By Anthony Sheridan
David Aminu committed a crime by defrauding the Department of Social Welfare of €136,000 in welfare payments. The crime came to light in 2015 when Mr. Aminu wrote to the Dept. admitting his crime and offered to repay the stolen funds. An immediate Garda investigation was launched as a result of the confession. Mr. Aminu was charged, found guilty and sentenced to two years in prison.
Mr. Aminu’s defence pleaded that he had confessed, was repaying the stolen funds and was unlikely to reoffend. It was also pointed out to the judge that if Mr. Aminu were sent to jail he would face automatic deportation on his release with serious consequences for his wife and family.
None of this cut any mustard with the judge. Accepting that Aminu was a good man, that there would be long-term consequences for him and his family if a jail term was imposed and that the only aggravating factor was the actual crime the judge nevertheless took a stern and very narrow view.
Aminu must suffer a term of imprisonment to punish him and deter others.
Although this is an extremely harsh judgement it is, nevertheless, the law and in all functional democracies the law must be upheld and equally applied.
Unfortunately, Ireland is not a functional democracy and, as a consequence, justice like that meted out to Mr. Aminu is strictly reserved for ordinary citizens.
Those with power and influence are seldom subject to the law and can do pretty much as they please.
Here are just some recent examples of how those with power and influence get away with serious criminality.
On the same day that Mr. Aminu’s case was reported the Central Bank revealed that banks were admitting to thousands of additional cases of criminally defrauding those on tracker mortgages. The number of victims of this criminality has now reached over 30,000. People have lost their homes, their savings and some, it is thought, their lives. The Central Bank knew what was going on and did nothing; it’s still, effectively, protecting the criminal bankers. There have been no arrests, no charges, no justice.
Senior civil servants are also protected by the state when they commit crimes, even when they openly admit guilt. Senior staff at the Office of Corporate Enforcement (the grandiose title always makes me laugh) responsible for the collapse of the Sean Fitzpatrick trial perverted the course of justice by deliberately destroying evidence and coaching witnesses. In functional democracies such crimes are taken very seriously. In Ireland there were no charges, no trial, the guilty were protected by the state.
For 20 years now there has been an avalanche of criminality spewing from the ranks of our police force, we have yet to see a police officer on trial. Just recently, the most senior police officer in the state decided that no charges would be brought against any member of his force who were found to have falsified up to a million breath tests. The police chief said he was not prepared to spend huge amounts of taxpayers’ money on the scandal, that the money would be better spent on ‘protecting the community’ – from ordinary criminals like Mr. Aminu presumably.
Predictably, there was no objection to this banana republic abuse of law enforcement from politicians or, indeed, judges.
And then, of course, there’s the criminal politicians who, over the decades, have been defrauding the state through false expenses claims and robbing citizens money by stealing food and drink in the Dail bar and restaurant. Irish citizens won’t even be allowed to pass election judgement on these criminal politicians because, incredibly, data laws protect their identities.
Just think about that, we live in a country where public representatives can openly rob citizen’s money and property with complete impunity and we’re not even allowed to know their names never mind throw them in jail.
For so long as our country is misgoverned and exploited by a corrupt ruling elite we will rarely witness a judge say that a banker, police officer, government official or politician should be jailed
I suspect that when Mr. Aminu sat down to write his letter of confession he was not aware that in Ireland there is no law for the rich and powerful and strict enforcement for ordinary decent citizens.
I also suspect that if he knew the truth he would have burned that letter.
Senator Craughwell (Independent)
I’m copying this article to Senator Craughwell in the hope it might help to inform him of the reality of corruption in Ireland. From a number of twitter conversations it is clear that the senator has little idea of how the disease of corruption is destroying the lives of countless thousands of Irish citizens.