In Nigeria; Go to court—or don’t go to court

By Prince Charles Dickson

Nigeria is a beautiful land, it is the land of everything, and by everything, I mean everything, whatever is it that you desire you will find it, a nation where her people what it all, but are guilty of it all.

So, as is said in local parlance, it is not he that goes to the police first that wins the case. Go to court, for the more you look, you see less and get more confused.

Go to court, in case you do not know, go and find out how many millions it takes to get a date in the Supreme Court, Abuja, with bookings well into 2025, one law for the rich, another for the poor. We are all victims and victimizers, everybody wanting and waiting for his/her time to plunder the system.

My court-loving and court-going country still battles to get it right with justice, equity and fair-play, with all that the land is blessed with, we have the highest number of electoral disputed cases in Africa. Did you know we have the highest number of market and allied fires in Africa, highest number of collapsed buildings with Lagos state alone accounting for sixty percent of the figures and we remain in court?

We are still battling with barely 4000MGW of electricity for 200M people, as of 2022. Nigeria with an estimated population of about 220 million people has a total military strength of about 223,000 personnel. This gives a ratio of military personnel to a population of approximately 11,000. Nigeria has about 371,800 police officers and a police-to-citizen ratio of 1 to 400.

We wanted to conduct a census that we were/are grossly ill-prepared for and afterwards we will go to court. The reason is simple, without much of a count we arrived at how we will spend $800M as palliative for some 50M poor Nigerians, all the math’s does not add up, even the logic of subsidy for fuel has remained only a constant ploy at forever ripping our system. We have crude, we don’t have fuel, we are the victims being victimized.

Earlier I spoke about high numbers, with some N500M worth of drug seizures yearly. Are we not the highest again when it comes to drugs in Africa?

Go to court and to court we went. The federal government in 2017 budgeted the sum of N555 million for the establishment of a national carrier and N200 million for consultancy for the establishment. And, in 2018, N50 million was allocated for the establishment of the carrier, while N20 million was allocated for consultancy. After several millions spent on that logo by Bahraini company 6 Communications we are still in court, the logo has not flown; the carrier is still not carried.

Let me end this way, as seen in the Sunny Side of the Street, Nov. 1989, once a man who had been slandered by a newspaper came to Edward Everett asking what to do about it. Said Everett, “Do nothing! Half the people who bought the paper never saw the article. Half of those who saw it did not read it. Half of those who read it did not understand it. Half of those who understood it did not believe it. Half of those who believed it was of no use anyway.”

The fact is that, on the right side of our brains there’s nothing left and on the left side there’s nothing right. We are in court, because leadership is lacking in persons who are completely detached from party politics, ethnic jingoism. We lack patriotic Nigerians, who are knowledgeable and experienced…and want to get it right outside the court.

Like the newspaper and slander, it would not matter in court if we still cannot create a balance with intellect, hard work and patriotism in the zoning thing that has led us nowhere.

I beg to re-echo again that except there is an honest search for understanding, education, and organization, action that raises the cost of state and casual violence for its perpetrators or that lays the basis for institutional change. There would be no answers; rather we would continually be plagued by the same questions and problems I highlighted in paragraphs above whether in court or out of court.

If we refuse to effectively manage or halt social disruptions that threaten our mutual co-existence and continue to watch almost helplessly as human inequality increases, social justice decays and poverty increases. The court will not come to anyone’s rescue.

We are still a nation of potential and little in achievement. We cannot do anything about it…but certainly we can do something…We are still the ones that can determine whether to do nothing! Whether we saw the article or did not read it, or read it, but did not understand it, or understood it, and did not believe it. Maybe we will be half of those who believed it, but are of no account anyway…the technicalities of the court, it’s our choice, and—only time will tell.

Prince Charles Dickson PhD


Adadainfo is an online newspaper reporting Nigerian news. Email: Phone: 08071790941

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