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Two days ago, an organized, corporate and systematic goon squad; commercial syndicate, racketeers and known extorters whose stock in trade is extortion and molestation of resisting motorists, commuters and passersby in Calabar metropolis — mostly at Marian road caught a prey, Mr. Chuks Solomon — a commercial cab driver.

Like predators pounce on their preys, they caught Chuks by the neck; seized his hands with their brawny fists, strapped and stripped him naked in the public. They flogged him with plank and broken stool. They filmed him naked. His manhood dangled and tangled in the hood and was glimpsed by even minors. His car was damaged. His privacy was exposed and his human dignity bruised. This happened just opposite the Calabar Municipality local government headquarters. The local government authority claimed those ruffians are on the run.

The perpetrators of this heinous, hooliganry, reprehensible and dehumanizing act often decked in blue T-shirt parading themselves as though they’re doing the duties of traffic wardens or vehicles inspection officers are people known to those sitting on the pew of power. The vehicles they illegally impound are usually parked at the Calabar Municipal council Secretariat’s open space. They do daily remittance of their ill-gotten gains. The authority knows who takes this…Their operation is not clandestinely done. They’re seen every day at that spot. Therefore, it’s preposterous, ridiculous and self-deceiving for anyone to claim ignorant of their presence.

Just a few hours ago, in quick succession, Hon. Effefiong Eke, the Mayor of Calabar in a press release, feigned as those these guys operate from outer space collecting illegal taxes and levies. We know it’s a surreptitious revenue. In the Essay of Revenge, Francis Bacon argues that ‘revenue is a kind of wild injustice.’ Just yesterday, the flamboyant Mayor in his ignorance, gifted Mr. Chuks about half a million Naira as charity thinking that he was doing justice. Then, as usual, the gullible and his acolytes have been praising him for insulting a man assaulted by ‘agent’ of government N550,000.

According to Marcus Tulius Cicero in De Officiis, he opined and strongly agreed that ‘the fundamentals of justice are that no one suffers wrong, and that the public good be served.’ Chuks Solomon, a father of two and a hustling husband who believes in the dignity of labour has suffered wrong because it’s a Nigerian thing that his tormentors will never be brought to book.

I put it to the Mayor, Ndabu Effefiong Nta Eke that charity isn’t justice and if justice must be done, it should be fairly done. This opinion was tersely stated in Jackson’s The Chief by Lord Gordon Hewart when he said: ” it is merely of some importance but is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

Mr. Mayor, while I laud your charity, it’ll amount to putting salt on injury if those hooligans aren’t brought to face the wrath of the law. Your charity is meaningless if real justice isn’t served. The public wants these guys to be used as a deterrent for others to learn. Let me submit by paraphrasing one of the quotes of 18th century British proto-feminist Mary Wollstonecraft in her treatise, A Vindication of the Rights of Women that ‘ it’s justice, not charity, that’s wanting in the world (Chuks Solomon’s case).

It’s justice that Chuks Solomon needs, not charity.

Comr. Ogar Emmanuel Oko
Sole Admin, NDAF CRS