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Call me sadistic, but section 1 of the robbery and fire arms acts, CAPR 11 laws of the federation 2004 states clearly that the crime of armed robbery is punishable under the law and anyone caught in this crime stands to face capital punishment i.e. death by hanging. This is not a revised edition of the criminal code act and I wouldn’t want to bore you with constitutional rigmarole. So bearing in mind what the constitution’s stand is on armed robbery, let’s talk about Moses Akatugba.
Moses who? Yeah! I expected that reaction but I’m sure the caption “Student to die by hanging for stealing mobile phone and recharge cards” would help joggle your memory…see I thought so. Now, I have received reactions concerning this issue and based on the responses I got, I would like to say that I think it is preposterous to be unnecessarily sentimental when obvious matters are being discussed.
Delving once again into my archive of justice and Criminal Code act of the federation, I would like to point out that armed robbery is “stealing anything and at or after or immediately before or immediately after the time of stealing it use or threaten to use actual violence on any person or property in order to obtain or retain the thing stolen or to prevent or overcome resistance to its being stolen or retained”.
Now why the unnecessary sentiment? The constitution has said it all. What part of Moses’ crime isn’t armed robbery? I get the point of being empathic because he is a secondary school student but then, when has educational level become a basis for poor judgment? It is appalling to hear people compare this crime to extortion by our political leaders and I must say that it is an unreasonable comparison. How does stealing form a nation of over 160 million citizens translate into the crime of stealing from an individual at gun point? Are we not tired of playing the rich should suffer more card?
Flip and reverse this for a moment, what if the victim Mrs. Akpor Mazino was your mother and assuming Moses and his gang shot her dead due to her resistance, would you still be among those advocating for a less severe sentence for the accused? Would you still think the punishment doesn’t fit the crime? I cannot for the love of me, understand how the same tongues preaching against injustice in the judicial system be the ones trying to create the dent in the same system they are trying to protect?
But as they say, everyone is entitled to their opinion. We all have various perceptions as regard various matters but then, it wouldn’t hurt to bury our decaying body of sentiments under the graveyard of rightful thinking as it has begun to make our judgments stink.