One of the aims of the criminal justice system is to ensure that justice is delivered for every crime that is perpetrated, to satisfy the injured, to lay down a disincentive to other members of the community and ultimately to make the community safer.
In delivering justice, also of importance is the fate of the accused person or criminal involved in the said crime. How much of an evil was his crime? For how long should he be away and how much should he suffer for his evils while he is away? Would he be corrected enough in his sufferings not to reconstitute a threat if re-admitted into the society? Or should he be permanently put away?
And, speaking of permanently, should that putting away be enacted immediately?
The death penalty is a sensitive matter, as it involves the termination of life. The subject of whose right it is to terminate any human’s life is an ongoing debate, with the various nuances that are brought in from the diverging opinions on the limits between personal rights and the duties of the State to ensure the collective security of all. Like the Minister of Information and Communication, Lai Mohammed had insinuated on his recent appearance on TV, the line can be quite thin at times.
In the case of Evans the notorious kidnapper, there has been the joke that had he defected to the ruling party of the country, he may not have been arrested in the first place. Some other classes of jesters are anxious that the spree of stumbles in prosecuting anti-corruption cases by the agencies of the Federal Government could see Evans walk back into his mansions and probably kick off from where he had been interrupted. Needless to say that would be a spectacular travesty, especially seeing how his arrest has brought massive relief to the residents of Magodo, Igando, and all other areas where his virus have spread and caused untold terror. It will be a cruel irony to the officers of the Police who toasted to the victory with green bottles and danced to Tekno’s “if you leave me, yawa go dey”.
And should Evans be tried in a court of law and made to serve time, there is always the chance that he can be paroled someday, or granted a Presidential pardon (amnesty), or be used in some other form of negotiation with some group. Such is the unstable nature of Nigeria at the moment that the latter option could actually come into play.
So, what do we do with Evans? Pictures have surfaced on the internet of his supposed “beautiful” family, consisting of a wife, and five children whom are still approaching their teen years. They have reportedly moved into one of Evans’ apartments in Ghana. Should they be cut off from their “breadwinner” forever by one stroke of the guillotine?
As is now the practice in many states, especially his home state of Anambra, there are plans to demolish his luxurious mansions acquired from his disgusting escapades. Some may argue against it, suggesting that they should be sold and the funds “invested” to useful purposes, such as orphanages. The only problem there is that this is Nigeria where legitimately acquired funds in the hands of public officials are mostly never rightly invested. Pulping down the structure and recycling it for other purposes appears to be just fine.
Given the dignity of every human life – even that of the most insidious of persons – “pulping” would not be an appropriate word to use here. But, just as those buildings will not be spared due to the possibility of corruption in properly channelling the proceeds, should there be any window of opportunity for Evans, the notorious billionaire kidnapper, to see the faces of his children ever again?
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