Building Collapse and the Disparity of Justice

The story of the collapsed building at Kusenla road, Ikate, Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos, recently broke. And the authorities responded speedily in arresting the men in charge of the construction of the building .

Have a look at This and That to get up to speed on the story, in case you are not abreast of this development.

Clearly the rampancy of collapsed building is worrisome. And the government needs to get really serious in arresting the situation and the culprits too.

Understandably, people have been comparing the speed of arrest of Lekki Gardens MD, Nyong with the Synagogue Church of all nations Founder, Temitope Joshua, who also had a case of a collapsed building where far more people also lost their lives. Here is the link to that story.

The stark contrast as to how the two similar cases are treated could be attributed to the fact that different Governors were in the saddle during the two incidents. But governance is a continuum, and it shouldn’t take the style of individual Governors to have this level disparity.

photo courtesy - punchng.com

photo courtesy – punchng.com

People have been commenting passionately on this glaring disparity on the social media, on how quickly / slowly the wheel of justice is rolling in the two similar cases. One has been treated like a criminal, handcuffed publicly, and remanded in prison custody for 30 days, while the other is walking free, to date, after close to a year of the incident, with the case dragging on interminably.

Does it then mean that there is some truth to the widely held belief that justice is unleashed only on the powerless or politically connected? And that some men are truly above the law?

A rich man steals billions and is slapped with a paltry fine after plea bargaining. If he happens to be arrested, and detained, he is treated with kid gloves by everybody, with special privileges.

A poor man steals a purse in Oshodi, and instantly receives justice. The policeman dumps him in the darkest stinky corner of a dark cell, and he could be shot summarily with no societal ripple or shock waves.

People are of the belief that, if the Lekki Calamity people had political clout or connections, the wheels of justice would have ground very very slowly (if at all).. like in the case of the Synagogue Man (a powerful religious leader).

photo courtesy - 360nobs.com

photo courtesy – 360nobs.com

Thomas Jefferson said,

We Hold These Truths To Be Self-evident: That All Men Are Created Equal; That They Are Endowed By Their Creator With Certain Unalienable Rights; That Among These Are Life, Liberty, And The Pursuit Of Happiness.

The Bible also has this to say about equality,

We Are All Descendants Of Adam. While We Are Divided Between Different Nations And Languages, We Are All The Same — Human Beings Created By The Hand Of God.

Even the Qur’an has this to say about justice,

We Sent Aforetime Our Messengers With Clear Signs And Sent Down With Them The Book And The Balance, That Men May Stand Forth In Justice.

Unequally applied justice is certainly injustice, itself. And justice delayed is also justice denied, which is also injustice.

By all means, let us apply justice, swiftly, and above all, equally.

We are, or should all be, equal in the eyes of the law. Not so?

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