'Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.'' – Benjamin Franklin
From the very origins and cradle of humanity, injustice has always reared its ugly head to crush and oppress those perceived to be of less social standing and thus the fight for justice has raged on through the ages. Little wonder the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin remain as empirically practicable today as it was decades ago when he muttered them and even before the words found life from his oscillating tongue centuries back. These pricking words are the prods that guide us today as we cry out for impartial justice for Abubakar Musa Abubakar who is being persecuted consistently by Alhaji Sani Dauda (ASD), former Chairman of Peugeot Automobile Nigeria Limited.
In the Nigeria of yesteryears opulent individual like ASD lorded over others like a czar of a medieval fiefdom; having their wishes, whims and caprices foisted on the generality of the people. This was indeed a dark and gloomy period when he and his ilk had their words as laws and any attempt to challenge or oppose their ambition would be seen as a sacrilege with a resultant mobilization of their foot soldiers to bully, coarse, harass, intimidate and humiliate those who dared to oppose them. In these repugnant dark days, it was believed that some rogue law enforcement agents, compromised media influencers and corrupt judges were whispered to be on his payroll and always willing to do his bidding. It can thus be inferred that was the very reason his types got away with so much impunity.
Though the businessman still wallows in the euphoria of the past, but what he has failed to realize is that the ground has shifted beneath him, and that in the New Nigeria of today no one is above the law.
In the lines of the ancient adage; ''A leopard never changes its spots'' and so true for ASD's apparent impunity which has remerged in this recent episode hence the resort to contempt of Court and judicial abuse all in a bid to placate his daughter Nasiba Sani Dauda, shield his Son Shehu Sani Dauda, a sharia court Judge Alkali Murtala Nasir Al-Misiry and one Abdullahi Kaloma. Together, they jointly committed criminal conspiracy, abetment of an offence, criminal assault, wrongful confinement and restraint, false imprisonment, voluntary causing of harm, enticement of a married woman, bigamy, re-marriage with concealment of former marriage in defiance of an existing judgment of the Kawo Upper Sharia Court, Kaduna in a case between Abubakar Musa Abubakar Vs. Nasiba Sani Dauda contrary to sections 45, 46, 58, 217, 229, 230, 239, 365, 366 and 369 respectively of the panel code law of Kaduna State, Nigeria.
As one would expect that his recent entanglement with Abubakar Musa Abubakar a supposed son-in-law is nothing new and certainly he is not likely going to be the last person to undergo such a harrowing experience from irresponsible prying except the businessman is stopped in his tracks by the grilling mechanism of justice.
Now, the same scenario is being re-enacted with Abubakar Musa Abubakar, who married Nasiba Sani Dauda on the 24th December, 2016. It will be recalled that the marriage started on the foundation of love, peace and harmony until few months into the marriage when the father of Nasiba - Alhaji Sani Dauda - began undue interference in the family affairs of the couple on a daily basis and subsequently instructed his daughter against her will to abscond from the marriage for reasons not yet clear to discerning minds. All entreaties to ASD to return Nasiba to her matrimonial home fell on deaf ears, but he instead forced Nasiba to institute a case of Khul' (request for divorce) before Grade 1 Sharia Court, Tudun Wada, Kaduna where a controversial judgment was obtained and a dissolution of the marriage was pronounced without recourse to principles of nemo iudex in causa sua and audi alteram partem to the concerned parties.
However, Abubakar Musa Abubakar not satisfied with the judgment of the lower court obtained a stay of execution order from the Upper Sharia Court, Kawo, Kaduna which was served on the respondent and subsequently appealed the travesty of justice of the lower court at the Upper Sharia Court which gave judgment in favour Abubakar Musa Abubakar by quashing and setting aside the judgment of the lower court for lacks of jurisdiction. Both the stay of execution order notice and the substantive judgment of the Upper Sharia Court were properly served on the respondent (Nasiba). It is the only prevailing judgment that exists till this day.
The arrest and detention of Alhaji Sani Dauda and others for abetment of an offence, remarriage with marriage concealment, criminal assault among other charges goes further to show that President Muhammadu Buhari's next level agenda will not tolerate lawlessness from any quarters and that justice is truly blind but fair and balanced to all manner of people. The action of ASD is capable of triggering series of unpleasant events such breach to peace, chaos, turmoil etc. Above all it is an affront to the judiciary, rule of law and attempt to denigrate sharia law. How can anyone who called himself Muslim marry off another man's wife?
In condemning the injustice and high handedness being propelled by ASD, let this turn of justice signal a warning knell to all that; gone are the days when individuals because of their economic powers can do as they wish by pocketing law enforcement officers and conniving with rogues members of the judiciary to do as they please. His arrest and detention has sent an unmistakable warning to unrepentant law breakers that there is now a new Sherriff in town and that their excesses will no longer be tolerated. All eyes are now on the judiciary on whether they will look the other way while the temple of justice is being desecrated through repeated abuse of judicial processes and contempt of Court proceedings.
Since the outbreak of this imbroglio and its escalation in the public domain, ASD albeit clandestinely has been sponsoring groups and individuals as face-saving measures to sell false narratives through media propaganda that portray him and his darling daughter as the victims rather than the perpetrators of this heinous crime against God and humanity. One of such groups is Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria, Kaduna State Chapter, an organisation that should be neutral in a matter that involves two contending parties both of who are Muslims or at best side with the truth but instead they came out disgracefully to pitch tent with the culprits (ASD and Others) who intentionally and knowingly desecrate Islamic Sharia laid down tenets of marriage by abetting bigamy. By this act, MULAN Kaduna State chapter has shown that their conscience is available for auction to the highest bidder, how low can an organization sink that prides itself as noble?
Abubakar Musa Abubakar should be applauded by all and sundry for towing the path of honour in seeking redress and restraining his relations, associates and thousands of followers from taking laws into their hand and for his abiding faith in our country's judicial system. Abubakar has never been accused of any wrong doing and he is well known as an honest, hardworking and unassuming gentleman who cannot even hurt a fly. In the face of provocation, intimidation, emotional hurt, blackmail, unwarranted media attack, defamation, criminal assault to relatives and threat to life among others, Abubakar Musa Abubakar has remained unmoved and consistently determined to get justice via the constitutionally guaranteed means.
Let’s hope that at the end of it all, justice will be served impartially, because anything other than that will be equal to encouraging self-help, stamping of lawlessness and an unequivocal invitation to disorderliness. A society that gives justice to only selected few is a fertile ground for anarchy. Let those who have ears take a heed.
We must not forget the reverberating cry of Ernesto Che Guevera to wit ''If you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are a comrade of mine'' it is this that spur true patriots on an eternal vigil as the vanguards for justice and equity for all.
Dr Maru wites from Abuja, can be reached at [email protected]