Victor C. Ariole
When specific laws that apply to marriage see the right person for the bride, the rules get vitiated. (Igbo Proverb)
As they say the virtual values of morality as seen in the Holy Books and the specific values of “the morality of Laws” are completely incompatible; and societies know which ones to apply for their sustenance. Whether common laws, inquisitorial laws, mythical laws, religious laws, or traditional laws, as long as human beings operate them, wisdom like that of Solomon will always lack.
Just like Prince Phillips was alleged to have committed driving offence, and no one dared call in the law or lawyers to translate it to judiciary process, or to defend it, like Jean Paul Satre, the French symbol of erudition, committed his own and General de Gaulle intervened by shielding him from any legal action and, as well, Al-Gore ignored court action against electoral malfeasance of Electoral officers, as George Bush’s brother in Florida, was fingered, but not proved, so also Lawyers ought to exclude or excuse themselves for issues they knew, based on déjà-vu, that it could amount to travesty of justice; unless it is meant to justify their prestige as the profession that know where and how to swing the scale so as to assert that equity reigns; albeit, for peace to reign.
Now, when the Prince was seen as having gone against traffic law, which any commoner gets convicted for, and fine or punishment is meted, in his case, equity was vitiated and his person was taken into consideration as he explained why he did what he did and it was admitted as valid and he was exculpated as against in Nigeria where it could be admitted in evidence but could have no probationary value. One slang that entered into my head on the 11th of September was “stroke out and not of probationary value”.
Jean Paul Sartre had the same issues, he was apprehended but the news reached the president, General de Gaulle, and the question he put to the law makers was: how would the world see France as the nation that craves for human rights and it is seen that its symbol of erudition is incarcerated for mere traffick offence which is an offence all French people are brought to justice for. He was exempted and it was seen as saving the face of France, a nullification of common equity for the sake of a prestigious personality; in effect a personality that does not fall in the norm of the curve that defend the average French person; just a personality to be avoided by not admitting the assumed evidence as capable of having probationary value. When the judgment is between the tortoise and the elephant, like another adage proffers, the tortoise will make great noise about it knowing that it will never favour it.
Al-Gore was meant to shield the sword of legal battle when he found his person very much a minute being so as not to desecrate the entire USA democracy and he avoided contesting election result that saw him losing against George Bush (II); and Jeb Bush of Florida remained the Governor in a State that decided his fate. In effect, Florida was the State to cast the die and as humans remain what they are, committed to self-survival, he knew it was going to be a wild-goose chase.
The only compensation was that Jeb Bush was rejected at primary level, as a Presidential candidate, when he expressed interest and even his mother felt it could not serve a good equity for the USA. He stepped down and on his own volition; he felt it could have been insult on USA. It was reported that the mother alluded that it could amount to disaster hence, avoid it.
Recently, Brexit is inflaming UK and no one seems to know what to do with justice as the privileged class clashes with the commons. The appearance of the Black Sod of the House of Lords in the House of Commons signaled the “Arrest” of the rights of the commons, and the speaker needed to follow him to the House of the Lords to obey the rules pronounced to him as well as to be conveyed to the commons and it was in French: “ c’est ce que veut la Reine” – that is what the Queen want; QED. It is quite in order as everyone knows that UK practices Monarchical Democracy, and that conventions, unwritten laws guide their operations, and all the Lords are “lawyers de fait” in protection of privileges that had made UK the greatest kingdom on earth; quite evidential. Note, the Queen is the Head of State of Canada, Australia, the Pacifics and even the Commonwealth and, as long as peace reigns in these areas; and “waters” know their levels either as lakes, streams, rivers or seas; knowing that their sustenance depends on the rise or lowering of the ocean or sea level; and that, the prayer must be that the “Sun reigns” like the Queen reigns. No matter the bills passed as law or “convention arrested”, when the glorious time come for the Queen to assert her reign, the rules must be vitiated.
Nigeria must be allowed to continue in peace so as to salvage its population that is living below poverty level – no fewer than 70% -; in effect, majority, which makes it the norm, for now, that is, even the richest man in Nigeria is considered poor as many Nigerians wallow in poverty.
The legal profession that claims that it is the last resort for the poor person should ask the poor people to pay for the prestige the legal profession enjoys so as to lift the majority out of poverty; and that is the basic expected of what France sees in its 1789 revolution that ignited the basic laws that proclaimed the UN’s Human Rights Laws. So, less litigations and more of advocacy. When poverty is banished, the specific laws that apply to electoral rules would see people vitiating them for better rules that make humans more humane.
When laws start dividing people to an extent that hatred appears in their space, and the minimum expectation of the “Social Contract” disappears as per the ultimate Prince is being hijacked then a rethink is expected.
Ariole is Professor of French and Francophone Studies University of Lagos, Akoka