Buhari And His Constant Disregard Of Court Orders 2
The law is supreme and rules in any democracy. Therefore the principles of the rule of law are based on the foundation of just laws, accountability, open government and impartial resolution of disputes. A society that is democratic gradually falls into the rule of power if the system that ensure that laws are upheld and enforced by both citizens and government is under attack. This is exactly what have characterized the Buhari’s Administration. Since his assumption of office as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Buhari has gotten back his military era reputation for intolerance through democratic values assaults especially on freedom of expression and on the rule of law.
With the fight against corruption being an important agenda in his administration, the President disobedience of court orders and disregard for Nigerian judges together with violations of human rights on many fronts puts the whole commitment of his administration in fighting corruption into question. More so, the President seem to be getting away even when he has shown much disregard for the rule of law and human rights and also ignored Nigerian judges on different occasions.
The negative impact of this court orders disobedience cannot be overstated not just for rule of law operations but also for the effective respect of both constitutional and international human rights such as peaceful assembly, freedom of expression and access to information. One of the disobedience of court orders by the President Buhari is the refusal to grant bail to Omoleye Sowore.
Omoyele Sowore is a former Presidential candidate and presently the publisher of Sahara Reporters; an online news platform. He was arrested by the DSS in Lagos on the August 3, 2019 and was later transferred to Abuja. There was an ex parts order obtained by the DSS to keep Sowore in custody for 45 days. With 24 hours to the expiration of the 45 days ex parts order, the Attorney-General of the Federal through its office filed charges against Sowore which included treasonable felony, cybercrime offences together with money laundering. This was done in the federal high court in Abuja.
Femi Falana, the lawyer representing the accused applied for bail pending to his client arraignment in court. The court under the administration of Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the federal high court Abuja granted him bail.
Sowore now the accused has since filed a case of contempt against the DSS for their failure to comply to court orders which granted him bail until his arraignment.
Justice Gabriel Kolawale of the federal high court in Abuja on December 2, 2016, ordered the release from detention of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria with his wife from the custody of the Department of State Service (DSS). Before the ruling, El-Zakzaky and his wife had been in custody since December 2015 due to a crisis that arose between members of the Nigerian army and members of Shiites, an Islamic movement in Zaria, Kaduna State. The government disobeyed the court order including the order that the DSS should pay the couple the sum of N50m as compensation.
Justice Darius Khobo of the Kaduna State High Court on August 5 granted El-Zakzaky leave to seek medical attention in New Dehli, India. He left but came back within a week without receiving medical attention.
It is only an independent together with an impartial judicial system that have the authority and the capability to correct errors in the society. if the public perception becomes that the government only obey court orders that favours them, then the judicial system has failed and the last hope for the common man gone. Therefore, the government should obey court orders not as a matter of grace but as a matter of necessity. This should be so because; the rule of law means the respect and protection of the human rights of individuals. Without the protection of the judicial system and strick obedience to court orders, the human rights remains only a fiction and the means by which a citizen can complain of any abuse by government or its agencies will be illusory.
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