Posted in controversial

THE LAST LEAF OF MY BLACK BRAIN BOX

The cruelty that has now come to stay is probably worse than what was before now, imagined or suffered; from cruelty of the heart, to a manifestation of desires by works or action. Evangelists in the western, eastern, and southern parts of Nigeria no longer go from door to door to share the word of God with the heathens as frequently as before – the North is a no go area as the evangelists are merely God’s servants and not miracle workers skilled at converting machine gun bullets to the harmonious vamping from a grand piano. This could have easily taken the form of “the trial of the black church” but there is no way we can say the churches have come with clean hands – they are not being tested, they have chosen to be tempted. Rev Samuel, I am nursing a heavy heart with a contagious riotous veneer somewhere patched in my black brain box. I have been writing every night – and like the scribes of old, I have been keeping records. Please I am here on my knees, Your Grace, not because I want you to pray for me – this intercessory prayer and daily communion has never been more banal and futile an exercise after all. I just want to pour out my confusions on your graveyard silence and hope that this therapy heals my fractured and tortured internal recess. I think there is a lot of foolishness in the world and I have found those responsible for this common sickness – it is not taking the form of “bullets in the sentinel” because the more a sentinel exposes the objectionable behaviour of the crime overlords, a journalist is buried – so I bring my last scroll to your confessional in the form of “the last leaf” because my confessions may be sinful, despite its complexities, but must be said to ease my brain from the tall suffering; this is because I hope I miraculously get struck with Alzheimer after airing the crucible my tongue, weathers.

I find it quite gauche to tell people that one of the things that make me vomit and retch, is the sight of people who are not just natural and original. Rev Samuel, do you not think that the sickness and sadness in Lana Del Rey’s voice or the cracking stretch marks on an average buttock, fulfils your belief that we were never made perfect? Maybe you do not share same examples because if you had your chance, you will do a lip tightening to have your lower lip finally relieve your jaw as is common in your country, The States. But as regards character, I suppose you hold that the old whites in Dallas are persons who enjoy minding their own businesses and serving their God with less doctrinal conflicts. I will not suffer your ears with further mysteries – the blacks no longer seek the Jesus you described as The Saviour of the world. The black priests here have imposed God’s calling on themselves, and they had to so do because the black people only love the prophet with a healing balm. They criticize you and your missionaries because you only teach the bible and break bread. Forgive me, Your Grace, if I am rendering tittle-tattle, but it has become necessary I let you know that I was starting to buy their thoughts that you are not the man called by God until Rev King was convicted in a Nigerian court. The news gets scarier that some big denominations here have in their foundation, human beings – black souls for a black magic under a black Jesus. I fear to pray as you taught, as I am made to savvy that you come from a country with little witches not open to herbs and dependable juju. But I do not still understand why it is spreading that I have to speak in unknown tongues before my prayers reach heaven, or that I have to be threatened with scriptures that I should better give God my entire earning if I want to have my migraine fizzled out. Your kinds have found it quite burdensome to appreciate the black nature of my skin, and I have found it equally burdensome to adjust to the cultureless society you were conceived into – I appreciated your wisdom that these are part of imperfections, years ago, but I fear the black people are no longer original – they seem towing the line of a yoking with people of your colour and this makes me scared for the morsel of culture, like respect for elders, not yet contaminated by your kind via the teenage love affair on channels on my Dstv. Jumbo, my friend’s cousin, came back from The States with a whole lot of niggotry escaping his mouth and hanging carelessly in the air – he ends every word with a curse and throws a staid laughter in between his teeth. Rev Samuel, there are too many conflicts in this world and pointers are now suggestive that your race is the dickens guised as a deacon with white robes. But I fail to believe that your race contributed to the penitence of Jumbo because it is almost ineluctable to live in a white land for three months and lose your mother tongue – this is not to say, however, that your race is without a blemish. I have been making lazy scratches on my black thigh for three nights now; I have been doing this unconsciously, while I quiz my existence as a black man. 

I remember your preaching, Your Grace, that sunny afternoon. You had just started talking about the need for unity and love to fill our soul. It was a rich sermon which had put the necessary fear in my mind that Jesus comes quickly and judgement was inevitable. You read from the second epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians that the antichrist will come with deception to pollute the weak, partial, and some supposed strong Christians; but when I read preceding verses, I saw that God declared He will cause deception to fill the minds of them that never believed when the good news was preached – I was clogged in my heart hoping you explain this to me once you detach yourself from your vestment and cassock after the recessional hymn. But in the course of waiting for you, I was trapped in my mind; I allowed my mind take me kilometres where I could see Adam and Eve in their white skinned nakedness. I wondered how I came to know blackness as though there was a creation from God the Holy Book left out, or my origin was from the apes named by Adam. I considered my forefathers were the descendants of Ham cursed by Noah, his father, for seeing his nakedness and instead of covering it, went to make it a discussion with Shem and Japheth. I felt the ache in my stomach when the names, Ham and Canaan were connected with the word “slavery” – the profusion of sweats in my pants was fast approaching as I swiped past different articles in my brain of slavery of the Blacks in America in 1619; the Portuguese had had their share in 1441; the up-to-date use of the enslaved Mauritanians are used as bonded labour though the act was earlier criminalised in August 2007; the second Sudanese civil war had humans, grabbed like tickets, walk into serfdom from 1983-2005; the scary truth of slavery’s ugly head in Senegambia; the 90 years of bondage of the Malians; the slavery of Kanem and the people of Nigeria, Ghana, to mention a few. But I could not suck the Ham hypothesis any further because it was highly unlikely that mutation could have a white man from Adam know the darkness of Steven Appiah of Ghana that you suspect his sweats could stain a white paper – if today there are white men in Kenya doing businesses, why has mutation not sucked the juice of his skin to the point of eclipse? Rev Samuel, I also resolved that I would regurgitate this question the moment you finished your vestry meeting. Almost immediately, my muse had segued into another possibility. I feared that the dolour and unthinkable throes the slaves with my skin colour faced, forced them to cling to hope, and from hope to an abstract helper called God, and to an embrace of faith and assurance that their rescue shall so come and His mighty clincher shall wipe out the White race. I know you advised me one evening when we had a biblical tete a tete, that it was good to know your roots so that one does not live a life without a map or destination – I did not forget your inserted reservation that in all my quest and quizzing, I avoid sinning against a God that is still drawn and designed by artists to having different skin tones. I had to leave the cathedral when I saw the face worn by the second white priest the moment I told him the tale my mind unwrapped with a suspecting hornswoggle – he had his nose lifted as though I smelt of shit, or there was so much sin fired up from my mouth causing an untold stench around his geneva gown and preaching scarf. I felt sorry for making him uncomfortable but felt bruised at the possibility he suffered negrophobia. May be I resolved that the blacks were unique; it’s been a year now, so I am not certain as to my take that very day.

It is very difficult these days to show care for a fellow black without it being called a political strategy even when you are honestly pained by the level of starvation and deaths of the black race. It is pretty much the fault of the erstwhile president of Nigeria who gave make-believes in his speech during manifesto days that now gives every appearance of kindness, a raised brow. I remember the prevarication spewed from the gob of Chris Okotie that God had called him to intervene in the crises in Nigeria by becoming the president – he lost like a toddler chasing Gareth Bale in the famous field event, football. But Rev Samuel, I know it is called hustle. Despite the blacks’ inadequacies especially in parliamentary sittings, it is to my mind that the first caitiff is your race, particularly your country – The United States of America. I have been reading some books in my chalky library, and I was convinced that your kind are the anti-culture and anti-independent race rapid to have signed anti-progress pact with the devil so long as you do not go back to being second in the world rank you even influence – the whole supremacy and questionable consistency like the parody of the billboard. I saw the published material by Walter Rodney and Chinweizu behind the pew on the last row of the cathedral. I read the contents and got convinced deep down that your race stands as one key element behind the folly on the blacks’ territory – using the blacks for slavery with a mirror exchange, such odd gesture. How your race so whipped the back of the blacks on a black soil put me in tears and an impulsive vigour to apply my sharp fangs on their white faces to give it a touch of red. Behind the civil war was the role of the British giving posh explosives to the brainwashed Northerners that they may be comfortable at re-defining Biafra – the why question is the oil answer. When I pondered on the reason why your race kept mistaken us for bread on good occasions or spoilt rice pilaf on bad moments, I forced the ugly answer that I was born to be inferior down my trachea, and with hope that it escaped from my anus. The too much trumping by the extant president of your country has extended further as he has chosen to stop being an emergency donor to the crisis-prone black community; the affected countries happen to be my country, Nigeria, as well as Somalia and South Sudan. I was indeed gobsmacked when the pleaders of his conscience reminded him that his decision could have the affected black countries join the Moslem nations, especially South Sudan with over 2.9 indigenes coping with kwashiorkor or less because of food-crisis, in bringing armed attack on the citizens of America. I was sore in my heart and it was not due to the cheap plonk I had just emptied while in my pen desk. The thought of the whites gave an itch in saved hairs in my pubic regions; the annoyance that dwelt in my heart after the death of Christopher Allen, an American Journalist, was that the names of the blacks never get mentioned except with a racial smirk with subtle sarcastic intents – fine, I considered my emotions having a better part of me that night so chose to retire my eyes from the BBC news to a smudgy legal article centred on international rules. Your state really has the whole world in trouble as they extended their peculiar supremacy theory to Nicaragua over weapons not theirs, and the uncalled-for attack on Iraq, to mention a few – they must see the world as some toasted bread they give a gradual gnaw at with enough lies to justify their actions in the political market they structured. This is a pointer to your government as a primary traducer and participant in the common sickness of the world. 

To be candid, I was at the brink of another resolution – a decision to suppress Sister Macbeth by stupefying means in order to beat the spirit off her skeletons when she called me Negro with a repugnant glance during a bible-study rehearsal – but I changed my mind because she was really apologetic when I went all ice cold immediately. It got me thinking, was there need to call the white indigenes the second problem to the world’s malady? Having asterisked the American government as the number one unwanted plant on earth’s vegetation – to remember the shooting of Terence Crutcher by the white Officer Betty Shelby in Tulsa, Oklahoma, last year, never stops giving me the phobia to settle in the your country. But I decided to call the indigenes in your community the second destructive element anytime I got pop-up notifications from one of my role models in Charlottesville. He styles his messages that the letters appear ready to shed tears; he wrote me often how he assisted bullied Negroes in the University of Virginia, Charlottesville. I concluded I was not incorrect but the racial discrimination had to be given a dim view if the white indigenes be asterisked as the next tinge to the crisis of the globe. It is globally accepted that blacks cannot be racist; it is shocking how the South Africans char the skins of Nigerians like their dark skin is peculiar thus becoming a sweet smelling savour to whatever spirit in a Hindu festival. When I remember Balotelli being called a monkey because of his charcoal skin, I am forced not to be compassionate since he will rather play for Italy than trace his origin to his black tribe. The love for the black man has remained a natural instinct all my life but I must have thought too broadly that the feeling was mutual – even the Money Mayweather went on air to stress that he cannot use his money to support a black cause as no black man helped him. I saw in my third eye, certain commonalities that most blacks shared in unison – the discovery amused me and that was a relief to my stagnant melancholia. Out of the conflicts in my mind, I did not asterisk the indigenes of your country as the second problem. With a sip of hot milk the following night, I groped expectantly for a paper I suspected had fallen right behind my book shelf. It was a paper that had the details of what I considered to be the next element.

Too many things are fictional and it nauseates me sometimes, amuses me sometimes, and if it is some artificial boob job, it may distract me. Rev Samuel, I wonder how you cope with all the lovely voluptuous girls blessed with roundish outspoken gluteus maximus that rush to your rectory for one physical, emotional, or spiritual concern. It is this your righteous deed that really forced me to restrain my eyes from giving Uju’s rear end a proper valuation like it were some priceless jewels. Do not be disappointed for too long, Father, because I have stopped coming for the bible study programme. I noticed a growing reality in the black churches I read about in a detailed paper I found in my study earlier and it caused some seizures in my chest region. Rev Samuel, I do not know if you are aware that there are lot of evil practices prevalent in the black churches outside our location, Ojota. I developed cold feet at your bible teachings every Tuesday because they seemed ethereal or too utopian – I quizzed the thick darkness those times when I struggled how best not to call Proverbs 29:2 a fictional message like a robot with a human heart and emotions. The thing is, the righteous will never rule the black land but you seem to believe they will rule someday. I have been in utter confusion whenever you talk of the perilous times we are facing – which we have been facing before my birth, your birth, and for how long? Who knows? – But yet you teach us the fruits of a man with righteous deed and the good thing that will happen if we be righteous. If we are to know rapture soon with all the cues of the end gaining muscle like the flood in Texas, why become evasive with the reality that the world can know no more good? It should not be because of the young ones who remain doli incapax, that the congregation do not be in the know as far as the word entire denotes. Just away from Ojota was the shocker in Port Harcourt where a pastor was nabbed pounding a baby; the Royal Command Ministry in Cross Rivers had their underpants thrown into the public as it was discovered that a human heart was used to set up their altar – the others are too grievous that I cannot vouch for a sleep without nightmares if I mention them. Even Serwaa, my Ghanaian friend, is troubled by what rocks the boat of the black church – the offerings are endless with the whole focus on building a vicarage, a big church with extended branches, and even schools to university level that the General Overseer is the direct opposite of his disciples like a tiki taka possession game against a team from Sheffield. The black church was thus asterisked as one of the sacral strumpet that plagued the community – it sought the least thing in God’s kingdom, Rev Samuel.

I may need narcotics to take me back to the first day I saw the world with my mother’s colostrum welcoming me into the feel of breast milk, but I do remember the good culture as it then was. Just like Ghana, we had diverse ethnic groups with their unique customs and traditions – the native food, manner of dressing, mode of greeting and welcoming visitors, and the language. My grandfather then had read the history of Ghana and looked for any ear in the parlour that was in search for such knowledge. He had talked about the Ashanti and Fanti people having an interesting cultural variation from Moshi-Dagbani, Ewe, and Ga, because affiliation within the clan was through women – he gave a supplemental that mothers had a higher status as their point of view, people got blood from mothers in the two mentioned clans. Many other things that displayed etiquette were similar largely. He had said. The good morning greetings made blessings come from every elderly person, and it was enough to make you smile when you were called by your native pet names. But there is a whole but now especially as the children of God on barefoot, or those without piercings, or the tongue magicians, or those with skirts short-for-Christ as He is understood to look to intent rather than the physiognomy, or those that still wear sack clothes on Easter Sunday and Christmas, have missed the purpose. They carried upon their hands more of their family values or morality and interpreted the bible to include both – to question them is to argue like roadside harlots exchanging competence-on-bed slurs – that you wonder how they can effectively obey the difficult commandments of God and still attach addendums. They never pass the test. The average black man is a judge of whoever walks past his hood; he his either calling Tasha Cobbs a new intake in illuminanti for walking into the studio with Nicki Minaj, or he calling Rihanna a whore for grinding on Drake, and allegedly kissing a girl – the kissing is yucky if such acts were not already practised in the complaining black countries. Sadly, it is a norm. Rev Samuel, I was not complaining overtly with the additional rules by the common black man, but the fact that the blacks travel to your country bearing English names show they embrace your cultureless society where children are not beaten when they do some evil. Your culture is fast swallowing mine that I fear my identity is at the verge of being prehistoric like the Mammoths. The Nollywood and Ghallywood movies are now giving horny girls a shot to flash their nudities and performances as against the morals the early black men had so taught. The black hood is verily another factor behind the malady. The niggotry syndrome had shot the black man’s neocortex and given him the spirit of hate – you never try to prank 50 Cent and not have him flash his revolver, and you often see Kendrick Lamar drop diss rap songs as though he is insecure, or warding off unborn rap attack from other rappers, or he be fighting the dybbuk or a succubus. But there are just too much to drop on this particular point – I just tire of the lot. I left the other findings of the black man’s in a fire after reading it to Eke Martins who kept encouraging me in the black typical language saying write it before you die. Rev Samuel, the government is the last vomit I must point out briefly as my mouth is bereft of water and much saliva. 

The black government is probably the pith of my concerns. The thieves are in the government houses. Deziani needed just six years to show how determined she was to save money to earn her long trip to hell fire. From Mugabe to Buhari reflects the insatiable desire of man to so quest for a position healthy for a lesser age. The black governments stand accused of corruption – example is the emotional trial of Jacob Zuma – that it is now called by even the government to be the problem of the country in total; till today, the government is still looking for the corruption blue pen to call us liberated. But how will there be liberation from a person who threatened heads will roll if he does not become president in the early years of this century, Rev Samuel? I am not surprised that the government jobs are gotten by the well connected, but I was touched in my heart when I listened to a supposed educated Nigerian in Kogi state say that he feels God is angry with his people because the strange sickness was said to have killed over fifty indigenes of a rural area – God or the Devil is not responsible for the sleeping disease of the State Governor and his fratz to bringing medical experts from the capital or popular urban health centres to arrest the issue; they leave the community to a belief that they are cursed by the supreme being. I had to turn off my television, Father, when Obasanjo was asked what could be the way forward for Nigerians. He said Nigerians should cleanse their heart and relief it from filth and corrupt footings – same man that interestingly championed the birth of corruption now talks about cleansing with the intrepid mannerism like the light of God had shone upon him on his way to his money-farm. No I am tired, this is a sickening trend, because the government is surprisingly decaying the retrograding educational system by owing the association responsible for developing the public universities; the government have made a move they may even call heroic having reduced the cut-off mark of jamb to 120. The government has now made the jobless flee to your country to sweep the streets downtown in Skid Row area, Los Angeles, to grab some greenback to purchase an omelette with cheap juice in the Chipotle Mexican Grill, Compton. They are forced to become slaves there because their Government performed far less than yours.

I am here to tell you that these confusions will not follow me to Brazil. I have been advised to go over there to see the Latinos display dexterity in swerving waists like Beckham’s bender if my worry must know a pause. I will go start a new life there, find new hobbies other than writing manuscripts portraying the black community as it gives me endless headaches; who knows, I may take to photography and have the feel of paparazzi; I will always keep in touch so long as my credit cards are no worries; I must relieve my sight from the Nigerians who forward false messages of 666 on Obama’s head, or wear sack clothes whenever they hear from deceiving anti-Christ that Jesus will come after 30 days – their hypocrisy is amazingly unknown to them especially when they resume their jewelleries and human  hair. Finding my source of origin has proved abortive so I leave this last leaf with you, Rev Samuel, to free my mind. I will travel by canoe, do not bother advising I stay to save for a flight ticket. We are all living dead here, after all. If I perish, I perish.

OKOCHA OBED

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Posted in poetry

HELP ME

I am nude!

My pants are down for your crotch

You great four men on me is good

Do not question what I be, just touch.


I cry!
My eyes are soaked seeing the fallen star

And to what my nipples numb, don’t pretend to inquire

Can’t clean the riotous blotch, I surrender.


I am the pieces!

My members are fast decaying

The chief physician himself needs stitches

So to you I turn to, stop delaying.


Help me!

No! Use me to help you

My clogged nose and dried lips call upon thee

Give me a lesser death, my neck does not refuse you.


I am blind!

With me are memories of my past

Till today I be to fall, my stick too hard to find

Whip my black skin; it is for me, sex, while I last.


Take me!

Mop my blood on the earth, but leave my corpus

I choose to be your harlot, only my weeping cannon should you see

But you will betray; to my prided members will you show your cockles.


I am aware!

Help me is better said lest you force me

I can’t help me from my nightmare.


© OKOCHA OBED

Posted in poetry

YOUR SMILE, MY VERSE

Light skinned mistress with a class of royalty. Who forgets the gown of hers in the freshman year? She refused a dance then with the cute brother; her shyness was worth tripping for as it showed her pupil run around in gentility; if it was a mere ineptitude at dancing, it was golden – the blush on her face as her cheeks went separate ways with a touch of red, was a sight hard to come by and slow to leave mind. 

Light skinned mistress with descending brows you never fail to see coming from edges of her face. A swagger of a child that abstained from chocolates when his friends needed the dentist was the sparkling teeth of hers you drop your best jokes to see. She throws her hair around in your imagination anytime the uneasy wind gives her hair a shake, you watch from a distance nodding your blanked mind like you are memorising a case law. But brother could not tell her he be tripping for that smile – he felt she had been told a million times to call one more compliment, a broken record. You never tell the colour of her pupil because pretty Stephanie was bespectacled during lectures – and when she is not wearing the glasses, her beauty becomes too piercing and distracting that you are not afforded enough time to scour the eye region. There was need to ask her if it was black, and to that colour she confirmed; to that confirmation was the jam-packed ideas of gold, green, or brown eyes halted.

Light skinned mistress clocks a year older today. She fears she is becoming old, I fear she is growing into a graceful queen to the detriment of ladies with garish cheapness of Mary Kay who must now be weary of the fall of their man upon her hello. I do not tell her my thoughts; I tell her I fear I may be too poetic. She laughs. It had come on a Sunday, so my wishes will be taken to the closest Anglican Church. Happy birthday sweetie, it is your God-given right to thrill the world with your smile; it is your right to aplenty; it is your time to shine brighter than the diamond – do not be bothered about possible casualties; we know how to take care of weeping emotions. I may not fling at the temple the wish that God grants you the man with husky voice, eight abs, as described by Nora Roberts, but I will still wish you that in my closet. One judgement from those photos is that you are still breathtaking with your eyes closed. Enjoy.
OKOCHA OBED

Posted in Uncategorized

ASHES

What is the worst thing in life if not to drown in waters of great depth? What is the most satisfying desire of the excessively distracted, if not death? Why is it difficult to give one’s life a proper shaping? There is only one truth, and too many philosophies suiting different consciences. I am distracted. It is an habit that if it were to be a good thing, my teeth will be on quick display while my right hand swings carelessly like a prize should come to me for having such a permanent cuss. My mind wanders so much that I thought I was a superhero at some point. But the comic was not real, the mimic of Professor Charles Xavier was too absurd at adulthood – the dreams took turns like spinning stars above my head, and it keeps spinning like a lottery. But maybe the whole idea behind superheroes is the selfless nature they possess. They want to put you first without you furnishing a consideration. I thought I was being selfless in those years of joining excited hands in renderings kicks and blows on some wrongdoers; it was like a gathering of the justice league suppressing a public enemy. I felt the impact would be just as good as a church deliverance as the blows were for cleansing for the betterment of my nation – exactly what I forced my conscience to believe whenever it pushes the guilt card. Similar situations arose, and my butts remained on the lower bunk; there was no cheering or vituperation from my lips, there was just awe at the way belts were lashed at the back of the popular pilferer.  My conscience proved its point; the scene became as scary as the Nigerian horror movies of old just without the shedding of blood. Years passed, and a similar situation surfaced. I wept in my soul at the excitement of the mob set for the lynching. A boy had stolen, but he did not have his fortuitous boots on. He could be killed if he was not saved came my thoughts; he should be killed if to quell the harm pilferers have brought to the soil – so I judged them as hypocrites, I judged them as heartless people with all available legal peanuts I could chew albeit in the midst of less incited observers. Were we not both erring? Can a hypocrite call another hypocrite? This is gauche. But this gauche was the path I threaded with uninviting sweats and a commentators splitting saliva that hot evening. Judging them was not a duty I enjoyed, it was God’s. These were persons that had the part of me my conscience arrested, the act was wrong but I was not different from them. If it hurts me like a broken knee when given counsel, why do I think it nonsensical that the mob would dent my face till I sing the savagery anthem if I choose to admonish them?

So she walked past with her buttocks noticeably of big frame and tenderly. It was tender from its easy destinations to eight bus-stops repeatedly with her short skirts being her only commuter. It disgusted me. But was the disgust borne out of the fact that she walked with the men notorious for extravagance? I remember telling myself that she needed Jesus – my face all rough like I heard my mum call me to run errands. I cannot forget her private message on instagram after I liked a picture of her displaying her cleavages although with moderation for the first time – other times she would have her tatas struggle with a cloth I felt was her youngest sister’s due to the provoking impression it left on her like rotten fries or a mouth in dire need of a wash. But I was not queasy that the lady I felt needed divine encounter found me some hello from nowhere. I remembered Galatians 5, but I gave it a brotherly interpretation – I said the loggerheads between the flesh and spirit can be resolved by understanding why the flesh is not with the spirit. So it was about some talks that were fleshy-friendly, the atmosphere was conducive for such, the harmattan could accommodate talks that could send the legs clasping and doing a rub against each other after a chat beep. I drowned with so much pleasure but continued convincing my conscience that I was a smooth criminal aiming to grab this sinner by the jugular when she least expected to hear the spelling of Christ on my dry lips – the conviction waned due to the nudities my eyes drank like one eye drop too many. Then it became certain that there was so much vexation in my soul just because I had possessed every feature of a perfect gentleman to have deserved too many hi pals; I was never against an elongated conversation to the potter of the wheel, her mass, and her advances. At some point I was but when she winked my opinions zapped into the trash can – I got distracted.

There are times we beat our chest and say we are proud to have been among the class of smart persons. The feeling of being important; the expression of unnecessary impressions to ladies in order to see what to grope under desks; or to brainstorm on which blockheaded ginormous nates would be date-worthy before examinations. The abuse it had been when a bad-mouthed gang and I descended mightily on someone we would remember to call raca even if we were brain-wiped. It was the ritual – give that dude some insults for his lack of knowledge, there was nothing he could give as a counter as he had appreciated his limitations and did nothing about his crashing grade points. The fun was so unthinkable; I sensed the self-love feeling of eating goat meat with a big mug of tequila whenever a tear accompanied the concerned face of the sufferer of insults we had called fool by words or conduct. But there was a day I joined my gang in calling my classmate something of similar semblance to being foolish. I knew the boy was right so my participation was not loud. I defended him speaking coolly thinking the intellectuals will remember I am one to have proudly joined the class. They had me as brunch instead, that I began to hope what I held in my head as right was indeed correct. I was to feel like a fool and indeed I felt exactly that. It was not a good position, it could really destroy a bloke, and it may erase the chances of goal-getting of low self-esteemed victims of my gab. So foolish I had been to have defined knowledge to be acquiring facts for personal consumption without adding the need to impart and not distract those that find things a bit tough to grasp. They realised I was right eventually, but the action was not forgotten though forgiven. If they are still in the practice, I will be foolish to say they are foolish because a wise man is one who is able to open mind to another man’s view. I try to but I am most times distracted whenever my ears hear my voice dominate on poetic lines. If this is foolish, then I am not to call theirs foolish. But is it possible to work close to perfection that hypocrisy is not found under one’s armpit? I was not asking the behaviourist.

She loved me back then. I was there when she could not have shyness permit her to say she loves me, and I was there when she stepped up erotica by screaming tuck me in. They were all outbursts of emotions; she echoed my name to all and sundry. I was sure I had her mother’s blessing. She was everything good, but someone wanted to have more boats on the high sea. The walls leaked my flirtatious advances; my dirty linen had encountered the mud. She used to see me as her angel because I wore the apparel of perfectness – I was a paragon of gentlemanliness with the curse of a chameleon. She called it quits, I chased the other – the fishes did not want fresh air that season, my fishnet had suffered smudge. I hurt her but I am not sorry that there was a split. Something was always going to split us because my instability as to choice is the dickens I sucked with my mother’s colostrum nine months after my delivery. I am distracted; I should be more concerned with this issue.

Maybe we are our own problems. Is it ever possible we think about our vices? We have the fanatics with big bible high on Mosaic Law like they took a box-full of narcotics behind a kiosk. Everyone is a victim of something. Many persons have too much moth in their eyes; it is never possible to be filled with vices and accuse another of same. Maybe there is a solution to being a better person; maybe we just need to balance our virtues and vices so that we do not become belligerent in the sake of being virtuous, or stuck with the phobia of running a partnership venture because of the belief in trusting only your guts and wife’s delicacy.  Garba shehu was on air recently. He spoke the truth. He said PDP failed and embezzled. But did he not lie immediately to have said Pr. Buhari has ended corruption in Nigeria? Will I query the act and say he is a liar when I still tell lies that are not press worthy? In the end activism is not supposed to be politicized; these days we want to write an article that makes the Government we accuse of being filthy, give us big contracts. Who are we deceiving with the profusion of self-deception? In the end, we eat from the same saucer of distraction. A distracted mind is one that has not acquired the skill to convince his body and soul to walk just a path – but is there such a skill shop? It is about being better for ourselves individually if we must collectively contribute our quota to the world we live in. We could become superheroes if we act and do so timeously, but we are definitely ashes – we respire to expire beyond repair. If we must die, let it be heard that we encouraged someone, helped each other — I agree with Debbie, even doctors need doctors.

OKOCHA OBED

Posted in law

LAW AND MORALITY (2); A CONNUBIAL RELATIONSHIP

INTRODUCTION

The first part of this work dwelt on the debate as to the supremacy of law over morality and vice versa. It is really hoped that some positivists will not be out of sorts if this writer stresses that morality was formed in flesh and blood before law was conceived. It may interest curious minds to know that even the diehard positivist, Prof. Hart, concurred to the saying that morality was extant before law. Not to have anyone left shagged, it is apt we consider marrying and divorcing the concept of law and morality.

NEXUS

Aniekwu, a professor of law and research expert, in her text legal methodology and research in Nigeria helped a great deal in evincing the relationship between law and morality in a diagram. The diagram had two circles, and a shaded area which was not large – it touched both circles – represented the common ground where law enforces morality. With ease should it slip down throats that there is lack of merit to holders of the view that it is sufficient to rule the world with morality sorely. The marriage of the concepts will be celebrated in the subsequent paragraphs with statutory clothing and case laws. Since divorcing the concept will leave us in no bind, it will not be safe to say that from standard dictionaries (BBC ENGLISH, MERRIEM WEBSTER), law and morality were considered synonyms. Morality is relative in nature and was dwelt upon by Lon Fuller and other naturalists; this school believes law is from a spiritual being and it was relayed to man. It even believes that morality is one which is innate in man and one not remote from reason. Since morality is concerned with militating against unfairness, it is said to familiarize with law (or the other way round). The difference is pellucid in that where morality knows no sanctions and cannot fall back on an institutionalised body; law has such features at its beck and call. A disparity yet to be exposed, though mentioned, is that of the milieu of morality and its peculiar nature of relativism. What is applicable in Nigeria, for instance, is not necessarily the same in America e.g. a boy of 15 years being in a relationship with his age mate in Nigeria could attract serious belting especially when the relationship excludes nothing – suffice it to say that they whip the kid to say it is ineluctable to walk like men at such milk days. But in America, we realize from movies and experiences away from the movies that it is a normalcy for such teenage bonding to so exist without the parent calling such a gauche.

Even as the connubial relationship between the concepts are up for discussion, of interest also is the take from religious standpoint. A perusal at the Holy Scriptures has in Leviticus 19:9-10 what God wants us to do the moment we reap our harvest. God was saying there that the vineyard should not be gleaned but leftovers should be left for the poor; what is more, other than the fact that God displayed compassion and fairness. A consideration of this scenario will make moreish the nexus between the two concepts: Mr A. harvested yam on his land at a certain day, the land became pregnant with a profusion of yams several weeks after. Mr A happily came to reap the harvest of his land and gathered nearly all. He left some behind because he had his hands full already. He told himself that he would go back for the rest. Mr B, a poor man, came to the land and saw the yams placed on the ground. He believed it to be that Mr A was a kind man who took cognisance of the bible text above. He took the yams to his home to prepare for himself lunch. This case finds a footing in a court of law but the judge was convinced by the prosecution’s rhetoric that wafted in the four corners of the court room. The reliance on Leviticus was deemed unreasonable; no escape of culpability, and no need to utilize moral codes in the judgement. It cannot also be said that law does not have in its content something of moral birth as chapter 21 of the criminal code deals with offences against morality (s.214 cc) on unnatural offences. It means therefore that the law seeking justice could in some cases enforce morality.

As Abiola Sanni, editor of Introduction to Nigerian legal method, observed, it is quite paramount one considers the processes whereby a particular moral value, rule, and standard is created, and eventually embodied within the law especially where there is a wide divergent view on the morality of a particular issue. Looking at abortion for instance, a group of persons may hold firmly that a woman should not commit abortion for it is a taboo in the eyes of God and man, and if the law recognises such practices then that will be encouraging the immoral act and thus draining the societal values. The other part of the same society, the pro-abortion group, will passionately advocate for liberalization of these women – after all, these women are owners of their body and so can decide whether they want to have a baby or not. It should come as no surprise where the law takes the latter view owing to logicality, or it can do well to strike a balance. This means that the moment any of the sides can mobilize a crowd to their side especially of those in the political class, and their ideas crystallize into enacted law, then that is what becomes the will of the people. While still observing the marriage of law and morality, an appreciation of Shaw v. DPP should leave a mark. Here, Shaw had published a booklet titled The Ladies Directory in 1962 in which he listed and advertised prostitutes, together with photographs and descriptions of their particular sexual predilections and practice. Shaw was charged with the offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals. The last time anyone was convicted for the offence was in the eighteenth century. Shaw contended that the offence was out-dated and urged the court not to enforce it. He was convicted by the trial court and unsuccessfully appealed to the Court of Appeal before it got to the House of Lords. Upholding Shaw’s conviction, Viscount Simonds, who was goaded beyond endurance, held that the court had a residual power to enforce the supreme and fundamental purpose of the law to conserve not only the safety and order, but also the moral welfare of the state. In this case, the court frowned at the manner of its public advertisement and not even the prostituting itself. It was in the year 1967 that the sexual offences Act was passed and it provided, inter alia, that homosexual acts in private (performed by two consenting humans) were no longer a crime. What Shaw got nailed for was the gathering of promiscuous hussy females in a magazine to be read by the public eye; that is sufficient to corrupt minds. A case on homosexuality is Knuller v. DPP where the appellants published a magazine International Times in 1973 which had a message to the public to contact them for homosexual purposes. The House of Lords followed the reasoning in Shaw v. DPP holding that the sexual offences Act did not in any way grant the publishers the indulgence to publicly encourage homosexuality. It was only justice when the court convicted the publishers for the offence of conspiracy to corrupt public morals. What can be perceived from the aforementioned cases is the House of Lords doing well to interpret the sexual offences Act for the Act was obviously not generous from its literal construction to include public advertisements. It can be said therefore that law and morality cling to a single rope and not strangers despite conflicting school of thoughts.

More on the marriage between law and morality leads us to the celebrated case of Inakoju v. Adeleke. For appreciation, the third respondent was the elected Governor of Oyo state. The first and second respondents were respectively the Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly. On 13th December, 2005, eighteen legislators, who were opposed to the third respondent, met at D’Rovans Hotel, Ring Road, Ibadan. They raised a notice of allegation of gross misconduct against the third respondent. They did this without the involvement of the first and second respondents who were the Speaker and Deputy Speaker respectively. The service of the notice on the third respondent was done by the group through a newspaper advertisement. Thereafter, they went ahead and requested the Acting Chief Judge of Oyo State to set up and inaugurate a seven-member panel to investigate the allegations of gross misconduct they had drawn up against the third respondent. The Acting Chief Judge empanelled and inaugurated the panel to investigate the alleged acts of gross misconduct against the third respondent. The panel sat for two days and without taking oral evidence from anybody. It eventually submitted its report to eighteen-member faction who in turn passed a resolution by which they impeached the third respondent. Prior to this, the third respondent had filed an action against the eighteen-member faction of the House of Assembly challenging his impending impeachment. It is now considered an error on the part of the trial court to have so held that by virtue of s.188 (10) CFRN, 1999, it had no jurisdiction to inquire into the removal of the third respondent. What has been applauded today is the decision reached by the Supreme Court in this case. The Supreme Court were not incorrect to consider absurd the submissions of the appellants who submitted that a community reading of sections 90-96 CFRN evinces that a House of Assembly does not mean a building, but the members constituting the House. If efforts be taken to read the full judgement, then it will be agreed that the Supreme Court did well to curb the excesses of the legislature. A big concern still remains; the ouster clause appears limpid vide s.188 (10) CFRN which has that no proceedings of determination of the panel or of the House of Assembly or any matter relating to such proceedings or determination shall be entertained or questioned in any court. Flowing from the proviso, it appears unambiguous in its construction – in essence, there was no call for mischief rule. The legal draftsmen were patently clearly, little wonder s.318 CFRN was devoid of further clarification on the matter. To cogitate on the rationale behind the judgement, brings morality to line light. The Supreme Court seemed to apply morality due to the unscrupulous acts of the legislature – to call this judicial supremacy could be the case for the constitution is confessed to be supreme over the arms of Government and so if it creates an ouster clause, it should be followed. Where certain sections are deemed unjust and amounting to legal injustice, then the cumbersome amendment procedure should suffice. The point is, the judgement is soothing – at least in the eye of the public – but we see morality calling shots in a land governed by statutes.

The above paragraph evinces the nexus between law and morality in the field of constitutional law. Seguing into areas of criminal law, s.26 cc has that a person is not criminally responsible for an act done or omission made under such circumstances of sudden or extraordinary emergency that an ordinary person possessing power of self-control could not reasonably be expected to act otherwise. R v. Dudley & Stephens is a case which involves the killing of a cabin boy when it appeared that food was not forthcoming as well as rescue. The application of morality was seen when the court did not let the reliance of s.26 cc absolve them glaringly because it will be unfair to kill another person as far as moral conduct is concerned. The accused men however got pardoned but not to say that the court applied the ordinary man test as showcased in the criminal code. Another aspect under criminal law is s.23 cc which has that a person is not criminally responsible, as for an offence relating to property, for an act done or omitted to be done by him with respect to any property in the exercise of an honest claim of right and without intention to defraud. It will in no way be witty to say that s.23 and s.25 cc is interwoven. A definite distinction between both sections is the fact that the former provides for an honest claim solely while the latter has honest and reasonableness under its roof. Nigerian cases under Bona fide claim of right, seems to be at dissidence. Take for example, Ejike v. IGP where the reliance on s.23 cc did well to absolve the accused from criminal responsibility simply because he destroyed 526 blocks on disputed land under the honest belief that he owned the land. Cases similar to Ejike’s are Iroaghan v, COP and Sule v. DPP where the court held the accused free from culpability under their honest claim to have destroyed cement pillars and the destruction of three uncompleted buildings respectively.  From the moral point, these decisions will be deemed unfair but that is why not all aims and objectives of morality are judiciously followed in the spheres of law. How about we ruminate on this: since morality is considered to appeal to reason (naturalists view), will there be a safe landing to link the doctrine of reasonability to morality? If we go with the affirmative, then it seems our Nigerian Courts have failed to comply with s.23 cc instead they have inscribed in their heart morality when giving its judgements. Even with the clarity of s.23 cc which removes the dwelling of reasonability, it was not the case in Nwachukwu v. COP where the defence failed because of the conduct of the accused that destroyed plants in disputed land. It is interesting that the court hinged its judgement on the unreasonableness of the accused’s action. What can be gleaned from the ratio is that the court deemed it unfair and faulty to reason. The correct position was underscored in the case of Diaberin v. State where the Supreme Court said: “It is enough if the belief is honestly held and there can be no justification for reading into (section 23) of the criminal code any implied requirement that it should also be a belief which it was reasonable for the accused to hold.” It becomes necessary therefore to join faith with Prof. Okonkwo who hopes that the courts will adhere to this admonition.

CONCLUSION

It will be fallacious to state that morality does not need the aid of law as without the law, there will be no sanctions or prison-scare. Frankly speaking, the role played by morality in legal matters is not so much an eyesore because if in the case of R v. Kingston, the court acquitted the paedophile on grounds that his intoxication was involuntary; then it was as good as the court releasing filth into the society it strives to protect. Legally speaking, it should not be taken home that law’s primary role is to enforce morality – as Lon Fuller enthused. The first part of this piece already stressed that the two concepts are not synonymous. Law is concerned with justice and accompanied by statutes and case laws. The celebrated case of Inakoju v. Adeleke (supra) displayed morality. Although the decision reached by the Supreme Court remains celebrated, the constitution was not generous enough to issue any form of unfettered position in the hands of the judiciary over all matters especially as ouster clauses in s.188 (10) is concerned – bearing in mind that the constitution is the grund norm. Lawyers are trained to apply law to facts (not to morality). If a matter is before the court and has peculiar attributes, where the statute books did not envisage, the discretionary exercise of the bench on the matter if amounting to fairness has morality to be born. In essence, law and morality makes a great team. But then, boundaries should be respected – except it is just ineluctable.

OKOCHA OBED

Posted in law

LAW AND MORALITY (1); THE DEBATE

INTRODUCTION

The concept of law and morality is viewed by quite a number of persons to have a nexus. Legal scholars as well as persons with an ounce of knowledge on this discourse will jump into a non-remote conclusion that the concept of interest is indeed over flogged.  To state the obvious, law and morality are distinct terms which should not be considered repetitious or synonymous. Law knows no universal definition – it is defined differently by prominent legal gurus – but the definition given by Salmond seems to sink in: “The law may be defined as the body of principles recognised and applied by the state in the administration of justice. In other words, the law consists of the rules recognised and acted upon by the courts of justice.” Morality on the other hand is the recognition of the distinction between good and evil or between right and wrong; respect for and obedience to the rules of right conduct; the mental disposition or characteristic of behaving in a manner intended to produce morally good results. According to Thomas Jefferson, still on morality, “Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were all the world looking at you and act accordingly.” With the two concepts now defined, apropos it will be to swing our minds to a question asked by Ronald Dworkin which is whether and how the content of each system affect(s) the content of the other. Even Pinky and the Brain are yet to ponder on the two sides of the classical question i.e. in thinking about how the content of the law affects the content of morality, the classical question is: whether we have a moral obligation to follow the law? In thinking about how the content of morality affects the law, the traditional question is: how far is morality relevant to fixing law’s content on any particular issue? It is thus hoped we sit tight as this writer flogs the concept (supra) one more time.

THE DEBATE

Ronald Dworkin was a Jewish American philosopher, jurist, and scholar of United States’ constitutional law. He is deceased but his works remain hail and harty as far as the legal and political field is concerned. His theory of “law and integrity”, in which judges interpret the law in terms of consistent moral principles especially justice and fairness, is among the most influential contemporary theories about the nature of law. Dworkin advocated a ‘moral reading’ of the United States’ constitution and an interpretivist approach to law and morality. He was a frequent commentator on contemporary political and legal issues, particularly those concerning the Supreme Court of the United States, often in the pages of the New York Review of Books. He moves away from positivism’s separation of law and morality since constructive interpretation implicates moral judgement in every decision about what the law is. The obvious answer to the question whether Ronald Dworkin is morally inclined or perhaps a legal moralist is already attended to in this paragraph. But in a bid to have it expressly seen, the Stanford Encyclopaedia summarised Dworkin’s critic of HLA Hart’s legal positivism in the following words: “Dworkin, as positivism’s most significant critic, rejects the positivist theory on every conceivable level. Dworkin denies that there can be any general theory of the existence and content of law; he denies that local theories of particular legal systems can identify law without recourse to its moral merits, and he rejects the whole institutional focus of positivism. A theory of law is for Dworkin a theory how cases ought to be decided and it begins, not with an account of the political organisation of a legal system, but with an abstract ideal regulating the conditions under which governments may use coercive force over their subjects.” Dworkin, in his one system conception of law and morality, characterised his own interpretivism as rejecting both the complete independence of law and morality (which he ascribes as positivism) and the veto position of morality over law. Even then, Dworkin says he was able to see, against positivism, that law includes not just enacted rules, or rules with legal pedigree, but justifying principles as well. These principles, he says, are the ones that provide the best justification in morality of…enacted rules.
It is clear that Ronald Dworkin says that it is wholly unacceptable to say that there can be a survival of law without morality and vice versa. However, it seems like his rejection of the veto position of morality over law is enough to be deemed merely hanging in the cloud. He is without doubts an advocate for the persistence of morality in the society and so if he questions the superiority of morality over law, then goes ahead in his one system concept of law and morality to stress that law is embedded in morality and it is only an aspect of morality, then can we not perceive this to be hazy? The legal philosopher brings to the dinner table a model of ‘whole and part’ and rejects the whole idea of distinction between law and morality but rather unifies them to be one; hence the whole digest of his manuscript, ‘The one system conception of law and morality’. To crack it a little, to say that law is embedded in morality and unified into one system raises curiosity. Embedded means to be part of or particularly buried in something. If law is part of or partially buried in morality, it then suffices to say that both concepts are still with distinct features – it is likened to a branch and trunk relationship which, according to Baxter, is distinguished based on purposes of identification. With this seeming hazy metaphoric model of whole and part, it is wished Dworkin were alive to make it less confusing. Ronald Dworkin indeed preaches one system and equates law and morality when he said that morality has no veto position over law. Difficulty will arise here because to understand exhaustively what was meant by morality having a zero veto position over law subjects us to the English dictionary which helps, though a little, to stress invocation of certain rights. If we are to say morality has no veto, then we are saying law does not have its position marginalised when looking at the balance of the two concepts as preached unreservedly by Ronald Dworkin. But is morality the whole, and law the part in his ideology? If we followed carefully, the answer is in the affirmative. A child can never be superior to his father and even morality in many parts of the world will not consider it apt to equate a child to his parents. That established, can it be said morality is not superior to law in relation to Ronald Dworkin’s ideology? It appears that morality supersedes law the moment Ronald Dworkin made it a single parent. His persistent legal and moral verbal wars fought against positivist school appear to emasculate the presumed reverenced gigantic throne law is placed. Point made here is that Dworkin – though not a scatterbrain – has an ideology which begs for clarity. But then, the legal philosopher is long part of the ground. Prof. HLA Hart had a different view to this issue however.

Prof. HLA Hart always showed consistency in his belief that law and morality are terms very much disparate. Hart subscribes to the positivist school and is a prominent figure indeed ranging from legal texts and debates such as the famous Hart-Fuller debate. While Hart argued that law and morality were separate, Fuller held for morality as the source of law’s binding power. As we may already know, positivists believe in a separation between the law as it is, and the law as it should be. Legal rights and moral rights are not related beyond mere coincidence – this being their philosophy. Hart, who decided not to grin and bear the theory of Lon Fuller and that of Dworkin, gave his own schema. Hart believes that the method of deciding cases through logic or deduction is not necessarily wrong, just as it is not necessarily right to decide cases according to social or moral aims. He used the problem of the core and the penumbra to illustrate the idea that laws must be related to the meaning of the words, not any natural or moral belief. A core case is one that the statute intended to cover. To splash a classic example, a statute that bans vehicles from a park is obviously intended to cover cars. A penumbra case would be one not considered by the creators of the law, such as the appearance of a skate board in the example given under core. A judge interpreting such a law from a positivist viewpoint would look to a definition of the words in the statute. The natural law view believes that the creation of law should be based on natural laws or common morals.

If there is one thing limpid enough, it is the fact that HLA Hart sees law as a bedrock in which the society secures existence; little wonder he defines law as: “Those rules of conduct on which the existence of society is based and of which its violation tends to invalidate its existence.” His definition is no way scentless and it surely sits at the right hand side of his philosophy. The disparity between Dworkin’s model of whole and part, and that of Hart’s illustration of core and penumbra is that while Dworkin advocates one entity, Hart recognizes no connection between law and morality and with his point not being surreptitious, he pattered down that law is the crux or central idea (core) and morality is out of the scope of law (penumbra). For lovers of scholarly debate, this paper will segue into the sphere of revitalizing interested readers with the position of Patrick Devlin, Prof. Hart, and Dworkin succinctly.

The Hart-Devlin debate focused on the issue of legalising homosexuality and prostitution which was investigated by the Wolfenden Committee headed by Sir John Wolfenden. The report claimed that it was not the duty of the law to concern itself with immorality. It was argued that homosexuality should be decriminalised on the basis of: (a.) Freedom of choice, and (b.) Privacy of morality. For Devlin, law without morality destroys freedom of conscience and is the paved road to tyranny. He appealed to the idea of society’s moral fabric. As far as Devlin is concerned, the criminal law must respect and reinforce the moral norms of society in order to keep social order from unravelling. His position became yet very dulcet when he reasoned that immorality is what every right-minded person considered immoral. For him, there could be no theoretical limit to the reach of law; no acts are any of the law’s business. Before looking at the tablets he prescribed, he suggested that the common morality could be discerned by asking “what is acceptable to the ordinary man, the man in the jury box, who might also be called the reasonable man or the right minded man?” In his guidelines, he hammered that privacy be respected; that law should only intervene when society cannot tolerate certain behaviour; and law should be a minimum and not maximum standard. His point is lucid, but not in entirety. Devlin’s reasoning is that the common morality of the society should not be bastardized and so law should intervene only when the society frowns upon a certain conduct. Maybe Devlin’s definition of society is needed and also, is societies’ views always correct? It thus seems very obscure. To attempt the intent of Devlin upon usage of the word society, there may be need to consider Margaret Thatcher’s explicit declaration that “There is no such thing as society, there are individual men and women and there are families.” A point made or attempted by Thatcher is the question of what constitutes a society if not individuals. Well, if there is anything to take away from her declaration, it would be that society as a word is non-existent but what is prevalent is merely an individual man with his spouse and child coming together to be a family and having their own values which could be distinct from family B – this will not satisfy what Devlin meant by society. A favourable answer is given by Oxford Advanced English Dictionary which views society as a long standing group of people ‘sharing’ cultural aspects such as language, dress, norms, or behaviour and artistic forms. The food yet chewed is whether societal views are always correct.

Hart on the other hand adjured against the dangers of ‘populism’. He believes that most peoples’ view are covered by superstition and prejudice thus making law gain ground in the place of morality in the society. What Dworkin suggests is that we abandon the Hart-Devlin debate and concentrate on liberties. To Dworkin, if a behaviour is a basic liberty (like sex), this should never be taken away, even if someone has a different way of actualising a sexual activity e.g. using a spanner in the vagina of one’s spouse all in the sake of sensation and satisfaction vide R V. Brown. He stressed that general liberty could be restricted if they cause harm. Now the feasible question is how can one tell the difference between a basic liberty and a general liberty? It is wished again that Ronald Dworkin could attempt a response.

OKOCHA OBED

Posted in poetry

BLUES

Miserable mister!

His love for his palito made him neglect the sister.

Playing Brandy’s tracks showed he sought love

But what was his problem?

Nancy was alone. Why did he deceive the poor thing?

Confused mind

How come he asserts he meant he loved her when

All he did was refuse to pop the question?

He started to scream she stays with him

She started to see why she should not.

It was her thirteenth-giving-him-a-chance, so she changed the stats

A tear escaped his eyes; it was not nouvelle to Nancy as she had

Done the entire possible math.

His lips had shown likeness with Lindsey’s ribaldry

But Nancy armed her ears with a cheap white headphone producing local

Nigerian pop songs.

She had her regrets; he never romanced her protruded buttocks to gnawing point.

He appeared satiable to have seen her balmorals and briefs only.

A push, a push, she left him in the pool he had created.


******           ******          ******

Miserable Mister!

Either socio or psycho, he had not found his path.

But with steady grog and torn bible, hell was the feasible aftermath.

He had passed Damascus, and met no ray of light.

The sheath he had devoured in past weeks could not give him the break-even point.

He had his regrets not keeping Nancy, his heart was not learning to move on.

The smudge in his heart forced him into a resolve

He took his shabby looks into a synagogue to find redemption

He found Jesus; a presumption it had been after dipping into a water basin.

A charge was given him; a new beginning was the nuzzled sermon for all.

N-A-N-C-Y. He deleted her number with hopes he forgets the cell digits.

No need, there was a Bann of marriage in the notices.

Her full name was mentioned, it was her wedding two months away.

Cold hands of the dickens strolled in his tummy

Too much buttering on a morsel of bread

No water mixture in the Black Currant

The apogee had his impulse driven him, he ran like chased by hyenas

Into the air, the hard ground of the two-storey building received his choice.

Brother tapped out!


OKOCHA OBED