Humour, images et réflexions insolites

"La plus perdue de toutes les journées est celle où l'on n'a pas ri" - Chamfort

lundi 26 janvier 2009

La chèvre bouc émissaire - au Nigéria, on ne rigole pas avec les voleuses

Black Magic? Newspaper Claims Suspect Turned Into a Goat,2933,482506,00.html
Saturday, January 24, 2009
LAGOS, Nigeria — One of Nigeria's biggest daily newspapers reported that police implicated a goat in an attempted automobile theft. In a front-page article on Friday, the Vanguard newspaper said that two men tried to steal a Mazda car two days earlier in Kwara State, with one suspect transforming himself into a goat as vigilantes cornered him.
The paper quoted police spokesman Tunde Mohammed as saying that while one suspect escaped, the other transformed into a goat as he was about to be apprehended.
The newspaper reported that police paraded the goat before journalists, and published a picture of the animal.
Police in the state couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
Belief in black magic is widespread in Nigeria, particularly in far-flung rural areas.

Un surprenant bouc émissaire

Marc-Olivier Fogiel : C’est la Une de tous les journaux au Nigéria : une affaire de vol de voiture. Le principal suspect est incarcéré, il va comparaître au tribunal dans les jours à venir… Et si on vous en parle ce matin, c’est que le suspect en question est une chèvre ! Mais comment ça, une chèvre, Stéphane Blakowski ?

Stéphane Blakowski : Absolument Marc-Olivier, une chèvre ! Ça peut paraître incroyable, mais les faits sont accablants pour la biquette, puisqu'elle a été prise en flagrant délit.

En effet, la semaine dernière, à la nuit tombée, un équipe de justiciers volontaires patrouillent dans la banlieue de la capitale, lorsqu'ils aperçoivent un individu en train de forcer la portière d'une voiture.

Pris de panique, le voleur s'enfuit et les justiciers bénévoles le prennent en chasse. Comme ils courent plus vite que le voleur, ils comblent vite leur retard. Ils sont d'ailleurs à deux doigts de l'attraper, quand le voleur a disparaît au coin d'une rue. Quelques secondes plus tard les poursuivants arrivent à leur tour à ce même coin de rue.
Et là Pschiiit ! Plus de voleur. Bin ça alors !? Comment un type qui était à dix mètres de vous il y a encore un instant, peut-il s'évaporer dans la nuit comme par magie ? Avouez que c'est impossible ... où alors, c'est que sa disparition est vraiment magique. Les poursuivants en étaient là de leur raisonnement, quand l'un d'eux a repéré une chèvre à l'air suspect. Elle traînait là, dans la rue, pile à l'endroit où aurait du se trouver le voleur.

Mais bon sang, mais c'est bien sûr ! À coup sur notre voleur venait de se transformer en chèvre pour tromper ses poursuivants ! Vous me direz que c'est pas possible, n'empêche, quand les justiciers se sont rués sur la chèvre, elle a aussitôt tenté de s'enfuir ... Alors ? C'est bien le preuve qu'elle avait quelque chose à se reprocher ! Nos valeureux justiciers lui ont donc mis le grappin dessus pour l'emmener au commissariat.

Apparemment, la police a pris l'histoire assez au sérieux pour que la chèvre soit incarcérée. Le porte-parole de la police a déclaré lors d'une conférence de presse, que la chèvre magique resterait sous les verrous jusqu'à la fin de l'enquête. Il ne reste plus qu'à attendre le procès pour entendre ce que la chèvre a à dire pour sa défense.

Police arrest goat accused of armed robbery
By Mail Foreign Service
Last updated at 9:46 PM on 23rd January 2009
Police in Nigeria are holding a goat on suspicion of attempted armed robbery.

Vigilantes seized the black and white goat, saying it was an armed robber who had used black magic to transform himself into an animal to escape after trying to steal a Mazda 323.

'The group of vigilante men came to report that while they were on patrol they saw some hoodlums attempting to rob a car. They pursued them.
'However one of them escaped while the other turned into a goat,' Kwara state police spokesman Tunde Mohammed said.

'We cannot confirm the story, but the goat is in our custody.

'We cannot base our information on something mystical. It is something that has to be proved scientifically, that a human being turned into a goat,' he said.

Belief in witchcraft is widespread in parts of Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation.

Residents came to the police station to see the goat, photographed in one national newspaper on its knees next to a pile of straw.

Wanted: Witnesses claimed a man turned into a goat to get away after an armed robbery (file picture)

The ‘Goat-Robber’ Of Ilorin

Written by Adebayo Kareem
Saturday, 24 January 2009

Wonders, it is often said, shall never end. How true! And in the last ten days, two incidents, separate by geography and nature, appear not only to reiterate this cliché, but also to underline the seemingly unbridgeable gap between us in Nigeria and the rest of the ‘civilised’ world.

The first incident occurred in Britain and relates to the birth of a baby two days after the death of her mother. On the 14 January 2009, almost all major news media in the UK carried the story of baby Aya Jane Soliman who was delivered by Caesarean Section operation two days after the death of her mother. Aya’s mother, a former British ice skater was 26 weeks pregnant when she collapsed from a brain haemorrhage and was later pronounced dead. Doctors then performed the CS operation on her and two days later, Aya was born, weighing just 2lb and 110z at birth. The baby’s father named her ‘Aya’, which in Arabic language apparently means ‘miracle’. How very apt!

The second incident of ‘wonder’ happened in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara state Nigeria on Wednesday 21 January 2009. The Vanguard newspaper in its edition of 23 January 2009 carried a story {which was later carried, with typical glee by a host of British media}, in which the Public Relations Officer {PRO} of the Kwara state police command, a Mr Tunde Mohammed , called a press conference to parade a goat as a robbery suspect! According to the Vanguard newspaper:

’The goat "suspect" is being detained over an alleged attempt to snatch a Mazda car. The mysterious goat, according to the Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Tunde Mohammed, while briefing bewildered journalists at the Force headquarters, is an armed robber who attempted to snatch the said car, Wednesday night, and later transformed into the goat in a bid to escape arrest.

He explained that men of a vigilance group in Anifowose Ipata/Oloje areas of the state capital had chased two armed robbery suspects who wanted to demobilise the Mazda car with the intention of stealing it, and "while one of them escaped, the other was about to be apprehended by the team when he turned his back on the wall and turned to this goat. They quickly grabbed the goat and here it is.’’ Mohammed said.’

And there it is one of the main reasons for our arrested development.

Now’ I’ll like to digress on the Nigerian police habit of parading suspects before the mass media. This is an old habit of the Nigerian police and i am at loss as to why someone has not challenged its constitutionality. No doubt this habit provides the police High Command with photo opportunity to routinely polish their battered image so that they could be seen to be doing something in the face of the overwhelming and unprecedented assault on the civil society by armed criminals. Of course after such photo opportunity, nothing is heard about the case until months later when another opportunity for such photo charade would occur. This action is not only hollow and typically ineffectual, but in a ‘normal’ society would have been sufficient ground to acquit the suspects! The bizarre practice of parading suspects before the mass media where often such suspects ‘confessed’ to committing serious crimes is a breach of the suspects’ right to fair trial. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Nigerian Criminal Code and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right {to which Nigeria is a signatory} all guarantee fair trial to anyone accused of criminal misdeeds. Such accused is also presumed innocent until their guilt is proved, and this proof must be to the highest standard of ‘beyond reasonable doubt’. Arrested suspects remain just that and it is wholly inappropriate for them to be paraded before the mass media when a court of law has not ruled on their guilt.

Now back to the goat –robber. The action of the police to call a press conference where the Force PRO apparently made definite assertion about the goat’s culpability is, to say the least, unprofessional. Now i know there are many Nigerians who will see the story of a thief turning into a goat as entirely plausible. After all in a country where at our various places of worship dead people are being routinely resurrected, the blinds regaining their sights, the lames walking and even presidential candidates assured of their imminent presidency, transmuting from a man into a goat is no big deal. However the indecent haste with which the police called the press conference and gleefully asserted that the goat was indeed a- would -be robber has left a number of unanswered questions.

First of all, it is safe to state here that the PRO, Mr Mohammed was not the ‘arresting officer’ of the ‘goat-robber’. It is clear from the information provided by Mr Mohammed that that no police officer actually witnessed the miracle of the transmutation. We may also assume here that this process of transforming from a man to a goat was not captured on camera. Thus all the Kwara police commands have by way of direct evidence would be the accounts of the men of Anifowose, Ipata/Oloje vigilante group who purportedly saw the transmutation. This then begs the question: what actions were taken by the Kwara police commands to corroborate the accounts of the men of the vigilante group?

Has the goat been sent for forensic analysis to ascertain its DNA? Thanks to the miracle of science and technology, we are now able to ascertain with absolute certainty the genetic make-up of an individual. Thus if the ‘goat-robber’ was subjected to DNA test, any doubt of its origin will be removed. In 2006, a London based Pentecostal church had been proclaiming various acts of miracles on television channels. Some of the testimonies related to how barren women, some in their late 50’s suddenly gave birth to ‘miracle babies’ after they started to attend this church. Well, it later transpired that the babies were no ‘miracle babies’ at all. In fact the children were smuggled from Kenya into the UK where they were given to the women who would later give the testimonies. DNA evidence later showed that the babies indeed belonged to other living parents in Kenya and as a matter of fact the wife of the Bishop was sentenced to 2 years custody in Kenya for child trafficking.

Another action the police might have taken is to have put the ‘goat-robber’ on a 24-hour visual surveillance for at least a week. I am no expert on this matter, but i suspect that a man can only live as a goat only for so long. If treated like a goat, fed as a goat and it remained a goat after 7 days, then in all probability, it is a goat! If on the other hand, the metamorphosis could not last and the goat transmutes back into a man, then Mr Mohammed can justifiably start celebrating his own importance and might perhaps be transferred to the EFCC to head that troubled agency!

By acting without due diligence, Mr Mohammed has put the government in a potentially difficult position of what to do with the goat. Given that the PRO is convinced that the goat was indeed a ‘goat-robber’, it stands to reason that it has to be charged promptly with the attempted theft of the Mazda car and be taken to court. The issue will then be whether the goat is fit to plead guilty or not guilty. If it remained silent in court, the court might take its silence to mean not guilty and a not guilty plea might be entered for it, but another difficulty will then be how to elicit evidence from the goat in the course of the trial. This however might not be too difficult in a country that is replete with thousands of pastors, alfas and babalawos who can and will all place their expertise in ‘goat language’ before the court and serve as the interpreter for the defendant. And if, as expected the goat was convicted and sentenced to custodial sentence, the government has to ensure that a special prison is built to accommodate the ‘goat-robber’, after all there is the real and clear danger that if put in the same prison with the ill-fed and ill-treated inmates of any of our prison, government cannot guarantee that the ‘goat-robber’ will not turn to suya or asun! And all this wahala because of the indecent haste of Mr Mohammed.

Apart from the miracle of the little baby Aya mentioned above, there are many other acts of wonders that are being performed every day all over the world. You could even say that the election of Barack Obama and his inauguration is an act of no small miraculous significance given the context of American politics. Giant’s strides are being made in the fields of science and technology to give more meaning to and improve the quality of life. Developments are being made in the areas of stem cell development and the space is being conquered. And if in all of these, Nigeria is able to miraculously send a goat to prison, we would have contributed our own quota to the enhancement of human {and goat} life!

Adebayo Kareem

Solicitor based in Stratford East London.

une nouvelle sorte de banditisme - le chèvre-jacking..
faut appeler monsieur Seguin ou le légionnaire de Gotlib?

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