The arrest of 21-year-old Nigerian called Jatto Sheriff Umar by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for posing as Facebook’s Founder, Mark Zuckerberg to defraud victims has drawn lots of criticism from Nigerian youths
The arrest and usual parade of the victim triggered calls from the youth against selective justice. According to the critics, the act by the 21-year-old is illegal and deserves punishment; however, they struggle to understand how the same law which swiftly punishes the masses for wrongdoing keeps protecting the politicians who loot state funds with impunity.
Major among their concern is the fact that, the recently released pandora papers headlined names of many Nigerian politicians who hid their looted funds in tax havens but the same Economic and Financial Crimes Commission refused to parade them like they do to the average Nigerian criminal.
Expressing his views on a published post regarding the incident, one Mannie Anderson said, “but I hear say ex-aviation minister refuse to attend court for embezzling 4.6 billion naira, EFCC no touch nor question. What an insult to this country? If that 4.6 billion was used for school or jobs, where he wanted (would he) come up with a mind to be yahoo. EFCC is part of the problem of this country. Buhari made this to go after the poor so the rich can keep stealing.”
Another young Nigerian called Blessing Cherechi questioned that, “how many of our Nigeria Politicians have EFCC given this billboard to hold for their crimes?” whilst Adanna Okoye also wrote: “Poor man wey thief maggi them go show em face for crime fighter, rich man we thief money omo we no dey see their face for crime fighter.”
These commentaries sum up the frustration of the youth in a legal system which constantly victimizes the poor. This issue is not limited to Nigeria alone; in many African countries, the law stops thinking completely when a political figure is involved but becomes potent when the laymen are caught in its web. What do you think can be done to ensure there is equality before the law?