By Lanre Aminu
â€œThe only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothingâ€ – Edmund Burke
THE functions of law, according to Robert Carp and Roland Stidham, areÂ to protect individual liberties, provide for the general welfare of the people, protect individuals and property, provide order and predictability and resolve disputes.
The latter is germane here. Of all the known methods of redressing grievances and settling disputes-pitched battle, rioting, dueling, mediating, flipping a coin, and suing-only the latter has steadily won the day.
The law may be an ass, may be slow, and it may be cumbersome, still, it is a better recourse and far better than mob justice. â€œJustice is truth in action,â€ says Benjamin Disraeli, as the recent verdict of no guilt passed by two different courts on Kenny Martins and other co-accused in the Police Equipment Fund, PEF, saga has proved. Mob justice does not necessarily equate with true justice.
It would be recalled that the self-appointed critic, Festus Keyamo did not only wage a relentless smear campaign in the media against Martins and other managers of Police Equipment Fund, but also wrote a petition against them, alleging that they mismanaged the over N50 billion belonging to the organisation.
He boasted that the evidences he had were enough to nail those alleged to have mismanaged the funds. He equally maintained that the EFCCâ€™s decision to probe the matter was spurred by his petition to the Presidency.
To be precise, after a trial that lasted for more than a year, an Abuja Chief Magistrateâ€™s Court on Monday, November 23, 2009, dismissed the forgery case brought against the coordinator of the Foundation, Kenny Martins by the Police.
In the management of funds, an Abuja High Court on Tuesday, November 24 2009, again dismissed a case brought againstÂ Martins by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the handling of the Foundationâ€™s finances.
In view of the above, should Festus Keyamo be taken seriously by any right-thinking and unbiased mind? The answer is an emphatic no!
It is frightening, the rate at which a pseudo-activist, Festus Keyamo uses his column in The Sun newspaper to assassinate characters of well- meaning and hard working citizens in the name of activism.
He destroys whatever good name his â€œadversaryâ€ may have in the jungle philosophy of the â€˜end justifies the meansâ€™. Brazen lies are sold without the fear of God who sees and knows all. The late Gani Fawehinmi might be vilified for his principled positions, but you cannot fault the altruistic and patriotic motivations for his actions.
Before my modest intervention, I had watched with a sense of bewilderment, the unrelenting smear campaign, propaganda and outright falsehood being carried out by some individuals against well-meaning and hard-working citizens in the guise of fighting for the rights of oppressed citizens. The essence of my intervention is not necessarily to join issues with anybody but to draw the attention of the nation to the fact that there is a need for a re-orientation of our nation (activists) where values such as honesty, integrity, decency and patriotism are promoted over and above ignoble acts we seem to be witnessing in the case of the latest victim of Keyamo, the newly appointed Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Abdullahi Dikko. What baffles many on-lookers is the ring of wickedness wrapped around it, with a section of the press opting to play to the gallery to satisfy their pay masters.
The script is clearly this: Sustain the media persecution, throw dirt at his person and make him look bad, so that the president may be stampeded into taking a wrong action that might be difficult to reverse.
To achieve their diabolical aim, after going to a regular court, Keyamo again chose to take the case of his collaborator, sorry â€œclientâ€ to court of public opinion where mob justice is the order of the day in contrast to court of law which works with evidence and proven facts, without sentiments or the fecund imaginations of hatchet writers masquerading as human right activists.
For Ibrahim Olajide, the ever green words of Edmund Burke resonatesâ€¦ â€œAll men that are ruined are ruined on the side of their natural propensities,â€ and that â€œfalsehood and delusion are allowed in no case whatsoever.â€
But, as in all virtues, there is an economy of truth. In his delusion, he sought to convince the unwary that Dikko was the cause of his present travails (joblessness) because, as he claimed, â€œhe stole a certificate for himâ€ in Nigeria Institute of Management,Â NIM, where he would have been retained after his youth service.
Also in a futile bid to whip up ethnic sentiment, nay public sentiment for his â€œclient,â€ Keyamo, also claimed Olajide lost a child and his mother to the crisis they contrived.
Mr.Â Aminu, a social activist,Â writes from Lagos.