PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE RULE OF LAW BY CHIEF MODESTUS UMENZEKWE


It will be recalled at the last Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference, Mr. President talked about the rule of Law vis-a-vis the supreme security situation in the country. Certain issues precipitated Mr. President to address the Nigeria Bar Association where he touched issues and comparison in the elements of the security and rule of law.

Before Mr. President appeared to address the members of the Bar and the Bench, he was sure of the challenging questions of the comparison of security and the rule of law. I agree with people criticizing Mr. President’s stance on rule of Law in the place of security situation. Our people say that life first before any other thing. I want to make it abundantly clear that Mr. President should not be blamed at all in his opinion about the security situation he met when he took over. There was certain group of Islamic uprising in Kaduna and vis-à-vis the Boko Haram that was threatening, that the Government before he came in had to resort to arms smuggling purchase; in that an Aircraft loaded with Dollars was detained in South Africa. Up till now we do not know whether that Aircraft and the Dollar content have been released to the religion leader owner.
I want to ask Nigerians what if in the process this Boko Haram expeditionary advancement to capture Maiduguri somebody reaches to High Court in Borno to get an ex parte order to stop Nigeria’s intervention and court granted the request; and the Boko Haram got into Borno and you know the consequences of such order. Both the judge and the general public including the government will be on the run. And Mr. President in respecting such order failed to act and a lot of bloodshed occurred, who will you blame because the court had given order in favour of the applicant? So I understand for sure that where a situation of an order of court may not prevail and respected; when such orders are made the judge may not understand the consequences of such order. So we should not blame Mr. President if he refuses to implement such orders because he is acting on superior security information on ground which may not be known to the Judge who is acting on the basis of Law.
In 1979, there was a highly celebrated case of 2/3 majority issue. Chief R.O. Akinjide SAN was leading a team of Lawyers perfect in Municipal and other serious legal jurisprudence for Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari of National Party of Nigeria (NPN); and Chief G.O.K. Ajayi SAN (of the blessed memory) a highly celebrated legal mind versed in constitutional law was led by PA Chief Jeremiah Obafemi Awolowo SAN that the case shook this country to the foundation and they were talking of the 2/3 of the Federation then. When Honourable Justice Atanda Fatai Williams leading other highly celebrated minds in the Bench including Honourable Justice Nnamani, Honourable Justice Akunwe Chukwudifu Oputa (the Socrates), Honourable Justice Sanusi, Honourable Justice G.S. Showeimo, Honourable Justice Uwais and other judges dwelled into merits and demerits of the case and gave judgment in favour of Alhaji Aliyu Shehu Shagari of NPN it shocked this country. But he warned seriously that that judgment should not be used for any legal submission in Nigeria because of the consequences it will bring if used. That was the situation I find that fovours Mr. President in certain court orders.
In the situation we Nigerians find ourselves now vis-à-vis the herdsmen and farmers; unfortunately we do not realize that even the movement of the cows were already in our legal statute and most times we blame clashes against the Fulani’s unknown to us that before Independence those parts were created and cattle ranching built. Take for instance  there was Obudu Cattle ranch, Keinji Cattle ranch, Ondo Cattle ranch, Bauchi Cattle ranch which gave the building of building of meat factory in Bauchi that produces tinned beef. But today these areas have been built upon and the users continue to maintain that grazing right of movement.
Mr. President knew some of those things but advised for one to live in harmony with his neighbours. This present flooding menace all over the country, there was originally created water ways or channels; but when you build on top of those areas, the consequences is flooding and these constitute National Security problems. When you listen to the victims of flood disaster they continue calling on the Federal Government to come to their rescue. And when the Federal Government comes in some cases, some of these flooded areas might be under serious court order within them. But upon that they still call the Federal Government to come to their rescue. I cannot talk about violation of court order on the areas of detention over 48 hours and such detainee goes to court to seek the order of the court for release and the magistrate granted it, off course such order must be respected by those concerned, but not in an extreme threat of National Security. The President who is always around with the highest level of security information more than anybody will save the Nation more than an individual who relies so much on court order. So Mr. President is doing the right thing because the court order exists for the living and not for the dead. 
I want to advise we Nigerians to be patient that come 2019 when Mr. President would have been sworn in again for second term, I hope Nigerians will not misunderstand President Muhammadu Buhari in his new advanced rule in administering Nigeria.   


Umenzekwe writes from Lagos.
Email: Modestusokechukwu661@yahoo.com

PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE RULE OF LAW BY CHIEF MODESTUS UMENZEKWE PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI AND THE RULE OF LAW BY CHIEF MODESTUS UMENZEKWE Reviewed by Odogwu Emeka Odogwu on Thursday, September 06, 2018 Rating: 5

No comments: