By Jesutega Onokpasa
I only recently became aware of the truly shocking, most unwarranted and painfully untimely death of Sylvester Adjogbe, a younger brother to Dr. Samuel Adjogbe, former Executive Director, Projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC. News reports on the matter have portrayed Sylvester Adjogbe as an unfortunate victim of political rivalries in his native Evwreni Kingdom of Urhoboland, Delta State. For me, his murder is truly abominable even against the backdrop of the sordid abyss to which some of our countrymen have taken politics in this country.
That we might have political differences, even truly fundamental, profound and intractable ones, is inevitable but can never justify the barbaric extreme of targeted killings and transfered aggression. The targeting of family members and other familiars of political opponents is entirely untenable and represents a mischief, the total suppression of which, the law must be especially committed.
Sylvester, a young man by every measure, was mowed down in the prime of his youth in circumstances that are most egregious and utterly unacceptable. That the young fellow was shot and killed just across from his grandparents home while minding his business and offering offense to no one is a sad commentary on the extreme lengths to which some amongst us are willing to take political differences and the dismal depths from which they seem quite prepared to canvass their more savage tendencies.
I believe those of us inclined to a peaceable paradigm of politicking and committed to never personalising our political differences should be thoroughly outraged by the senseless murder of this young man and that our rejection of such extremist tendencies in politics should serve to unite us all in insisting on justice for young Sylvester.
The courts exist that we may all be able to abandon the arena of self-help and jungle justice and to come instead to prosecute our disputes and wars on the battlefield of jurisprudence. We are all subject to the law and no one is above the law for once anyone of us is elevated above the law, the law itself is thereby rendered not fit for purpose or proper for the rationale behind its existence.
Thankfully, his relations and loved ones, instead of taking the law into their own hands and seeking revenge, have rather opted to take the noble path of placing reliance on the law and the normal course of justice for redress. They must not in any way be frustrated by underhandedness and lack of transparency or impartiality on the part of the police and similar authorities.
A cardinal fulcrum of the rule of law is for aggrieved citizens to be able to bring their complaints to the temple of justice lest they be constrained to subscribe to self-help. By seeking justice in the court of law, the family should be commended, appreciated, assisted and consoled rather than abandoned, duped or in any way denied the justice it deserves.
The death of Sylvester Adjogbe was uncalled for and is utterly unjustifiable. It is truly painful for the young man to have died without ever having the opportunity of starting a family and having children to continue his line. May the soul of Sylvester Adjogbe rest in peace but JUSTICE MUST BE DONE!
Onokpasa, a lawyer, wrote from Warri.