The sentence given to Mr. Yusufu was nothing more than a slap on the wrist. He was not asked to reimburse the vast sums of money he stole from thousands of pensioners who are now left with nothing. Nor was he once asked where all this money went. [Editor’s Note: Reports in the Nigerian media make no mention of this question being addressed]. This case is really shocking when you compare his sentence with others – for example, just two days ago, a young man was sentenced to three years in jail for stealing a smartphone
. And he was not given the option of paying a fine to get out of it!
We want a full investigation into what happened with Mr. Yusufu’s case. We’re guessing that to have handed out such an absurd sentence, the judge must have been compromised. We also believe that Mr. Yusufu couldn’t possibly have embezzled so much money alone, and so we want those who helped him to be found and tried. Furthermore, we want all corrupt judges to be replaced, and an overhaul to this country’s laws to get rid of loopholes that allow for too much discretionary power on the part of judges. In Nigeria, too often, courts are not for the people – they’re for the highest bidders.
“It’s not easy to fight corruption … I’ve received threats from people threatening to kill me or kidnap my children”
If we don’t get a satisfactory response to our demands within two weeks, we’re going to give the government what I call the Egyptian treatment: we’ll occupy the Supreme Court for as long as it takes. [Editor’s Note: Egyptians camped out in Cairo’s Tahrir Square during their revolution.]
It’s not easy to fight corruption in a country where it is systemic. I’ve received many threats. During Wednesday’s protest, I received lots of text messages from people threatening to kill me or to kidnap my children. But I’m not discouraged, as more and more Nigerians are joining the fight against corruption