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Anambra judiciary and strategic management of inequality



IN HIS logical presentation, a German Jurist Von Haller of the 18th century mould averred that the chaotic state of life from the early ancient time actually stemmed from natural order of inequality against the background of equality.

  His logic permeated the world systems fast and hightened the quest for the emergence of constitutional cum representative democracy with operational system of power separation. No doubt, the adoption of this power sharing formular has since become the tonic that saved the world from dangerous effects of unbridled freedom and from untrammelled equality experienced by the early humans with their attendant savagery and unsavoury character.

  Unfortunately, little was done to address the chaotic existence by the several forms of leadership and government in the ancient and part of modern epoch.

  Thus, in Anambra State of Nigeria where power separation is vivid, the judiciary has been able to carve out a niche through fair delivery of judgment aimed at closing inequality gap. And this is evidently demonstrated from divergent order especially when matters of human right, equal opportunities, peaceful co-existence, security of life and property of individuals and corporate bodies arebreached and brought to the court.

  For instance, the recent discharge and acquittal of over forty custodial inmates and some suspects granted bail by the Chief Judge of Anambra State, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu is a good and remarkable way of righting the wrongs of injustice and inequality in the country.

  It is surprising that the inmates in custodian facilities did not regain freedom on a platter of gold, even after several years of grim incarceration and abandonment. Simply put, the judgment by Justice Anyachebelu that gave impetus to their release was prompt and firm, coming after meticulous examination and evaluation of pleas of guilty or not guilty, questions and responses, followed by submissions made on the spot during a jail delivery session similar to Assize court at the four correction facilities in the state.

  Going by media reports, it is obvious that Nigeria correctional centers in the 36 states and Abuja are becoming increasingly awash with suspects whose alleged crimes canhardly be sustained in view of the hollowness of the report that caused their arrest.

  Some of them could be mere victims of gang-ups, false information, vendetta and hatred, thus making it difficult for investigators and prosecutors to present a prima facie proof against them which is why they are abandoned to rot away in custody for alleged offences none of them could tell the origin.

  Unfortunately, their incarceration is even heightened by the fact that they have no person to aid their rescue due to poverty-stricken nature of their relations ­– poverty, ignorance, fear, timidity and fund paucity.

  Emphasis on congestion of correctional centers above capacity abound with attendant exposure to ill-health conditions such as mental problems that cannot be managed by custody employees, also endanger life of inmates.

  While it is sufficient to note the wisdom of the state chief judge, Justice  Anyachebelu in his yearly jail delivery exercise similar to Assize court system along others of his ilk who engage on such task despite their heavy responsibilities, we must suggest that those of them who seldom or do not visit custody facilities in spite of the existing law to that effect, should take it as a serious challenge not only to decongest the correction centers but more importantly to render justice appropriately since justice delayed is justice denied.

  The jail delivery was not without its excitements in view of the huge number of inmates acquitted on the spot by the Chief Judge which a Deputy comptroller of Correctional Center, Onitsha, Mr. Valentine Nwosu noted in appreciation has drastically reduced tension.

  Over the sordid state of correctional centers in Nigeria, it is soothing to note the promise made by the Governor of Anambra State, Professor Chukwuma Soludo to improve the facilities at the Ekwulobia Correctional Center.

  At this point,  the need to bring inmates who have served out their jail terms or discharged, acquitted after long stay in custody, back to normal life, calls for enabling action that will give them a well-deserved life acceptable to other moral citizens in the country.

  Therefore, rehabilitation cum reconciliation process of the federal and component states is verily paramount as a means to integrate them to certain rules of behavior, as well as give them new psychological orientation and vocation that will help them recover their senses with progressive mindsets for harmonious and well co-ordinated social life.

  Unless this is not done, it is likely they will continue impacting negative and dangerous tendencies and bad acts in society. In fact, the various government, rehabilitation institutions religious groups, traditional rulers and their town unions as well as humanitarian foundations should know this responsibility falls within their purrview.

  With this, along with fair justice delivery there is no gain saying the fact that inequality will be reduced or bridged.

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