59 Years of Independence, the Rule of Law Still a Mirage

Today, 1st October 2019, as it is the norm for anyone who is the President of Nigeria to render an independence day speech, i heard President Muhammadu Buhari who is at this time the President say something about eradicating lawlessness in the country. He however seem not to remember, obviously that charity begins at home. Because he has vehemently refused to respect the RULE OF LAW.

The rule of law is a liberty centered constitutional concept which stipulates that everything must be done according to law. There is no doubt that the rule of law is unambiguously enshrined in the Nigerian constitution. The only surprising thing is how our Buhari led government shows blatant disrespect to the constitutional provisions of the 1999 Constitution emphasis on Chapter ranging from the backdrop of unjustifiable arrest, unfair trials, executive lawlessness, suppression of free speech, oppression of commoners to undue domination of minorities. You all remember the Nigerian senator who physically assaulted a lady at a sex toy shop in abuja , sometme middle of the year and the case was swept under the carpet probably because he is an ally t President Muhammadu Buhari. What should we tag that?

My sympathy for Nigeria my country grows every day, every hour, every minute, every seconds seeing the citizens, innocent Nigerians being raped of their Fundamental Human Rights.

As far back my Secondary School, Federal Government College Odogbolu, a very great school at that, we were taught in Government the RULE OF LAW. To let you know how important it was, it was reteirated in my University, Jos. The Principles of the rule of law as we were told was intoduced by Prof.A.V Dicey and he highlighted just three of them which are;
– Supremacy Of Law: This talks about the absence of arbitrariness or wide discretionary powers i.e every act be controlled by law.
– Equality before the Law: This entails equal subjection of all classes to the ordinary law of the land administered by the ordinary law courts. This principle emphasizes everyone, including the Government, irrespective of rank shall be subject to the same law and Courts.

  • Predominance of the Legal Spirit: This means that the Fundamental human rights of Citizens must be guaranteed.
    It was WADE who said that “…government must be subject to the law rather than the law subject to the government…”.
    The rule of law requires that no person should be subjected to harsh, uncivilized or arbitrary treatment.
    Aristotle posited that “Law should govern and those who are in power should be servants of the laws but this is not the case in our beloved country Nigeria where our President, Muhammadu Buhari is like the tyrant described by a french writer and philosopher ‘VOLTAIRE’ as one who embraces the law when it is convenient for him. This was seen clearly in the case of Sowore. " I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be Faithful, Loyal and Honest. To serve Nigeria with all my strength, to defend her unity and uphold her honour and glory, so help me God".

The abovementioned is the Nigerian pledge, the Oath we took as pupils while in Prumary and secondary schools. Our kids still take such oaths while the adults take it in official functions. I want to point out categorically that you cannot serve Nigeria with all your strength if you dont uphold the honour and glory of our past heroic leaders. For the aforementioned to be done, one must make sure the rule of law has its place in Nigeria once again. It means the youths who are the leaders of tomorrow must come together to demand rule of law. The law must not only be done but must be seen to be done.

I close with this quote of PLATO which says “Where the law is subject to some other authority and has none of its own , the collapse of the state in my view, is not far off BUT if the law is the master of the government, and the government is its slave, then the situation is full of promise and men enjoy all the blessings that the gods shower on a state”.

KEKEMEKE JOSHUA O.
jojoluvflo@gmail.com
08184803913.

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