Monthly Archives: September 2012

[Spoken Word] Boko Haram Poem – The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace wishes Nigerians a Happy Independence Day! (1st October). The Phantom Menace is glad another year of celebrating together with Nigerians. Hahahahah….


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How to Spot A Lying Law School Student

You think lawyers are trustworthy? The stereotypical Hollywood lawyer isn’t; from criminal lawyers to corporate lawyers. The few exceptions are Alan Shore and Matlock. Has Nollywood (Nigerian Hollywood) casted its own stereotypical lawyer yet? They might want to consider the Nigerian Students of Law School.

A few days ago, the results for Law School students was released. You have to be around a few of the students to appreciate the excitement and how it is all that they talk about. The history of difficulty of the exams is mythical; there is so much mystery around the actual marking scheme (at least as understood by the students). This myth is further perpetrated by lack of transparency in the assessment process; students are not provided with their individual scores per subject/course, only the grade. So much is unknown.

Given the abundance of mystery around assessments in Law School, some students are exploiting that fact. Well… at least they think they are; but are totally wrong. Some students bluff about their results; dem dey LIE. They go lying about their scores (pushing it higher) because they are certain that the truth is safe in the mystery that pervades Nigerian Law School Examination. But is their truth really safe?

Everyone has a friend or two that are pathological lairs. If you don’t have, then its possible that you are that pathological liar. These people we have met throughout our school days. But in Nigerian Law School, it seems social pressure to impress is pushing more people into lying about results.

Unfortunately, and perhaps unknown to the liars, it is quite easy to verify their results especially by their classmates. All a person needs is an internet connection, basic understanding of alphabetical ordering, and a Law-School student’s valid examination number (this number is why a it is easy for a classmate). Also important is that you might need to have time to spare for this truthful digging.

This is how it works. Say your name is Danladi Olu Emeka (Emeka being the surname). Say I am a student, my number is 123456 and my surname is Daniel. I know that Emeka comes before Daniel (alphabetically), so I make a rough estimation of how many digits I will go backwards to arrive at surnames starting with E. Eventually I will get to Emeka by jumping numbers. For more detail read the following paragraph; skip if not interested.

To make a calculated estimation do some maths: find out the average number of students  starting with each alphabet assuming students’ surnames are spread evenly across the alphabets. Then use that number to jump as you attempt. Assuming there were 260 students in the class, a good jumping number would be 260/26 = 10; where 26 is for number of alphabets. In my example I would jump from 123456 to 123446 (and to 123436 if not there). Once I hit E, I will move at slower increments… until I find the Truth. YOU CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH! (Tom Cruise’ character in A Few Good Men)

Do you swear to dig The Truth, The whole Truth and nothing but the Truth? I do… with my internet connection.

Why am I writing this? Is it gossip, Amebo, being nosy… ? It could be construed as any of the options listed but (if you believe me) I see it as one more way we can use technology to keep people honest. I mentioned in a previous post the effect of paying taxes electronically in Ekiti; and how it saved them about 900% (yes nine hundred, not a typo) of their revenue. In the mentioned previous post, several options of engaging the government using technology were explored and some are soon to be implemented in Nigeria. That is at the government level. It doesn’t hurt to keep some of us honest as well; especially the very important  lawyers.

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Innocence of Muslims: A Jewish Solution to A Muslim Problem

Reactions to the offensive movie “Innocence of Muslims” has been on the headlines recently. I decided not to write on it because I couldn’t find the time and because emotions were still high. I am not sure the latter has changed.

Frankly, I can’t say I followed a lot of the debates around this issue but I think I have gotten the general picture: there are the hurt Muslims seeking immediate retribution; there are Muslims condemning violent reactions; and non-Muslims… (Surprisingly I don’t recall a non-Muslim voice; unless news channels count as that). So excuse deficient information is what is happening.


I would like to briefly share an idea, which I haven’t heard being discussed. I have heard the idea that Muslim majority countries should boycott Western countries and sever economic relations until instigators are punished. But that may not be sustainable. Let Muslims try a tested solution. For this solution, whether reaction to the movie is right or wrong is not relevant. The issue is concerning freedom of speech.

The big idea is that Muslims should organize and fight this menace via legislation and policy.

There is the perennial debate concerning Freedom of Speech (whether it should be tethered or not) which needs to be settled, but that debate is not likely to be extinguished. Instead Muslims could learn from Jews; how Jews succeeded with Laws against Holocaust Denial. Narratives that undermine the Holocaust was hurtful to the Jews and accordingly they pursued the Law against Holocaust Denial (Even though the clauses used were more centered around safety of Jews). At least 17 European countries have implemented these laws. Therefore a cartoon (or movie) that undermines the holocaust is likely to earn its producers some jail time.

When Islam is insulted, Muslims will react. Past events have shown violent reactions; From Satanic Verses to the Danish Cartoon to the Quran Burning Campaign to now Innocence of Muslims. Right or wrong, as sure as I am that the sun will rise tomorrow, I know Humans will react to insults. Muslims are humans. Their reaction does not show Muslims’ tendency towards violence but rather, shows how much they revere what they regard as sacred.

I advice Muslims (institutions) should aim towards criminalizing mockery/insults of the sacred in their religion; on the grounds of inciting international security unrest. Given the precedence of such reactions, the movie makers could not have missed to anticipate this international reaction; the least they could have expected was to live the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders.

If at this point you are thinking: how could one compare the holocaust to insult? All comparisons will show inequality because the two situations have different elements; for the former you can count the dead, while  the latter you can count those who would rather be dead than witness such insults.  Such wounds if not arrested using legislation or policy, it can lead to disastrous ends.

What motivated Muslims to act violently is what motivated the Jews to form Israel; which is the Zionist controlled concentration camp for the Palestinians. Muslim institutions better take this seriously.


PS: 3rd October 2012

I stumbled into this link where the writer indicates that what I am suggesting is being pursued already. But perhaps not in an organized manner.


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