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OfiliSpeaks: Nigeria – Guilty Until Proven Guilty?




You can be walking down the streets of Lagos and someone can literally pull your cloth and just start shouting THIEF THIEF THIEF.

And before you know it they have poured Kerosene on your body … fuel scarcity won’t even save you.

4 tires I mean 4 minutes later and tires will be wrapped around your body like a hungry anaconda … recession won’t save you! Because, used and new they will find money to buy tires.

Any attempt to verbally plead your innocence will be met with a plank to the head until you are knocked unconscious.

But that won’t last long because the fire burning your flesh will bring you straight back to your reality …

As people gather to watch/record you burn as they pat themselves on their backs commenting “we got a THIEF.”

After all is said and burned, LAWMA will come to scrape your black ashes from the road … so that traffic can flow again.

But sadly at the end of the day, nobody can coherently explain your crime, nobody knows what you did wrong and nobody has even heard your side of the story.

All they know is that they heard the words THIEF THIEF THIEF and started burning without due process.


You can be literally sleeping in your house and someone will break into your house and start shouting CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION.

And before your know it, the media would have poured kerosene on your name … investigative journalism will not save you.

Your properties new and used will be wrapped with so much EFCC tape that your plasma screen will start cracking. But that’s your business, why should you have Plasma screen when ordinary Nigerians are suffering with Cathodic Ray Tubes screens!

Any attempt to plead your innocence will be met with planks of social media commentators who will magically find FREE DATA to burn your name on the internet till the internet becomes unconscious.

But that won’t last long, because the courts will grant you bail but the government will reject it to bring you back to the reality of your predicament. After all this is not America, in today’s Nigeria you are guilty until proven guilty.

At the end of the day after the ashes of your reputation have been extinguished … people will struggle to state clearly what you did wrong or why you are still prison. All they know is that they heard CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION and started judging without due process!

[Muhammadu Buhari,] I’ve often canvassed that corruption in Judiciary be tackled to help [the] anti-corruption war. But do so within bounds of due process. – Obiageli Ezekwesili

Okechukwu Ofili is a trouble maker, the author of 4 books and speaks at organizations that are tired of hearing the same old stuff and want the truth. He is also the founder of and blogs daily at You can follow him on Twitter or stalk him on Instagram You can also read his funny books on konga or okadabooks


  1. A Real Nigerian

    October 11, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    This is a horrible article. Not funny. Not thought-provoking. Just a poor attempt at political commentary. Terrible. At least it was a bit coherent.

    • Ynot

      October 11, 2016 at 10:06 pm

      Where Oke Ofili intelect is standing your IQ has not even began to take baby steps. If the metaphors flew over your head, its because your mentality is as grounded as Chachangi airlines

      Bloody nematode! I know you are a Zombie.

    • Ynot is Savage

      October 12, 2016 at 9:30 am

      Holy sh*t…….lmao!

    • ME

      October 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      Nawa o. Isn’t trolling outdated?

    • mama Ifechukwude, Ifechukwunyediche and Ifeayinachukwu

      October 19, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      Na lie o. article was on point joor. We all have ‘opinion’ and if this wasn’t thought-provoking for you, na your own. I liked this piece.

  2. Mrs chidukane

    October 11, 2016 at 10:05 pm

    True talk. That is how government agencies in Nigeria spoil their cases before they even get to the courtroom. You can only execute a warrant between 7am and 5pm if my memory serves me well. The arrests made by 1am have no legal backing. How will the court now accept evidence collected when you didn’t follow due process in making arrest? Who will preside over the case? Most judges would rather excuse themselves . At the end of the day, if the cases are thrown out for lack of evidence or another technicality people will shout courts are corrupt not knowing the DSS spoilt their chances from the start. They have lawyers working for them. Whether it’s arrogance or stupidity that prevents them from seeking their advice is what I don’t know.

    • tummi

      October 11, 2016 at 11:22 pm

      Wait…. There is a time limit for serving arrest warrants??? For where?

  3. Marlvina

    October 11, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Very insightful article. The issue of jungle justice has become a norm not just in Nigeria, Africa entirely. We should restrain from taking laws into our hands. Often times, these accused may be innocent. Just like the sad case of the ALUU 4.

  4. Lailatu

    October 11, 2016 at 10:08 pm

    Funny, yet so sad because it is true.

  5. Nneka

    October 11, 2016 at 10:11 pm

    Well said Ofili, I have always admired your write-ups… ever touching upon very current and disturbing issues.

  6. Tired of the dictatorship.

    October 11, 2016 at 10:57 pm

    “”You can be literally sleeping in your house and someone will break into your house and start shouting CORRUPTION CORRUPTION CORRUPTION.””


    “”You can be literally sleeping in your house and someone will break into your house and start shouting KWARUPTON, KWARUPTON, KWARUPTON.

  7. Mr. Egghead

    October 11, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    I enjoyed this piece.
    Until we build strong institutions, and not strong personalities, we can’t fight corruption

    • EE

      October 12, 2016 at 1:01 am

      But historically though…………….all strong institutions were built by strong personalities. Think of the things the FBI got away with under Hoover for example. British actions in Ireland and so on.

      As for innocent until proven guilty, that is a concept slowly dying out worldwide.

  8. Cynthia

    October 12, 2016 at 12:34 am

    Very insightful and harsh reality article right there. Nigerian is such a hell to live in right now. Hunger and pain, intimidation, oppression, hardship and squalor all because of insensitive government with lying tongue and bloody intentions.

  9. nnenne

    October 12, 2016 at 1:24 am

    Article is on point.

  10. Chinma Eke

    October 12, 2016 at 6:06 am

    Lol, love this article. That’s the thing with Nigerians; comfortable to demonise or sanctify a person depends on what side of the argument is screaming the loudest. No thought for rule of law or due process, that’s why cases are never logically concluded.

  11. shield

    October 12, 2016 at 9:43 am

    On my way to work today, at Second Gate on Tincan Road, I saw the body of a man that was burnt yesterday night for stealing. Adonbilivit! I mean, we read of such in the papers but this is the first time I’m seeing one up close. And all the abokis and policemen around were just behaving like that’s a normal thing. No matter what that guy stole, it can’t even be up to 20k and he was burnt to death for it. The bloodthirsty side of “regular” citizens is sooo scary. May God protect us from evil.

  12. Sheri

    October 12, 2016 at 10:19 am

    Yep. So I was born & bred in the UK all my life and I moved to Nigeria at 18 to study at unilag. Don’t ask me why) So one evening I was walking to my hostel from seeing a friend, ALL OF A SUDDEN in a distance I heard shouting and could see a crowd of figures in the distance running to my direction. I couldn’t even pick my feet up quickly enough to run in the opposite direction, I thought they were armed robbers, or terrorists! As I looked on I noticed it was actually a group chasing one person so I stood still in the corner as they tackled him to the ground, and watched the riders jump off their motor cycles to join in the action. Before I knew it a hammer had been connected to his skull, blows were being thrown, DON’T ask me where they found the hammer from o! Being such a sensitive young lady, I cried for mercy on behalf of the fellow with blood gushing from his head, “Please stop, please!!!”. OOOOOH what a mistake I made! One man ran towards me telling me to shut my mouth, and that maybe I am the one helping him and his friends to rob the neighbourhood dry! I was like WAHHHHHH! Being such a novice at the time I began to cry and say it wasn’t so! I wasn’t familiar with the way Nigerians work then. This was 2012, if it was 2016, I would know how to compose myself a bit better. Anyways it was a real eye opener for me, I eventually ran back to England sha, this that I witnessed and many other incidents were just the height. Something needs to be done about this jungle INjustice not justice. I almost feel like our government LIKE the fact that citizens take the matters into their own hands. Saves them a lot of work.

    • Mz Socially Awkward....

      October 13, 2016 at 11:15 am

      Re your last sentence… It definitely saves the lazy bastards the effort of doing their damn jobs.

      We’re doing everything else so far – providing our own utilities via personally-owned generators & sinking our boreholes, laying tar on our roads, employing our own security, looking out for our own health, including social welfare of our village and family members into our stretched budget for each month …

      … So why not add the conduct of trials and managing due legal process to the ever-growing list? Only The Good Lord knows why we still carry on with the farce of elections…

  13. ogeAdiro

    October 12, 2016 at 3:30 pm

    Nna, the thing tire person. The way we jump to conclusions with little or no details is just sad. Even me, sometimes I find myself fighting with this Nigerian spirit of drawing baseless conclusions. It’s like we’re allergic to asking simple questions.
    In the same vein, somebody will just come out and spew total rubbish and call it their ‘opinion’. Opinion gbakwa oku!

  14. Author Unknown

    October 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Would the ethnic group or political affiliation of the “accuser” and “thief” be relevant to the intention of your article? Stealing is not subjective sir. The fact that other people haven’t been hunted down is no excuse. The only excuse is that one is blemish free. Having said that, I am one for fairness, but realise that we don’t live in a perfect world.

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