As the singing birds sing in the same tone with the whistling iroko trees in the middle of the fearful Sunday night, Maa Esi mother of Kofi had fought and struggled with her pillow and blanket million times to have a sound sleep praying for the first cock to crow for day to break as the night was full of nightmares and bad dreams.

Day broke as Maa Esi prepares Kofi’s favourite breakfast Tom brown with milk before he leaves for School. Kofi had enjoyed his favourite breakfast in his small cup as if he knew he was enjoying his last Tom brown that morning before he dies. The morning was young and Kofi had already left for school early because of the football match his school was having.

Maa Esi’s morning was full of distracting moments and her mind filled with negative thoughts and heart filled with sorrows after she has seen her son died through mob Justice in a dream last night. She sensed danger that cold and young Monday morning as she sat under the small mango tree on her compound which was planted by Kofi in the harmattan season with a committed watering every morning.

She could not eat her breakfast that morning because she wasn’t cool with last night’s nightmare she had about Kofi. There was no modicum of joy and smile on her face that morning.

The sun got hotter and has risen, pressurizing it’s heat to reach the height of the sky. School has closed and Kofi jumps into his class happily to pick his bag to leave after his team won the inter class matches that day. Sweat has wet his cloth and his face covered with sweat.

Kofi moves and discusses the match with his madam, Ms Ama as they stroll in the hot sun. Madam Ama had asked Kofi to go while she check on her friend at the near by school. Ms Ama had left Kofi alone to go and meet his untimely death as if she sensed and saw it coming.

The sun got hotter, the clouds darkened and everywhere quiet as if the last singing bird in the afternoon had been killed. Innocent Kofi walked some mile ahead and heard a large crowd violently singing and chanting towards him. The violent crowd chanted. ” Kr)nfo)! Kr)nfo)! Awe! Mon kuno” in a local dialect which means thief! Thief! Let’s kill him!

Kofi had not removed his red jersey after he closed from the football match which made the crowd suspected a mistook him for the criminal. The crowd has already starting beating him with stones, sticks and slaps before he could utter a word.

#SayNoToInstantJustice | mob justice

What have I done? Kofi asked in a helpless and calm tone. “We will kill you and get justice for ourselves rather than to take you to the police for stealing”. The angry mob replied in her merciless voice. ” Please don’t kill me because I’m innocent. I just closed from school and I don’t know anything about any crime. Kofi pleaded.

No! We will kill you. You are a criminal! The crowed shouted, chanting while they continued to beat Kofi. Please even if I’m a criminal as you people are insisting, hand me over to the police. Let me face the law but don’t take the law into your own hands and administer justice for yourselves”. Kofi advised the mob.

No! No! No! We don’t trust the law and the police. We will kill you”. The mob continued to chant and beat innocent Kofi.

Kofi had told them everything and continued to advise the mob on the consequences of mob Justice but they never listened. They were only interested in killing Kofi to get justice for themselves. They continued to beat him until he lost blood and had bled profusely. Kofi had lost consciousness and the crowd never even bothered to take him to the hospital.

Hey! Hey! You people stop! What are you doing? Who are you beating like that? Madam Ama who had left Kofi to suffer what he knew nothing shouted from a distance. ” It is a criminal. He stole and we have already beaten him to death. We have gotten justice for ourselves”. The then angry but now happy mob replied Ms Ama.

Oh my God! He is a student. He isn’t a criminal. He is Kofi my student. We just closed and I asked him to come while I visit my friend at a near by school”. Ms Ama wailed after she had gotten to the place the mob had killed Kofi.

Oh! Noooooo! We thought he was a criminal. We thought he stole our money. He told us he was innocent and a student but we never believed. He advised us to hand him over to the police. He advised us on the consequences of mob Justice but we never listened and now see. We have killed an innocent school boy”. The most violent member of the mob said in a remorseful and sorrowful tone.

What made you think he was the criminal even though he told you he was a student”. Ms Ama asked the mob. He was wearing the same jersey the one we were chasing was wearing. The mob replied.

” He wearing the same jersey doesn’t mean he committed the crime. Even if he had, you should have handed him over to the police. Ms Ama advised the mob.

So what should we do next time we catches anyone suspected to be a criminal”. The mob asked Ms Ama?

Well, in the 1992 constitution, a person is still a suspect about a crime committed until he is proven guilty by the court of law there that you can call him a criminal. Hand over anyone you suspects to be a criminal to the police and don’t take their lives. Now, you have killed Kofi to get justice for yourselves, but you have also administered injustice to Kofi because he was innocent about the said crime committed”. Ms Ama advised the mob.



| PoEm |

Source: | Ibrahim Farouk



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