How Long Before Justice Is Served?

The series of events that caught my attention this week have got me thinking about life in general, the dangers we put ourselves in knowingly and unknowingly and the things we face that sap from us the will to leave. It’s like a reality television show gone wrong.

Over the years, the justice system in Nigeria has been questioned, and it is very appalling that as years go by, it becomes worse. Imagine the court saga between National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC) and Mr. Adebo. This issue is just being revealed to the public ten years after the case was taken to court. At first, it was perceived as one of the social media rumours and I personally didn’t take a real look at it until I realized that even BBC published the news. One begins to wonder if this country cares about its citizens at all. Something that affects the lives of Nigerians and yet the justice system let it slide through ten silent years, getting it entangled in their bureaucratic mumbo jumbo. The Nigerian health ministry has come out to say that the drinks are safe for consumption.

Nigerians have been insulted in various ways but none compares to this fact that what is substandard to the Europeans is okay as long as it is being consumed in Nigeria. Imagine, the hundreds, maybe thousands of people that have ignorantly gotten cancer by enjoying a bottle of Fanta with vitamin C products. The Nigerian government knew that this would risk the lives of all Nigerians and yet no definite conclusion was made until ten years later; how could it take Nigeria ten years of ‘proper investigation’ to realize what the United Kingdom health authorities discovered within weeks? How!
This brings to question the usefulness of NAFDAC in the first place. 

According to Mr. Adebo, “I went to court to compel NAFDAC to perform its duties”. Do we need to chant it in NAFDAC official’s ears what their duties are? To me, they have forgotten. There is no justifiable excuse that NAFDAC, NBC or the Nigerian justice can put forward for their complacency. According to the report by BBC “the secretary general of the almighty Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) says that it is impossible to make a judgment about acceptable levels of benzoic acid without conducting a local study looking at health conditions over a long period of time”. The question no one has asked is “Was ten years not long enough for the research to be made and this case finalized?”  NBC has an appeal in motion and after ten years, this case seems far from over. Nigerians can however try to stay away from these products forever because who knows what new hazard will be discovered about them in the next ten years.

Well, not every Nigerian takes benzoic-inflicted drinks, yet we will someday die through other ways but no one hopes to be murdered. This brings to bare the trial of Cynthia Osokokogu’s murderers. Her death in 2012 went viral and everybody became suspicious of Facebook interaction, five years gone and we have got so busy and have forgotten that such incident ever happened. 

To be continued!!!

Update: Read Part Two 

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