In Nigeria, the world’s leading colony of collapsed disorders, each day brings new madness. The new madness centers around the question: Is Igboho justified under the law to chase out Fulani herdsmen terrorists who kidnapped, raped, robbed, maimed, and killed innocent Igangan people?
Femi Falana (SAN), arguably the most revered Africa human rights attorney and constitutional lawyer, believes Igboho ran afoul of the constitution when he took it upon himself to drive away killers of his people. In his opening defense, the erudite lawyer argues: “With profound respect under the law, even a squatter cannot be ejected and that is why on a daily basis tenants are given quit notices by landlords or owners of properties.”
In his final submission, Falana said: “So, a private citizen (Igboho in this instance) cannot wake up and say anybody should leave the community, you must embrace the rule of law. Nobody can do that not even the government because section 43 of the constitution says every citizen shall have the right to own and acquire properties in any parts of the country.”
The question is: Can breaking the law ever be justified? I believe there are cases where you have to break the law in order to make a moral decision. To do this, you have to have a higher conscience. Nigerian Constitution is full of unjust laws. For example, it is an unjust law to shield federal legislators, state legislators, and governors who are criminals and looters of the nation’s treasury from being prosecuted.
It is permissible in a democracy to break the law when breaking the law becomes a compulsion when it involves life and death. First, the law breaker must not hurt others. Second, the law breaker must break the law for right reasons. Third, the law breaker must not do so because it is convenient, but sincerely believe the law is unjust. Given these criteria, breaking the law is morally justified and acceptable. That’s exactly what Igboho did!
Imagine a world without Gandhi would mean a world without Independent India. A world without Mandela would mean no end to Apartheid white rule and no democracy in South Africa. Without Rosa Parks who refused to sit at the back of the bus, there would have been no Martin Luther King Jr., and civil rights movement in the US. And of course, without Igboho, the Fulani herdsmen terrorists will still be killing Igangan people. I believe this example of law breakers are good, legitimate, and legal though they acted against various laws. Such action are justified.
Igboho without firing a shot, chased out killers of his own people. In like manner, Gandhi in India chased the British away through non-violent means. Yes, any Nigerian has right to live in any part of the country, but must obey the laws, customs, and values of the host community. How many Yorubas living in the North killed, raped, robbed, maimed, and destroyed Fulani’s cows? None. Without being provoked, Fulanis killed Igangan people – their host – and destroyed their livelihood. This is not done anywhere in the world.
If the wife, daughter, or son of Falana had been kidnapped, raped, and killed, will Falana invoke the Nigerian Constitution written by Fulanis for Fulanis to justify the killing of any member of his family? Will Falana applaud, embrace, and defend Fulanis? Fulani killers are not squatters but dangerous, blood thirsty terrorists. Do we have any Constitution in Nigeria? If so, why is it not being obeyed by Buhari and others in government? Do we have laws in Nigeria? If yes, why are they not enforced? Is there any justice in Nigeria? Is justice accessible, affordable, and obtainable by poor Nigerians? Hell NO! How many cases that infringed on the constitution has Falana won since Buhari came to power?
Igboho broke the law when the governors who are supposed to protect lives and properties of their citizens looked the other way while Fulanis slaughter their citizens. Igboho broke the law because it is morally justifiable and acceptable. Igboho broke the law because the law is selective and unjust. Igboho broke the law because he has a higher conscience. Igboho broke the law in self defense of his people. Igboho broke the law because he has no other option. Igboho broke the law to save his people. Igboho has no case to answer because the law justifies his action.