|Commissioner Egba clad in white is in clenched fist? Is that a fist for conflict resolution?|
First Baba Isa|22 January 2017
Ladies and gentlemen, you be the judge. I will be the lawyer. My task is simply to present the facts, evidence and the law. Look at it dispassionately and do your best to reach an unbiased decision.
A couple of days ago I was tagged in a post where the CRS commissioner of Commerce and Industry, Mr Peter Egba was allegedly aiding his driver to fight a Road Safety official thereby committing the crime of affray. See picture evidence that you will be called upon to analyze shortly to determine whether the supposedly honourable commissioner did fight in public.
Let’s look at the law.
|Was Commissioner Egba seperating or actually involved in the fight?|
Section 83 of the Criminal Code deals with the crime of Affray. The said section states that “Any person who takes part in a fight in a public place is guilty of a misdemeanour and is liable to imprisonment for one year.”
A Law dictionary went further: “The fighting of two or more persons, in some public place, to the terror of the people. 2. To constitute this offence there must be, 1st, a fighting; 2nd, the fighting must be between two or more persons; 3rd, it must be in some public place ; 4th, it must be to the terror of the people. 3. It differs from a riot, it not being premeditated; for if any persons meet together upon any lawful or innocent occasion, and happen on a sudden to engage in fighting, they are not guilty of a riot but an affray only; and in that case none are guilty except those actually engaged in it.”
|The Honourable Commissioner must have been very concerned for his son’s life!|
Some persons have submitted that the commissioner didn’t fight but rather was helping to stop the Road Safety Official and his driver from fighting. Now before you look at the pictures to determine whether the commissioner fought in public let me quickly point out some “non issues” that might becloud your judgment if introduced.
These issues are non issues not because they are not important but because they add or subtract nothing from the allegation of Peter Egba fighting in public, though they make up the general tissues of the suppose facts and can ground separate actions of their own.
1. The Road Safety Officials are corrupt and callous. True. False. That’s not the point. Did the commissioner fight in public?
2. The plate number used on the commissioner’s car was illegal. True. False. Not the point. Did the commissioner fight in public?
3. The Commissioner’s son nearly suffocated in the car while the driver begged to be released. Very cruel. True. False. Did the Commissioner fight in public?
4. The Commissioner was on his way to somewhere else. Why did he come back to the scene. Foolish question. Sound question. When he got there, did he, the Commissioner fight in public?
Whether he fought in public is what will constitute the crime of affray, and that is what you should analyse the evidence to find out.
|Beyond the fist, what was the left knee doing in this picture? Seperating the fight?|
Now let’s look at the picture evidence:
1. Can you see the commissioner with a clenched fist in any of the pictures? If yes, is he in a punching motion? If yes, is that a technique for separating two fighters?
2. What else can you deduce from the pictures?
Assuming without conceding that the commissioner was stopping the fight, is that even a honourable thing to do? Should he be found in the scene the way the pictures show him?
This discussion is pertinent because people who are entrusted with public office cannot be seen ridiculing the said office and by extension our collective decorum.
I call on the Nigeria Police Force to investigate this and if Peter Egba is found culpable, he should be prosecuted for affray to serve as a deterrent to others.
First Baba Isa
Is a Lawyer and writes from Abuja.
Is a Lawyer and writes from Abuja.