Solutions to Jungle Justice in Nigeria are given herein, to proffer a solution to the long-standing menace of illegal maltreatment of suspected criminals.
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You must have heard of the guy who was burnt the other day for stealing or committing one crime or the other against either a person or a set of people.
That person wasn’t given a hearing, he wasn’t taken to any court of law whether he was guilty or not, and there was no chance to decide because the emotions of the angry mob took over the laid down constitution of the country.
Jungle justice is a system of justice that is meted out on supposed guilty persons who have been supposedly found guilty of a crime or the other.
It is often carried out by a group of persons often referred to as an ‘Angry Mob’. The method in which the suspect is dealt with is strictly determined by the emotions of the mob and its severity is determined by what tool is closest to the scene where the person is caught.
In the case of Jingle justice, there often is no court or lawyer, everyone except the accused person is a lawyer and the accused persons are sometimes left at the mercy of no law or court.
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In a country like Nigeria that is trying to meet international standards, jungle justice ought to be termed as a crime against humanity.
In developed countries, even when caught in the act, a suspect is usually given a fair hearing at least for the sake of humanity. We cannot as a country claim to be developed when we still allow jungle justice to prevail.
In the opinion of a layman, Jungle Justice can be seen as a good thing to do to curb crimes but as you well know, innocent persons have lost their lives to jungle justice only for the general public to realize that the person was innocent after all.
This article is written hence to proffer possible solutions to Jungle Justice in Nigeria.
Solutions to Jungle Justice in Nigeria
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To achieve a country free of Jungle Justice, the following things must be put into place:
Our legal system must be strengthened
One major cause of Jungle Justice is that people do not trust the law system of the country. If the citizens of the country trust the court of law, they will not take laws into their own hands, rather they will always forward all cases to the court to ensure proper justice and equity.
It is the lack of confidence in the court of law that rapidly sponsors the action against humanity called ‘Jungle Justice’.
Criminal cases should be dealt with to the end
Oftentimes, a criminal is caught and handed over to the authorities only for the person to be discharged and acquitted without any investigation or charges even when the person was guilty of the offense.
Most times, even in the custody of policemen, criminals are swapped with innocent people in the cells, and the criminal is let out again to terrorize the community.
When this happens and such a criminal is caught, Jungle justice prevails. Security agencies should be trained to maintain integrity in discharging their fundamental duties and not to give in to corruption of any kind.
Law should be passed against Jungle Justice
It is not just enough to pass the laws, security agencies should be on standby and have anyone involved in the act arrested and detained. This will make the general public hand over matters of the law to the court of law where it is intended to be.
The masses should be sensitized
Some persons engage in the act ignorantly, they do not know the implication of that barbaric practice on the Nation’s reputation amongst the international communities.
Schools, Government agencies NGOs, Religious Bodies, and every stakeholder should properly sensitize the general populace on the harmful effects of Jungle Justice and teach them the proper way to handle a criminal.
The Security agencies should be reachable
It’s not a difficult thing to have at least a member of a security agency on duty in a ratio of 1:500 in every part of the country. That single security agent can alert his or her office in the advent of cases that could result in jingle justice.
The police and other security agencies were meant to protect the general public (including criminals until they are convicted) and not just the elites in the country.
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Justice should be given out to people when they ask for it regardless of who is involved. It is a common trend in Nigeria that if you know the right person and the right buttons to press, your case will be swept under the carpet, and even though you are guilty of a crime, you will go scot-free.
I’d We must rise above the degrading lifestyle of jungle justice, we must come together and just like the limes of our anthem says, “build a Nation where Peace and Justice reign.”