Biya-Agbor Balla-Neba Fontem Affair: We should resist the bane of an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent executive to whose dictates the judiciary and legislature must bow
Good tidings it is to hear of the release . But any attempt at jubilation or thanksgiving would be misguided. The cause of justice and humanity has not been fundamentally served so long as our executive branch of government remains the accuser, the judge, the jury the executioner, and the pardoner.
We cannot celebrate each time a man undoes his own wrongful act. The question is, should the prisoners have been arrested in the first instance? Would they have obtained a release order if the state had any credible evidence to sustain the charges brought against them. If the answers to these questions are in the negative, then theirs have been a persecution and not a prosecution.
My training persuades me that a criminal action or, at the very least, a civil action for damages emanating from malicious prosecution is in order against state actors personally and the state itself . It ought to be bothersome to all of us that the Head of State can at a whim order the release of accused persons. The presidential prerogative to accord clemency, which is contained in the Constitutions of most nations, seeks to extend relief to convicted persons and not to those accused of crimes.
The right, ethical and honorable thing to do in this case, is for the prosecution to withdraw its case or acquiesce to a defense motion to dismiss. The prosecution can otherwise file a nolle prosequi thereby causing the court to enter an order of dismissal. Even then, the President or any member of the executive branch should not be seen to have instructed the prosecution to so do.
What’s the point here ? The meddling of the executive in the affairs of the judiciary remains what it is, an ultra vires action and should not be condoned and venerated, no matter who benefits. For this very same abuse of power has inversely been used to arrest without probable cause or evidence as in the case sub judice or before the court.
So could it be used to release some who merit to be behind bars, much to the chagrin of prosecutors. If we are to strive towards a more just society we should resist the bane of an omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent executive to whose dictates the judiciary and legislature must bow.