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Nigeria: Sadly, A Criminal Haven Where The Rule Of Law Sleeps

Nigeria: Sadly, A Criminal Haven Where The Rule Of Law Sleeps  It cannot be overemphasized that the absence of rule of law in any society is...

Nigeria: Sadly, A Criminal Haven Where The Rule Of Law Sleeps 

It cannot be overemphasized that the absence of rule of law in any society is a direct courtship to anarchy. The rule of law has been the mechanism, process, institution, practice or norm that supports the equality of all citizens before the law; secures a non-arbitrary form of government and, more generally prevents the arbitrary use of power. It is a political ideal that all citizens and institutions within a country, state or community are accountable to the same laws, including lawmakers and leaders. It is an essential ingredient to equality and good governance. No wonder Marcus Tullius Cicero stated, "True law is right reason in agreement with nature; it is of universal application, unchanging and everlasting; it summons to duty by its commands, and averts from wrongdoing by its prohibitions.”

The rule of law ensures that there is justice, guards against arbitrary rulings; forbids tyranny and oppression, removes political toxicity and promotes positive value. It restricts the authority of people in positions of power. Before being forced to control itself, the government must first exert a balance of healthy control and undeniable freedom over the populace. And it promotes the general welfare of the community, state, nation or country. 

Undisputedly, there are many workable governance systems. But unarguably, all aspire and levitate towards natural law of fairness, equality and justice. Interestingly, the functionality of any system is largely dependent on the peculiarity of the people and their culture. Hence, external influence and meddling is deeply frowned at and resisted. This cannot be said of Nigeria which borrowed an alien system of governance called “a presidential system” under democracy from the United States of America(USA). This governance system is subdivided into three arms namely executive, legislative and judiciary. These are designed to control and checkmate each other in a more sane way. 

The lack of originality in the governance system of Nigeria has been attributed by many, to the core of the systemic failure and abuse of power. There is a plethora of executive rascality vis-à-vis the rule of law. The abuse of power, suppression, oppression, right deprivation, etc., as seen in the Nigerian circle has made a mockery of the  rule of law and despite the public outcry and outrage, the executive has institutionalized brigandage and promoted despotism. 

There has been profound anarchy and arbitrary form of governance in the Nigerian borrowed system. The denial of civil rights and criminalization of civil disobedience by the executive through the law enforcement agencies with direct lethal use of live ammunition and brute force in attacking citizens as exemplified by the shooting and killing of peaceful protesting members of the Indigenous People Of Biafra(IPOB) in many parts of Eastern Nigeria(Biafraland); the shooting and killing of Shiite members in Abuja and the shooting and killing of ENDSARS protesters in Lagos, etc.

Regrettably, the legislative arm who is constitutionally mandated to make laws has surrendered to executive rascality and accepted, without a fight, to be a rubber stamp. This has led to unmitigated access to and hijacking of legislative agenda leading to  many interference from the executive arm and deliberate stifling of legislative duties. In the same vein, the judicial arm has been over influenced by the executive. The recent interpretations of so many rules have left people stone shocked at the porous nature of the judiciary. So many cases have shown the biasness, partiality and interest based judiciary and juries in Nigeria.

Furthermore, playing a supportive role is the fourth estate or an independent press (the media). What has happened with Nigeria media is total blackout of factual news with amplification and parroting of government narrative. It is either the Nigeria media is scared to death of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) or uninterested in doing actual journalistic work or induced with brown envelope. Either ways, it is gross incompetence, leading a landslide majority to advocate for sponsoring independent and citizen media. Not one mainstream media has asked Nigeria government tough questions on why it has refused to obey an appeal court order discharging and acquitting Mazi Nnamdi Kanu or the overwhelming incriminating evidence in the Chicago State University saga involving Bola Tinubu.

A nation where the executive flouts every court order, where the law enforcement agencies disobey court orders with impunity; a nation that treat terrorists with soft gloves while using sledge hammer on people exercising civil disobedience is at high risk of self implosion. Nigeria has all the troubling indices of such a country and, sadly, the rule of law is sleeping!

Written by Onyemachi Gabriel

Edited by Daniel Chibueze

For Family Writers Press International

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