If you do the crime, you’ll do the time

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I know it is not an easy task signing a death warrant and I am not sure I’d be quick to sign one if I were a governor. First of all, I’d feel like I was killing someone. Then I’d think of everything the Bible said  about taking a life. Then I’d worry about the advantages of giving a condemned man a second chance; maybe the condemned person would become the world’s greatest preacher if we give him a second chance, a parole of some sort. I would also worry about his relatives, his wife, her husband, aged parents, children. I would pick the pen and drop it several times. I would have sleepless nights. I would have headache, the type two tablets of paracetamol cannot cure. I would chew my nails and snap at my aides. I would be very disturbed. But I know, as I write this, that I would sign death warrants if I ever become a governor. It would be a tough decision but one I know that I must take. Maybe I would not even be able to eat for days. I would definitely weep. But I would sign death warrants.

One of the condemed criminals executed on Monday in Benin, Edo state was called Chima Ejiofor. His offence? He poured acid in the mouth of a 2 ? year old girl’s mouth. The girl was his daughter too. Let me remind you of the story as told by the Attorney General of Edo state.

Chima Ejiofor had an affair with a woman. They had sex, plenty of it, or enough to result in pregnancy. Nine months down the road, a baby girl was born but this Chima did not celebrate. He was not a proud father. All he wanted was to dip his pen in the ink and move on. He just wanted free fornication without consequences. But God had other plans. When you pound yam, you get pounded yam. It is as simple as that and that was the one truth Chima didn’t want. But his lover either didn’t know how far Chima would go to erase what he wrote with the pen he’d dipped in her ink , or she was too busy basking in the joy of motherhood to sense a brewing storm. One day, Chima went visiting his lover and daughter. Then he sent his lover to buy him a bottle of soft drink. Left alone with the daughter he didn’t want or planned to have, Chima poured acid down the throat of the baby, killing her.

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Are you seeing what I’m seeing? I’m trying not to cry. I see Chima calling the little girl to ‘come to daddy’. I see the tot bouncing on her plump little legs and smiling widely as she ran into her father’s arms. I see Chima bringing out the small bottle of acid and telling the little girl to open her mouth. How was a two year old supposed to suspect her father, from whose loins she came, was an angel of death? The poor little thing didn’t know she had just a few minutes left to live on God’s own earth. She thought daddy had brought her a gift, maybe Zobo or even ice cream. She gladly opened her mouth. And Chima, damning the consequences of his action, not giving the tiniest thought to anything he’d learnt in church or at his mother’s feet, poured the acid down his daughter’s throat.

I imagine the little girl in pain, tears in her eyes as the acid descended into and dissolved her intestines, hot, excruciating white smoke burning her tongue. She must have in all innocence wondered;

Daddy what did I do wrong?

Mummy , where are you?

What is happening to my mouth?

Daddy, make this pain stop…

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By the time mummy returned it was too late. The acid had finished its job and ended mummy’s joy. The foetus she carried in her womb for nine months, breast fed and played with for 30 months lay dead on the floor, killed by her own father. Ah, the heart of man is desperately wicked, who can know it, said the Bible.

The law moved in, took its course and Chima’s excuse makes me want to sentence him to a second death. According to him, as a first child where he came from, he was not supposed to have a child out of wedlock. First of all, I’d like to know where he came from so we can all keep an eye on men from that state or community. Second of all, what kind of twisted tradition allows you to have sex outside marriage but assures you won’t become a father in the process? What did Chima think he was doing when he was shaking down his girlfriend in bed and twisting his waist? Did he think he was moulding pots? I can hear him begging the policemen that it was the handiwork of the devil. Well, I think even the devil must have cringed as he watched Chima pour acid in his daughter’s mouth. Pray, what kind of man pours acid in the mouth of a two-year-old simply because he didn’t want a child out of wedlock? My answer: a man who deserves to die slowly, painfully like that little girl did, a man who deserved the bullets of the executioner.

What I would have expected Chima to do was dip his dick in acid and watch it sizzle away. Or was it not his third leg that put him in trouble? It wasn’t that child. She did not ask to be born. By that single act, Chima Ejiofor had probably robbed his family the divine opportunity to produce a Vice Chancellor, a governor and this country a UN Secretary or President. I would sign his warrant again and again.

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What about Osas, another convict who said he went hunting, shot a deer, started cutting the deer into pieces when the deer suddenly turned into a human being. He didn’t stop the butchering. He continued. When he’d done with the bloody job, he buried the entire deer-turned-human being. So he did not deserve to die, only the man he killed deserved to die? Osas cut short the expectation of that man, altered the course of the destiny of his children, threw his parents into the agony only they can describe.

I’d like the law-quoting international agencies to describe in 10 sentences the pain a man feels when his scrotal sack is cut out with a kitchen knife, then his eyes are gouged, then an axe is taken to his knee cap. I’d like to know what big terminologies LEDAP and Amnesty International use for the pain a man feels when his blood drains away from him. Which part of international charters and laws allows a man to create orphans with one swift cut of a rusty cutlass but protects him from paying for his crime? I’d like to know why what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. If you are caught with human body parts, you should expect that sooner than later, your own body parts would be fed to the termites.

Human life is golden and human rights should be protected but no life is more precious than the other. May the Lord forgive all of us but if you do the crime, you must do the time.



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