want to sleep with members of the family or take her as his girl no matter how ugly and crude he looks. For that same reason, some women are advised to stay away or succumb to despicable act for the sake of loved ones. The Judge was aware of the fact that this lady may be abused, that was why she ordered Oluchi Etochi, a female Inspector warden to look after her. That could not have been a daily order for everyone coming before her. This is the type of case where judges̢۪ hands are tied especially with everyone watching. What the Judge had to do was what should have been done by the Magistrate Court in the first place. The worst anyone can do is thumbing their nose at judges̢۪ order because someone promised to see her. It might be difficult for the mother of that judge to dampen her anger. Go before a judge respectfully. That is her office, do not put your foot on her table so to speak. One more thing, do not forget to say: yes your honor or no your honor.

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