By Chiedozie Ude
The judiciary in most states is usually the third arm of government, and it is their duty to interpret the laws by making sure no law breaker goes scot-free. The judiciary is seen as the last hope of the common man because he can easily seek a redress in court if his rights are violated by the so called big dogs in the state.
The case of Bill Cosby and his sexual escapades is a genuine example that no one is above the law of the land irrespective of one’s position, financial muscle or achievements in one’s field of expertise.
In a bid to get the details of the plethora of sexual assault cases filed against Bill Cosby, I went through some of the allegations, and I discovered that the earliest of these crimes was committed in the 1960s, and that Bill Cosby was a serial sexual predator for more than four decades. Between these decades, some of these cases were reported, but somehow, he never got to face trial not to talk of receiving the punishments he well deserved because the reporters who got wind of the stories decided to hush up, most likely after receiving some fat wads of dollars.
But like people always say, ‘justice will prevail at the end’, and truly, justice did prevail because after all these years of him committing crimes with impunity, the long arm of the law has finally caught up with him, and he is going to pay for all his atrocities.
It is such a pity that one as famous of Bill Cosby decided to stoop so low by indulging in these nefarious acts, he is a person whom I am sure witnessed the great era of racial discrimination in America and was still able to carve a name for himself. He is a man whom a lot of people regarded as their role model due to his charismatic nature and acting prowess. So, what really baffles me is why he decided to throw all his achievements, his career and accolades away just because of few minutes of sexual pleasure. Indeed, when pastors are preaching about how sex outside marriage can bring the downfall of a man, I am pretty certain they had Bill Cosby in mind because his story will make a great from ‘grace to grass’ tale. Indeed, it is such a pity that history will remembers him only for his wrongs.
This is not the first time a celebrity is to be tagged as a sexual offender, but this is likely to be the first time that one will serve real jail time for it, and in my opinion, it is well deserved. As a result of this debacle, I begin to wonder if most of these celebrities we venerate deserve to be idolised by us. Most times, we indulge their misdemeanors because of our great love for them. Yes, they make us happy, but making their fans happy should not give any of them the guts to make other people unhappy, especially women and children whom they treat like toys and sexual objects. There are so many cases of celebrity rape, but the worst part of it all is that these rapists are never brought to book. I sincerely hope that the case of Bill Cosby will serve as a turning point in how Nigeria and the world at large prosecute cases like this.
In Nigeria, our laws are for the poor because they do not have the wherewithal to meander their way out of our satirical justice system. Even the popular singer ‘African China’ further brought notice to this anomaly by saying ‘poor man wey thief money them go show him name for crime fighter but rich man wey thief money, omo them no go show him name for crime fighter…’
Our judiciary is a complete farce, and various regimes have done their best possible in ensuring that its independence is always undermined. Right now, many a Nigerian prefers to settle contentious issues away from our official courts. When the people do not have any iota of trust or respect for our justice system, we will continue to witness an increase of jungle justice, wealthy criminals will continue to break laws without a care in the world because they know that the courts will dance to the music being played by their money.
Like I stated earlier, the judiciary is the third arm of government, and they must be allowed to prosecute every offender, both small and great because the law is not a respecter of anybody. A platform should also be created for people who have faced abuse, ranging from child labour and sexual harassment to express themselves with adequate police protection.
Finally, In countries whereby laws are supreme, there is every tendency that people will live in peace, harmony and most importantly, have respect for the rights of others.