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PENSION THIEF SAGA-beyond the hysteria

By Akinmola Ade
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"Pronouncing sentence on the convict,justice Talba said he had taken favorable note of the fact that Yusuf was a first time offender, and had also opted on his own volition to plead guilty, thereby saving the time of the court.

But he stressed that the court also had a duty to the country, which had suffered from corruption.

He held that section 309 of the Penal Code, under which the accused persons were charged, stipulates a two-year prison term with an option of fine or both.

Consequently, he sentenced Yusuf to two years' imprisonment for each of the three counts or a fine of N250, 000."

This was the situation that has brought out Nigerians ,to bemoan the rot in our judiciary.Thehysteria following this ridiculous judgement will calm down soon,a la the Nigerian way.The issue is beyond the judge who merely tried to implement the law that has given the pen robber a slap in the wrist.Obviously the law is outdated that prescribes 2 year jail for breach of trust and stealing,which means it doesn't matter the quantum of the amount stolen,Stealing is stealing and there is option of fine or both.Of course all we are angry about is the exercise of discretion which should should have been used to reject the option of fine or to impose both to show his commitment. Well it is not far fetched to see the well oiled hands of the maiden of justice who since Salami era,is no longer blindfolded,Are we not the same people who wanted justice Salami to be freed when overwhelming evidence of abuse of code of conduct became evident. In this case,Why did our legislature not Ammend the law?.Is nt. this alsothe outcome of plea bargain which some people have used to avoid serving jail time and get away with blue murder!.for instanceAsiwaju Tinubu forfeited 460 000 dollars proceeds of drug deal to avoid jail in America and today is a leader of opposition in Nigeria.His breach of Code of Conduct was mishandled by the prosecution in a clear case of political bargain and was trashed out of the court on technicality.Femi Gbajabiamila who was convicted by a court in the US is leader of ACN in the House of Representative. chief Bode George was not that lucky as Tinubu ensured that he was jailed for " breach of government circular" and contract splitting even though he was said not to have benefited financially.Yakubu the Pension thief who confessed to have stolen N23b was convicted and fined N250,000 by Justice Talba.few years time ,he may emerge a Minister or State Governor Or an opposition leader that will be pontificating for us all on democracy.!Now that we have imported this nebulous judicial concept of plea bargain into Nigeria, we would see how pen robbers would use this to rubish our country.This is not about any party because corruption has no party coloration.The public service that is the most corrupt institution in Nigeria belongs to no political party.Every institution of governance has become prostrate,the states, local government in the hands of corruption.The judiciary has become the weak link and part of the problem of corruption.Now the dilemma is how do we catch the man who holds the sword of damocles in his hands,who has the discretion to jail or free or kill.etc