Rejoinder: Death By Hanging In The Animal Kingdom

A middle aged man, Friday James, was Wednesday sentenced to death by hanging by a Lagos High Court, sitting in Ikeja.

This is the opening headline from the latest report from a series of truly ironic tragedies that happen in the law courts of many third world countries, Nigeria especially.

It is reminiscent of the famed Animal Kingdom bestseller where all animals are equal but some are more equal than others.
In Nigeria, the animals are not even equal from the get-go. But one thing is for certain, we are certainly animals. And how!
Firstly, the nature of the crimes perpetrated in order to steal what amounts to paltry sums especially in this era of falling Naira exchange shows the little value attached to human life.
The next question however must be “what drives a man or indeed woman to act so callously against a fellow human?” Is it something in our DNA, or is it simply a reflection of a depraved society?
But the crux of this matter is this: how is it that a man who steals N100,000, thank God does not kill his victim, end up with a court sentence of death by hanging?
While politicians, government officials and bankers steal billions of Naira, directly cause the deaths of 100’s of customers, citizens, pensioners and pregnant women walk away with a reprimand or a token punitive payment in a kangaroo court?
In truth, it is a sign of our level of development where every rich man or person in authority, real or imagined is revered by the rest of society regardless of how the fortune is amassed.
And so this sort of thinking fuels low level crime as the cheated members of society turn to graft to make ends meet or to simply follow the examples laid down by their leaders.
We are by my estimation a few hundred years behind the rest of the civilised world.
It is until we collectively decide to push for civility, in which case we must question wrong doing at the top, we will not only continue to lag, but may fall further behind in the global rank of civilization.
The Story: Justice Oluwatoyin Ipaye handed down the death sentence after finding the convict guilty of a two count charge of armed robbery preferred against him…[Read full story]
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