Aug 16, 2019

Rule Of Law Symposium #NBAAGC2019

The Rule of Law is a substantive legal principle. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th edition, Rule of Law is the doctrine that every person is subject to the ordinary law within the Jurisdiction. It is a doctrine that general constitutional principles are the result of judicial decisions determining the rights of private individuals in the courts or under the rule of Law.  There are a plethora of judicial decisions and the pronouncements which hold the view that the Rule of Law is sacrosanct and of utmost importance.

The NBA President, Paul Usoro SAN has also stressed about the Rule of Law in Nigeria. In his address at the NBA NEC meetings in 20th June, 2019, the honorable NBA President stated – ‘’ I  must state that, in my respectful opinion, the rule of Law lies prostrate in our land in guile some ways and areas ’’. 

The statement of the NBA President is not far from the truth. We live in a country where the government led by President Buhari has ignored the rule of Law on various instances and ignores the fundamental human rights of Nigerians.  Moreso, the administration has accorded itself the right to pick and choose which court orders it wants to obey and which it wants to neglect. For instance, despite the number of court decisions granting bail to the former NSA, Dasuki, the DSS has totally refused to obey the order, this without any regret or remorse from the government.

The security agencies are also not left out of the discuss as the inhuman treatment of Nigerians continues to be a part of our daily lives as a Nation. Recently we were also not surprised to learn about the attack of citizens by members of the security agencies for having a peaceful protest. As Legal practitioners, it is important that we rise up to our role as priests in the temple of Justice and the guardians of the Rule of Law. We cannot continue to sit idly by as the Rule of Law is eroded by any government that does not care about the civil liberties and freedoms of its citizens.

As lawyers get together to discuss these topic at the upcoming Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar association. It is important that all lawyers and stakeholders participate in the discussions to create ways by which we can jointly ensure that our lives matter and the rights of every Nigerian under the Constitution must be adequately protected. Join the discussion and hope to see you there.