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Ahmed Ishah’s Slap – Justified or Not?

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Now making waves is the alleged assault of an interviewee by Popular radio presenter – Ahmed Isah during an interview session.

Ahmed Isah is a Human rights campaigner and activist with a relatively huge following. He is also a Radio and TV presenter with his show, “Brekete Family”.

He is fondly referred to as the “Ordinary President of Brekete Family.”

While his work has helped a lot of people, there has been growing concerns as to his approach towards getting justice.

Most recent with these growing concerns is the case of a woman who was accused of setting her brother’s daughter on fire for alleged witchcraft.

The woman allegedly tied the victim’s hands and legs, poured kerosene on her head and set the girl on fire.

The Brekete Family host in the video asked the suspect how she confirmed the girl was a witch.

“Nobody. I don’t know what came over me. Please, I’m begging for forgiveness,” the woman replied.

Isah further demanded she tells him what happened one last time but the woman insisted she didn’t know what happened.

The human right activist got furious, slapped her twice.

The action by the human right activist has been greeted with diverse reactions. On the one hand, there have been those who praise the actions of the activist, amongst whom include, famous rapper – Vector.

On the other hand, though, there has been a lot of backlash as more than a few people have insisted that the radio presenter had no right and his action was nothing short of assault and he should be charged accordingly.

The emotions aside, legally speaking – There are two relevant and similar concepts here, Battery and Assault.

Battery is the intentional and direct application of force to another person. Assault on the other hand is causing a person reasonable apprehension of the infliction of force or immediate harm upon him.

However, in Nigeria, Battery and Assault are treated as one.

Section 252 of the Criminal Code Act defines an assault as:

“a person who strikes, touches, or moves, or otherwise applies force of any kind to the person of another, either directly or indirectly, without his consent, or with his consent, if the consent is obtained by fraud, or who by any bodily act or gesture attempts or threatens to apply force of any kind to the person of another without his consent, in such circumstances that the person making the attempt or threat has actually or apparently a present ability to effect his purpose, is said to assault that other person, and the act is called an assault”.

It is also worthy to note that by virtue of Section 351 of the Criminal Code Act, “any person who unlawfully assaults another is guilty of a misdemeanor, and is liable, if no greater punishment is provided, to imprisonment for one year”.

The actions of the lady in question is highly irreprehensible and wicked. The pain and anger felt by Isah while understandable and probably justified, the reality remains; never has two wrongs ever made one right.

Nigeria as skewed as it may be, is still a country governed by laws. The contumacious attitude of a few has never been and should not be a fiat for any one to break or take laws into their hands, else life as we know it will become “brutish, nasty and short”.

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