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Judiciary And The Trial Of Democracy In Nigeria

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By Revd Thomas Olubunmi, JP

According to moral norms, it is the best form of leadership when leaders leads by example, obeying the laws they make and standing by it even when it doesn’t benefits them.

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Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
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- ⁠Broadcasting
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BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

BAO Felicitation

Courses under Mass Communication and Media Technology includes:
- Advertising
- ⁠Broadcasting
- Development Communications⁠
- Film and Multimedia
- Information and Media Studies⁠
- ⁠⁠Journalism and Media Studies
- ⁠Mass Communications
- ⁠Public Relations
- ⁠Strategic Communication

For democracy and the rule of law to be sacred and consequently for any resounding admissibility of governance and sustenance of its integrity, the laws must be obey and enforceable upon everyone.

If this is done with sacred cows or above the laws the institutional framework put in place to ensure that nobody is above the law will become meaningful.  

That our laws as enshrined in the constitution must be practically operational is of paramount essence to our democracy.

The supremacy of the constitution should not merely be by mouth but applicable and enforceable on all.

Checks and balances are effective because absolute power corrupts absolutely, no individual is clothed with such unwholesome power that such a person can afford to arrogate to himself the power to undo the constitution.

For when this is so, democracy looses its essence.

A Federal Court in the United States of America one time issued a mandatory judgment invalidating the Presidential order of the United States then President, Mr. Donald Trump, who then sought to exclude visitors from seven largely Moslem nations from visiting the USA.

The swiftness with which the United States’ then President obeyed the verdict even when he holds a diametrically opposed position and indeed strong view against that judgment which frustrated his plot to implement one of his cardinal electoral promises, remains the clearest indicator that democracy is working in America.

Is this going to ever be the same with Nigeria where and when the IGP and the Chief of Army Staff have become vagabonds to the laws of our dear country by setting aside the pronouncements of the court with impunity?

In the United Kingdom, the Congress is such an independent institution that has the capacity to sanction the holder of the office of President should he decide otherwise not to follow extant antecedents, practices and principles to obey the validly issued order of a competent court of law.

Another instance of how democracy works when the decisions of the courts are respected by holders of Executive or Presidential powers is United Kingdom, when the Supreme Court ordered the parliament to conduct a congressional vote before Article 50 could be triggered to begin the exit of Great Britain from the European Union.

The British parliament which was the defendant in the suit filed by a private citizen immediately complied with the order of the highest court of the land.

This was a landmark reaction.

In a sharp contrast, it appears Nigeria lacks the  strong institutional mechanisms to compel the top VIPs, the executive arm of government to play by the rule of the democratic game by complying with binding court orders or judgments.

As we can all see, in Nigeria, our leaders most especially those who hold in trust for the masses the exalted public trust who are suppose to obey the laws they swore to protect, ironically often choose when and which laws they will obey but shamelessly enforce others to obey all laws.

This is unacceptable.

Just of recent past, the Federal Government was crying out its strength against the ASUU to obey court order and return to their classes, one will assume such a government is a law abiding government, whereas it is not so.

Of recent, the Nigerian court is in the front burner of the major news with veritable orders given against the contemptuousness of the arrowhead of the police the Inspector General of Police, Usman Baba by an Abuja High court, the reaction of the IGP is disturbing and reveals the extent of lawlessness in the actions of our leaders.

Barely under 24 hours past the Niger State High court has similarly ordered the arrest and commitment to prison the Chief of Army Staff Faruk Yahaya for contemptuousness also.

Both the Chief of Army Staff ordered by the Niger State High Court and the Inspector General of Police ordered by the Abuja High court, have through body language made a mockery of the judiciary that laws can’t be effective upon all citizens. This seem to be so because in the book ANIMAL FARM it is widely understood that all animals are equal but some are more equal than the others.

This inequality cannot do our democracy any good.

No doubt, Mr. Faruk Yahaya and Usman Alkali Baba appears unperturbed because they are above the laws.

History, students of political science and lawyers and legal officers will be facing a serious problem of how best to explain the reactions of these two officers in relationship to the sacredness of the rule of law.

The law of Contempt is put to test by the police and the Army and until these two Chief Officers honourably commits themselves to the Correctional Centres to serve their sentences, we may wake up a second time to another round of ENDSARS mass action.

For what is good for the goose is good for the gander.

Revd Thomas Olubunmi Adeleye, JP

revbunmithomas@gmail.com


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