SINCE Nigeria gained independence on October 1, 1960 till this moment, thousands of cases have been heard in the courts of law. Some cases have been won on merit, some won on legal technicalities, some won on bias and political prejudice. In fact, several Nigerian politicians and public servants have been tried in the court of Law and several of them still have their heads up, shoulders high, flaunting their post-prison political powers, being welcomed with much fanfare, gaining more political points and adding more feathers to their caps even after being convicted or still facing long trials in the court.
The court of law can be said to be any perceptible individual or government institution with the exclusive right and authority to judge or adjudicate, legal disputes between conflicting parties. This could be in the form of adjudicating just desserts in criminal, civil and other matters as it may arise in accordance with the law. The idea court, on the other hand, exist only in our thoughts and aids decisions. In other words, it can be said to exist in the mind as conscience. It can be called the court of conscience.
In the court of conscience, there are no physical lawyers. The court is situated in the mind and it is production of thoughts. The court of conscience includes the advocate for the plaintiff, the advocate for the defendant and the judge being the mind (brain action of thoughts) in use all existing as actions of the brain: the mind. The masses must as a matter of urgency arise to the clarion call of trying public servants and politicians in the court of conscience.
However, before any public servant or politician can be tried there is need to firstly, in the words of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, “need for restructuring of the mind”. This will be done by first examining one’s past actions, future intentions, their consequences and how they affect others in our community. Secondly, we should be unbiased empires in examining the alleged politicians and public servants irrespective of our religious, social or ethnic inclinations. Thirdly, try the public servants/politicians in the court of conscience.
The trial of public servants in our respective court of conscience should be based on the yard stick of ethical utilitarian moral theory. Ethical Utilitarian moral theory states that whatever is good should be any action which gives the greatest number of joy to the higher number of people, i.e. the masses in this context. So, the yardstick of assessment in the mind is premised on whatever action that gives/does not give joy and long term pragmatic pleasure to the masses or whichever public servant policies and administration brings/does not bring pragmatic joy through execution of beneficial projects, implementation of advantageous policies, formulation of positive laws/lawmaking and fair adjudication should be declared wanted and pronounced convicted in the court of conscience.
Any convicted sleazy politician found guilty in the court of conscience should be jailed in the conscience and be denied opportunity to hold any other public post.
The conviction of erring and suspected public servants in the country by the masses in their various consciences will go a long way to ensure wanted public servants and politicians are denied access to public, political and non-political offices. It will also stop vote buying, election malpractice, election violence and blind-voting (voting based on political sentiments).
Finally, I strongly believe that this is a major way we can eradicate corruption in our society. It is also a right step of showing patriotism.
- Emmanuel K. Adebiyi,