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In a court somewhere in Nigeria…

My Lord by way of allocutus the accused person now the convict pleaded guilty for the crime of cybercrime aka ‘yahoo-yahoo’ at the earliest possible time upon his arraignment, thereby not wasting the honorable time of this honorable court. We therefore urge upon my Lord most respectfully to construe the timeous plea of guilt of the convict as a serious and unprecedented sign of remorse—a sign of ‘I-no-go-do-am-again’ my Lord.

My Lord the convict is a first offender, with no criminal antecedent or record whatsoever. My Lord the convict is a second class upper degree holder in microbiology and my Lord if not for this case you, the convict would have been in the lab carrying out plethoras of research on the COVID19 pandemic my Lord.

My Lord as we all know in Nigeria today the moment you complete your NYSC program your first official job is the job of looking for a job.

My Lord with thousands of well-meaning Nigerian youths out there the convict honorably resumed his first job of looking for a job after his NYSC program without success. My Lord after one year of active trekking, searching with success, all effort to earn a decent living proved abortive, the convict lost faith and confidence in the system. Societal pressure, the aged parents; father and mother that borrowed money from meetings upon meetings ‘doing meeting tours’ just to see him through school started seeing him as a failure. My Lord and his siblings on the other hand declared him wanted dead or alive for incurring major debt on the family.

My Lord the worst thing that can happen to a man is to loose his voice. My Lord the convict lost his voice to life, my lord, this is not moral justification for any crime whatsoever, but my lord sometimes in life, when life happens, the irrationality of man happens, when life happens the imperfection of man can make a man begin to contemplate doing the very things he preaches against on a normal day, even though we are not in a normal day Nigeria.

The convict nearly lost his life to life, life dealt with the convict mercilessly, my Lord life gave the convict an Anthony Joshua punch, with Mayweather uppercut my Lord, and just like Usain Bolt life left the convict in the street and my Lord when you are on the street, you are likely to eat from the streets and the best way the convict felt he could eat from the street was to commence full-time yahoo activities and eventually become a chairman…

I know the convict is not proud of himself, I am not proud of him, and I know my Lord is not proud of him too, but my Lord if we can go to God in prayers, when we sin against Him, and ask Him to change His mind, so also have we come to you this morning to change your mind my Lord. My Lord when I was a child, my father would beat me to cry and beat me to stop. My Lord we are crying before you this morning, we are kneeling, begging to please and please do not do to me what my father did to me over 27 and a half years, sorry 28 years ago. Oh my Lord don’t let history repeat itself through you ‘e no go good for here’.

I therefore urge upon you my Lord to temper justice with mercy, and treat the convict like the proverbial mother that beats the child with one hand, and draws him closer with the other hand. My Lord I can categorically say without fear of contradiction that this is the most remorseful convict in the history of convicts and my Lord if given a second chance, he will turn out to be useful to himself, the society, and who knows my Lord, he might even turn out to be useful to you my Lord.

And moreso my Lord the justice of this court is not only punitive but reformatory and my Lord we all know that our prisons are not the best place for such reformation, at best my Lord he will go there as a yahoo boy and come out as an armed robber and my Lord as I always say the best justice is not the justice done according to law but the justice done according to the peculiar facts of every given case before the court.

My Lord by the justice of this case, I urge this court most restfully to discharge and caution the convict, my Lord can ask him to clear Benin, clear Lagos, give him community service he is a community boy…he will do any clearing you require of him…

Out of the court premises.

I love Nigeria, I sincerely do because I possibly have no choice, I could love America, England, Poland, or even neighboring Ghana, become a Nigerian-Arabian or Israeli born Nigerian it makes no difference because we are Nigerians, we are who we are…very special in our own way…a people who for several decades have placed their hands on the self destruct button but somehow it never detonates, we have remained on the 11:59 threshold of everything deadly, dangerous and anti-people yet it never hits 12:00. We remain stuck in a state of allocutus…

So, I love Nigeria, the land where everything, anything, all things are possible, it depends only from where you stand and what you can benefit.

From Lagos, our own New York, to Abuja, the expensive London with Beverly Hills homes only for the rich and mighty to Ekiti, Oyo, Ogun, our own cowboy Texas…We have own Chicago styled Police, then we have so many Bronx sites where you could get anything from fake passport to late Abacha or Abiola’s signature.

Need I tell you about our own Afghanistan, our own Syria, or don’t you know there are parts of Nigeria competing favourably with Mexico in terms of abductions and kidnapping?

Nigeria…God’s own country in black Africa, how many times have I been told that even God is Nigerian especially when we have goofed and then expect a miracle, or when we are trailing in a soccer match.

In the last six years we have demonstrated why we are Nigerians; with the APC administration or do I call it experiment, it has been more of the same. While it could have been worse, it’s not been any better, the crimes we gave allocutus to PDP for is being repeated by the APC

We have forgotten the Magu of EFCC, the Hammed wear uniform, Hammed ‘no wear uniform’, all relegated to the bin…the way we will allocutus the CCT man and forget all the drama, dramatists and shenanigans providing us with non-ending epilogues.

The nation is ‘shaking like this and shaking like that’, the Wikes, Fayoses, Fani Kayodes, Jewish-Nigerians and Arab-Nigerians like Nnamdi Kanu, Sunday Igboho continue to make sure that we are not short on Baba Salas of the Awada kerekere to lighten us with their tragi-comedy of seeking allocutus to our many crimes.

They know the allocutus we seek; a measure of salt, rice, few yards of cotton materials with their heads on the fabrics. They know us, they know we cannot do without them, they know we are gullible, we love life and cannot resist their isi ewu and bottle of gulder politics in the east, neither can we go far from the amala and ewedu soup welled laced with assorted beef in Ibadan, and for us up north, the more tuwo shinkafa the more we nod positively to their lies, while we are maimed bandits, and terrorists wise.

It is only in Nigeria that while it was not raining, they offered their umbrellas and when the rain came, they collected it back, they brought brooms and the house now is even dirtier. Who will plead allocutus for the ordinary Nigerian condemned to his fate, do we continue like this—Only time will tell.

*** Written by Dr. Prince Charles Dickson