“Every person has a right to life, and no one shall be deprived intentionally of his life, save in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which he has been found guilty in Nigeria.” ‒ Nigerian Constitution: Chapter IV Section 33 Fundamental Rights
On October 5th, 2012, Chiadika Lordson, Kelechi Obuzor, Lloyd Toku and Tekena Erikena, all students at the University of Port-Harcourt, were falsely accused of theft and severely beaten and burnt to death as scores of Nigerians stood and watched.
This scene Mob Justice has gradually become a normal way of life in Nigeria. As people/communities usurp the law and take matters into their own hands. Now we know that there are no dependable statistics or numbers regarding Mob Justice occurrences in Nigeria, but what we do know is that that has been happening for years. And for years we have complained, we have cried and we have watched, but nothing has changed as Mob Justice still occurs with its perpetrators largely going unpunished.
This is largely due to the fact that people have lost faith in a police force and judicial system that have been derailed by corruption, incompetence, and inadequate resources. But also exacerbating the matter is the absence and lack of recognition of Mob Justice (and its many variations) as a crime in our Federal Laws, most particularly our CRIMINAL CODE ACT, CAP C38 LFN 2004. An act which in its robust 145 page listing of criminal acts makes no mention or reference to Mob Justice…it covers Ritual Killings, Riots and even Counterfeit Stamps, but not Mob Justice.
Nigeria is in dire need of a new law. A law that punishes those that carry out extra-judiciary acts of Mob Justice on their fellow Nigerians, but more importantly a law that prosecutes those that stand and watch as these acts occur. Because those that stand and watch are the ones feeding the frenzy as they make it difficult for law enforcement agents to break up the Mob and restore peace. Sign the petition here
Now we can continue to do what we have done for years and complain and complain…but we know it will not solve the problem as it is yet to work. So now is the time to try something different to rally around the creation of a law that explicitly prohibits Mob Justice in Nigeria. Fortunately, there is a petition for an Aluu4 Mob Justice Prohibition Bill (read: Proposed Bill) to address this issue. We are asking for your support in making this Bill or a variation of the Bill an actual reality in our criminal code. By signing the petition, you will be doing just this. Your petition will be emailed directly to several Nigerian Senators and House Representatives including Senator Magnus Abe of Rivers State, Hon Abike dabiri-Erewa and others. Join the petition here
Our ultimate goal is to get at least 10,000 signatures/emails. To reach this goal we would need your help, all you have to do is send this post to your friends, post it on your facebook walls or share it on twitter. The more spread we get, the more impact we can make.
Let’s try and do Something today…Something different…Something meaningful. So that the deaths of the aluu4 will be honored not by violence or empty complaints, but rather by meaningful laws in their honor Support the petition here
NOTE: This proposal has been forwarded to some Senators and Members of the House Of Representatives and they are already looking at it. We just need to make sure they feel our passion for a bill by getting as many signatures as we can.Ofili is an award winning