Timi Dakolo is a man after my heart, highly talented and passionate. He is going through the kind of pain no man would wish for his worst enemy. His wife is going through a certain kind of pain that would take all of the love and more that Timi can offer to assist her out of this gully.
She has shown uncanny courage and boldness to come out with this painful story of a stolen innocence. I can imagine the lonely nights, the pain, the bad memories, the hallucinations all further entrenched seeing the monster in all his glory, roaring like a proud lion and devouring some more innocent victims. Something had to be done.
She called in the media and boldly recanted her story. A proud Nigerian woman; sounding firm not only for womanhood but also for our dignity as a people. We in turn have shown that we would not stand aside and watch our dignity trampled upon by the randy machinations of a heretic Adonis garbed in the soiled garments of a Preacher. Preacher my foot.
The hue and cry has been unprecedented; the whole country has stood up in arms against this profanity and have vowed to put a stop once and for all and there lies the problem.
Protests, social media rants, articles would only achieve just that awareness. The need to push beyond the viciousness of social media rant is very critical. Critical for its victims and much more importantly critical for a wounded nation. In all these, we should strengthen the system and the processes by using the weight of a corralled public opinion to ensure and force efficiency in the delivery process of justice.
The rule of law must be respected as we seek justice for Mrs Dakolo and indeed the millions of victims of sexual abuse and other crimes. We cannot say like I have been hearing that the system is corrupt and inefficient and as such we would bypass it and go for the jugular by publicly shaming and dissing alleged perpetrators’. The alternative to this is worse. It would be the total breakdown of law and order resorting to anarchy worse than the ones we are seeing in the North East of the country.
Mrs Dakolo who has emerged the leading voice against sexual violence must as a matter of duty and urgency begin the process of strengthening our judicial system by showing confidence in it. This would lead other victims into seeking justice instead of just relying on a hollow social media scream. Nigerians who really do have short memories will join you in the noise and move on to the next item leaving you empty and still with unhealed wounds and much more importantly leaving the perpetrators roaming the streets seeking the next innocent victim.
My argument is simple. We cannot be making allegations without moving to the next step. We cannot say because the crime is heinous and dastardly the accused will not be given his day in court as enshrined in our constitution. Even Evans the Kidnapper is in court today. We must as a matter of duty challenge the system with cases like this so that those whose duty it is to ensure efficient delivery of justice would sit down and do their jobs for once.
This is the best opportunity, with our collective pain and attention to help strengthen the process. Mrs Dakolo and the many victims of not just this man, owe us as Nigerians the duty to test this system and see how it would react.
The late Gani Fawehinmi used to take cases to the courts knowing fully well the outcome. But he never deterred because he knew that the publicity would be exposing the bad elements in the judiciary while strengthening it even though he would lose the case.
Everybody stands innocent until proven otherwise. Everybody has a right to fair hearing and a right to self-defense; even the worse criminals and demented mass murderers. This person has the same rights and no matter the hue and cry, the pain and suffering of his alleged victims he would not be taken down if the needful is not done.
My plea this morning is for one person, if not Mr Dakolo just one person out of the myriads of victims that we have heard come out and make an official report and let’s see how it will go because without that, this man remains innocent in the face of overwhelming evidence that he is a monster.