Dirty linen

I read this headline last week on Punch Newspaper:

Suspected homosexual rapist shot dead in riot

Predictably, Nigerians were to see ‘Homosexual’ + ‘Dead’ to mean no public sympathy or murder investigation is required, after all, homosexuality is illegal.

However, comments that followed revealed other plausible reason Alhaji Razak Adetunji Alaso was murdered and perhaps why most commenters showed no sympathies, even though he was stabbed with a broken bottle to the neck in broad day light.

Among many other activities associated with Alhaji Tunde, he was also known as Ajagungbale (land grabber) in his Alagbado area of Lagos. Known to terrorise home/land owners and make illegal demand for cash.

Reporting his fraudulent activities to law enforcement officers is a waste of time as he is well-known to them.

Issues with Omo Onile (land owners) in Lagos is a well documented one. Lagos residents dread them as these guys get away with bullying people into getting cash out of them in the name of being land owners.

For example – My sister and her husband bought their first plot of land about eighteen years ago somewhere near Ipaja – paperwork all signed. No arrangement to develop the land right away but they made regular visit to clear the land of bush.

They were once contacted by the seller that they needed to add more money as land in the area had appreciated in value. My brother-in-law was furious responded that he had all the paperwork showing he is the rightful owner and that he made full payment for the land and would not give in to their extortion.

The next time he visited the place, a foundation was on the land and builders working by the new owner.

My sister’s family cried, stressed, depressed for the loss of hard-earned money. Going to court over a plot of land for people who rely on daily work for bread is another waste of time and money. After a while they follow the path of many victims like them to say “God will judge.”

Coming back to Alhaji Razak Adetunji’s murder – Land ownership in Nigeria is a very sensitive issue because of the inconsistency in the way the law is applied.

Our Land Acts is open to many interpretations and open to abuse which many people like Alhaji took advantage of.

Some people see the murder of Alhaji Tunji as a payback for many people he had defrauded so they ‘got him’ thorough a loop-hole in the system.

Too bad the country who has failed to provide unambiguous Land Acts reform and enforcement of laws with protection of citizens from fraudulent acts, is the same country that is very quick to announce anti gay Acts.

I am neither gay nor live in Lagos but I do know that our unfair justice system is costing us dearly. Today, it is a public enemy being killed, tomorrow innocent citizens will be the next victim.

Just not right to think we live in a progressive world but with social consciousness of a century ago.

RIP Alhaji