Even Though “The Law Is An Ass", It Is Unjust In Nigeria.

Ass is an informal English name for a Donkey. In England, a Donkey is perceived as a foolish animal.

Thus, when someone/something is referred to as an Ass, it simply means that the person/thing is stupid.

In Oliver Twist, 1838, according to Charles Dickens, Mr. Bumble whose wife is domineering was unhappy when he was told in court that "...the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction".

“If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass–a idiot.”

The rigid application of the law is what makes the law an Ass. And not because there's a miscarriage of justice. The renowned Lord Denning emphasized that when he said "The law is the law even when the law is an Ass."

Contrary to the law being an Ass in other jurisdictions, in Nigeria, the law is Unjust, especially during election petitions rulings.

"An unjust law is no law at all".

While discussing why evil exists, Augustine of Hippo said, "For I think a law that is not just, is not actually a law." In other words, an unjust law is no law.

In the case of Mr. Bumble, the law supposes that a wife takes direction from her husband. It was the law even though Mr. Bumble was unhappy with it.

In Nigeria, what law supposes that a person who didn't participate in an election won the election? The Supreme Court of Nigeria ruled that the former Senate president won a Senate primary election that he did not participate in.

In 2023 the Supreme Court also declared Hope Uzodinma who came distant 4th in the Imo state gubernatorial election as the winner. The Supreme Court has yet to explain the law on which they based their decisions.

A few days/weeks ago, every state governor whose election was ratified by the Supreme Court has been thanking/praising President Tinubu for not meddling with the outcome of the Supreme Court ruling.

Insinuating that the president of a country can influence the outcome of a Court's ruling shows that the law is unjust in Nigeria. This means that the governors can equally influence the outcome of the Court's ruling in their different states.

Why would a foreign investor invest in a country where it is glaring that the Judiciary is not independent. The cry of a miscarriage of justice from Nigerians is enough to dissuade a foreign investor. 

Moreover, if an unjust law is no law why should anybody obey it? “One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

The result of the extrajudicial killing of Mohammed Yunus, the founder of the peaceful Boko haram, is the violent Boko haram of today. 

The result of the extraordinary rendition of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu from Kenya is the disruptive sit-at-home order in the Southeast. 

The list of injustices in Nigeria is endless and that is why there is a spate of violence in Nigeria because "An unjust law is itself a species of violence..." - Gandhi  

If the law is just an Ass in Nigeria nobody would be unhappy like Mr. Bumble. Unfortunately, that's not the case, the law in Nigeria is Unjust. 

There will be peace when the outcome of a Court ruling is not dependent upon the meddlesome of the president or the governor. There will be violence until everyone is equal before the law.

Not only must there be justice for all, “It is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.” - Lord Hewart CJ 

This means that justice tainted with doubts is justice denied. Court rulings full of doubts are what is served Nigerians daily.

Let me sign off with the warnings of Haile Selassie I. “Until the philosophy which holds one [tribe] superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned, everywhere is war. And until there are no longer first-class and second-class citizens of any nation... now everywhere is war." 

~ liberate your mind


  1. Anonymous24 January

    Powerful piece but do they listen


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