‘In Law, Rights Come Before Morality’, Ogunye Reacts To Chidinma’s Participation In Beauty Pageant
A Legal Practitioner, Jiti Ogunye, has said that in law, the rights of a person always come before morality.
Ogunye said this on Friday while reacting to Chidinma Ojukwu’s participation in a beauty pageant, despite her still being on trial for the alleged murder of Super TV CEO, Ataga Usifo.
“When rights anchored on law clash with morality, rights triumph over morality, I’m sorry,” he said on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily.
He explained that while the situation may not look right in the eye of the public, Chidinma, just like other prisoners, remains entitled to some rights including participation in cultural activities and education as provided in the law for the enhancement of their human sustenance.
According to him, these rights or liberties may vary depending on the categories of prisoners which may include: those awaiting trial, undergoing trial, those who have been convicted, and condemned convicts.
For Chidinma, who is the principal suspect in the murder of Mr Usifo, her fate is yet to be determined as the case is still ongoing in court, resulting in the uproar in the public following news of her participation and subsequent crowing in the beauty pageant.
“If she has the right to participate and she said she wanted to participate, it would have been wrong for the prison officials to say she can’t,” Ogunye said.
“The lady in question, Chidinma Ojukwu in the public eye, is alleged to have committed a horrendous crime; a capital punishment crime. Now given the role the social media played in the public assessment of her presumed guilt or otherwise, pictures like this offend the optics and are, therefore, meant to generate different reactions and many persons have condemned that, as they are of the view that her participation in the show and her winning the crown was a glorification of her crime and a kind of subtle encouragement, rather than a depreciation of her conduct”.
Ogunye, however, believes that although Chidinma is undergoing trial, she is still presumed innocent until she is found guilty and she’s entitled to take advantage of the benefits of the constitutional provision that says that she’s presumed innocent in the eye of the law.