controversial views

Lawlessness: The reality of a Nigerian

Picture by Josh Hild

As a Nigerian, you have come to accept Nigeria will constantly surprise you.

When you think you have gotten accustomed to the way of life in Nigeria, suddenly something happens and you are transported back to the frustration of being a Nigerian.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Nigeria, being away from home sometimes gets me homesick, wishing to go home.

However, this wish is short-lived, I am always jolted back from my musing to the realities of life in Nigeria. The reality I hope to leave behind completely one day.

Yesterday, Dorathy, a former Big Brother Nigeria housemate, called out the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for their violation and forceful entry into her home.

Big Brother is a reality show, shown in several African countries, where 22 people live together for 3months to win a cash prize and some endorsements.

The Economic and Financial crimes Commission (EFCC), is a government agency tasked with investigating and prosecuting financial crimes.

They did this by breaking into her house during the early hours of the day, around 4 am, claiming to be in pursuit of internet fraudsters also known as “yahoo” boys, who they suspected lived with her.

There was no concrete evidence showing this, or why they believed she was harbouring an internet fraudster.

They simply suspected this and without a court order, forced entry into her home.

Being a celebrity, she used her social media medium to call them out, and how did they respond?
By going back the second time to repeat the action.

This situation is, unfortunately, the norm, for the average Nigerian.

People with legal power or financial privileges imposing their desires on any one they please, with little to no repercussions.

This incident also brought back memories of a similar situation where my mum was bullied by someone who had undue power and who she had trusted.

A little back story.

My mum joined a financial institution (a cooperative organisation ) to save her money.

Due to the general distrust of the banks, various alternatives were established to help Nigerians who want to create healthy financial habits to do so.

Part of the allure of this financial institution was the promise that a certain amount of her money will be saved, Interest will be generated on the savings, plus she will be given access to low-interest loans, should she need it.

This was a perfect solution.

10years later she found out that this was all a scam. This cooperative was nothing more of a fraudulent syndicate where millions of naira are stolen from its members.

The next initial action would be to start legal proceedings against the members of this institution.

That is until you realize: the courts are on strike for unpaid fees, the process of starting a legal proceeding is unnecessarily tedious and the time frame for getting a judgment could be a minimum of 2years.

This does not take into account the cost of getting a lawyer for representation.

This is the reality of an average Nigerian.

Unfortunately, my mum had to forfeit any hope of retrieving the amount that had been stolen.

A fact she was constantly taunted with by the board members of the said cooperative.

Sadly this is the story of countless Nigerians living in Nigeria.

From police brutality to medical negligence, to employee oppression, there are so many unreported injustices.

A society where the laid down laws are disregarded and individual negative actions go unchecked is a society heading for an unpleasant end.

It is triggering for me more so as a law student, as I am witnessing the laws enacted, disregarded by the lawmakers and the two arms of government.

The actions of EFFC to this lady most likely will be corrected, she may even get a public apology due to her celebrity status.

Nonetheless, for other average Nigerians, such as my mum, watching your human rights and the rights accorded to you as a citizen of Nigeria, trampled on with no repercussions is one of the “perks” of living in Nigeria.

Did you miss my last post? Catch up here.

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