Gift or Bribe? What is the difference? We are not dullards; it’s just that it’s a tad difficult to believe at this time that weddings just coincide with court cases. Ehmmm how do you people used to do it? It may be mischievous to say that the story of long-term friendship and wedding paparazzi is just a well scripted front by Kola Awodein SAN and Justice Ademola to execute a deal that would eventually put Nigerians in this present state of confusion. Our one time Messiah and Holy Saint Buhari is no longer looking as white as we’d hoped he was; even the vacation in white man’s land cannot wash these sins away.
The rate at which judges are getting frisked and indicted for money laundering also does not help this case at all. We have seen enough of them claim the money in their wardrobe and shelves are “gifts”. Maybe the policemen at the toll gate too are just collecting gifts for wearing uniforms. Perhaps the secretary at governor’s office is just collecting gifts so that she can unlock case files. Abeg mek una no dey lie lie for us, not in these times when the nation is in dire need of answers. No one is a saint and the corruption struggle is one that needs to be dealt with with utmost forthrightness.
Let us be clear about what we want to achieve. Let the people know who can be paid for what. Sometimes the charges we have to pay for basic amenities are not really the market price but we go ahead and pay them because due process is intentionally turned into an herculean task. For whatever reasons, police, law enforcement, judiciary and the likes should be placed on restrictive policies of gift collection. The Bible even says gifts sometimes derail justice, it was called bribe in other translations. Whether Bribe or Gift, it is all nomenclature and in different translations, particularly in Nigeria, they represent the same thing.
Would you reasonably expect a judge to stand solidly on a negative judgement after you just sent a warm and cordial gift to him for his daughter’s wedding? Just the right little gift for arm twisting a person who has sworn to uphold the law at all times. There are some issues that should not even be bargained or joked about. Iru ebun iranu wo niyen? What type of smelling gift is that??
Also, making reference to the fact that the judge and the president’s lawyer were old schoolmates is a tad underhanded. We all have classmates or old friends with questionable character. No form of familiarity should be allowed in public office and especially not in the justice system, we already have enough back doors and shortcuts that make due process a totally useless alternative.
If, in the end, we all find justice and fairness to be totally useless, then we should turn backhand gifts and shortcuts to the due process. But the system will collapse and anarchy will take over – this is not our desire. Maybe the argument for the “gift not bribe” should henceforth be scrapped, maybe the people should let the world know that we are not gullible. Maybe we should all just stick to the straight and narrow and dump the whole anti-corruption propaganda.
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