Oct 12, 2012

Another Jungle Justice: The Norm In Nigeria Now?

It happens everyday but rarely caught on camera – when the people take the law into their own hands and become judge, jury and justice in Nigeria. Or what is commonly called ‘Jungle Justice”.

There is a system of administration of justice in Nigeria which runs parallel to the regular system. This system is devoid of any pretence to civilization. The system is as pedestrian as it is mediocre. The system is as disgusting as it is appalling. The system is as brutal as it is ruthless. The system is as embarrassing as it is shameful. The system is as nihilistic as it is atavistic. Everything about the system yells stone age, backwardness, under development and retrogression. Welcome to Nigeria's jungle justice system.

Disputes in Lagos are often settled in a manner such as these, because the state justice system is regarded by most Nigerians as broken.

An Amnesty International Nigeria news report described the Nigerian justice system as “utterly failing Nigerian people.”

“Nigeria’s prisons are filled with people whose human rights are systematically violated. Approximately 65 per cent of the inmates are awaiting trial most of whom have been waiting for their trial for years. Most of the people in Nigeria’s prisons are too poor to be able to pay lawyers, and only one in seven of those awaiting trial have private legal representation.” – Amnesty International

And often justice in Nigeria can turn violent.