‘Justice Is Never Siddon Look’ – Soyinka Advises President Jonathan On National Dialogue

Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka has advised President Jonathan and the ruling elite to take into consideration some of the questions being raised about the National Dialogue exercise.

wole_soyinkaHe spoke at a book launch in honour of the retiring President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Isa Ayo Salami. The book  a compendium of Salami’s judgments, is authored by Mrs. Funmi Quadri.

In his address entitled, “Justice is never siddon look,” Soyinka said there must be justice for all whether rich or poor.

He said: “I declare, I quote justice is the first foundation of humanity. At all times, law, even where it is temporary unskilled, emasculated, predominates, written or unwritten, law embodies the total will of the society Yes, law exercises an authority that transcends mere power. That is why we must task those whosoever is administrator of law with an ethical rigour, a measure that is paramount perhaps by only whatsoever the society expects of medical doctors who minister to the people’s physical and mental health or religious ministers who are preoccupied with the requirements of the spirit.

“Governors are blindly selective to what court orders they obey and President becomes completely deaf or blind to judicial orders.

“And that question is this: what is the role of the rest of us the in between humanity, Do we fold our hands and literarily siddon look? Most of the time it does appear that we have no option when justice appears to fail even his own immediate high echelon.”

He added: “Yes, many have warned, they have warned tirelessly and in various forms become deafened by the sound of their voice as it bounces back from the stones walls of a different complacency and sometimes criminality and complicity. The most notorious example of this today is of course the so called national conference.

“As many other propositions, the social context which is ever changing may provide avenue of fresh thinking but the stark truth is that all have been said cogently and relevantly.

“Those who think they can erect a future without first ridding the ground of the past debris flout against natural order or regeneration.”

The Nobel Laureate added: “Of all the conceivable negative baggage I can think of right now, the most pressing, I have always maintained, takes the form of a critical absence, subversion or suppression of – Justice.

“How have we fared, within this environment that most immediately sustains us – well, sort of? I shall evoke here one of the most notorious public profile cases of the serial degradations of Justice that seemingly shook this nation to its foundations. There are other cases we could cite – the murder of Dele Giwa for instance. Or Harry Marshall. Kudirat Abiola. Suliat Adedeji. A.K. Dikibo. Abukakar Rimi. Barnabas and Abigail Igwe, husband and wife, both officers of the law. Or Chief Dina – lest I stand accused of omitting my own homestead. Or indeed numerous others, so quickly relegated into the sump of unsolved cases. My choice today, the main reference point for our sobering retrospection is however singularly apt. Despite his terminal absence, that preeminent victim shares with our celebrant, albeit in a tragic mode, the ironic symbolism of ‘Justice in Denial’, a role that interrogates both the very concept and operations of Justice, and also, the main structure for its delivery, which is – the Judiciary. No one will question the seismic impact of the circumstances that took him from our midst, a dastardly deed which, as already claimed, shook the nation to its very foundations. However, the nation did not topple over – from all appearances. As we all know however, nations like the United States do not rest satisfied with appearances. Visible or not, internal damages – that very possibility – preoccupied the guardians of public monuments and safety.”


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