Drama of RIGHT TO LIFE
(Mr. Mellow enters Ojulari’s Office and sits downs gently on a chair that is not far from Ojulari as Ojulari is busy talking to his Legal Intern on Phone. Ojulari drops the call angrily.)
MR. MELLOW: Good day friend!
BARR. OJULARI: How are you doing?
MR. MELLOW: I should be fine, but what I heard now is what makes me to feel somehow unease.
BARR. OJULARI: What is that please?
MR. MELLOW: I heard you talking to your Legal Intern now, and I also heard you telling him that if he or other person gets killed in a riot, the killer will go scot-free! Is that true or you were just saying that to get him scared and leave the protest ground?
BARR. OJULARI: God forbids a day that a lawyer will tell lie! Lawyers don’t lie, because if he tells you the truth, there is no harm that you can do to him. I was telling the truth. That is the point of law.
MR. MELLOW: Don’t tell me that a law permits a person to kill another person in a riot! That law must not be the Constitution, I dare say that the law that you are talking about is inconsistent with the Constitution, and it shall be void.
BARR. OJULARI: (Smile widely) Really! Anyway, it is the constitution that says so. I did not say that people can start killing each other in a riot. What I said was that, if a protest turns to riot, anyone who attempts to suppress that riot and kill another person as a result of that, such a person will not be questioned by the law.(1)
MR. MELLOW: Ah! So, you are telling me that if a Policeman kill a person in a riot, the policeman will not be killed in turn?
BARR. OJULARI: If the Policeman does so to suppress the riot and restore peace and order back to the community, Yes, he won’t. This also applies to other people that are not Policemen.
MR. MELLOW: Ah! What about the Right to life that the person they kill have to enjoy under the law? Is that not Murder?
BARR. OJULARI: NO! What you don’t know is that, there are some actions that though, people may see it as a crime, but it is excused and justify by the law. (2)
MR. MELLOW: Ah! But…
BARR. OJULARI: Are you surprised? What if I tell you that if an officer kills a person that is running away and wants to escape from a lawful arrest or detention, the officer will go scot-free and no one will kill him for it? (3)
MR. MELLOW: Really!
BARR. OJULARI: In fact, not even an officer alone, it is applicable to everybody, including you.
MR. MELLOW: But I think since there is Fundamental right to life, no one is allowed to kill another person under any circumstance.
BARR. OJULARI: Law is what it is, not what you think it is. There is right to life, but there are some five offences in Nigeria that if you do any of it, it is death punishment, you won’t have the right to live anymore.
MR. MELLOW: What are those offences please, let me know.
BARR. OJULARI: Those offences are Murder (4), Robbery (5), Treason (6), Treachery (7), and participating in a Trial by Ordeal that results in death (8). If a person commits any of these offences, his right to life will be seized from him upon conviction.
MR. MELLOW: So, that means that the Right to Life given by the Constitution is not absolute, there are sometimes when a person will not enjoy his Constitutional Right to Life?
BARR. OJULARI: Yes, that is what I was trying to tell that boy, so that he will be careful. The law may sometimes be harsh, but it is the law.
MR. MELLOW: What if a person now come to you and threaten you that he will kill you, is that not also against right to life?
BARR. OJULARI: No, in as much as he just says it orally (9), he has not violated right to life, though he may be guilty of another offence.
MR. MELLOW: Ah! Omo! I just learnt another invaluable thing today.
BARR. OJULARI: That’s your own cup of tea. (he walks to the shelf to take a Volume of Law of Federation of Nigeria)
- Section 275, 276, 277, 278, 279 and 280 of the Criminal Code Act; Section 33 (2) (c) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria
- Section 32 of the Criminal Code Act
- Section 33 (2) (b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal republic of Nigeria
- Section 319 of the Criminal Code Act
- Section 402 (2) (a)(b) of the Criminal Code Act
- Section 37 (1)(2) of the Criminal Code Act
- Section 49A(1) of the Criminal Code Act
- Section 207, 208 of the Criminal Code Act
- Ezeadukwa v Maduka (1997) 8 NWLR (pt 518) 535 the year
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ABDULRAUF Abdullahi Adebayo, is a Law student, a Certified Teacher and a Writer. He can be reached via the following platforms;
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