VOODOO DEMOCRACY…VOODOO JUSTICE!

I use the word voodoo here in the following context that I found in Urban Dictionary, ‘an unexplainable occurrence…a noun that describes situations that are strange, weird, odd or out of the ordinary.’

I had the privilege of being called to the Nigerian bar in September 1999 and I have made it a point of duty to pitch my tent as a legal practitioner in the area of law and public interest. The core of the organisation I lead today is Legal Enlightenment and Social Development and our flagship project is Securing A Friendly and PROTECTIVE Environment™ for the precious African child through global STANDARDS.

I accept wholly that law is an instrument of social change…The law is the foundation of modern society. It was by the Rule of Law that the Rule of Force was displaced and flunged far away into the sea of forgetfulness and it’s oppressively destructive spirit was exorcised from civilised society.

I also verily believe that the law rules all things. The implication of the foregoing sentence is that every private and public action and omission of private individuals and public officers must by all means necessary follow the letters of the law, even when it is not socially and politically expedient.

DUE PROCESS is the antidote to jungle justice. In the eye of the constitution and our criminal justice system, a man/woman, suspected or accused of a crime is innocent until proven guilty. How do we establish innocence or guilt in law? It by embracing the almighty principle of DUE PROCESS.

The fact in issue today is that the head of the Executive arm of the Federal Government, General Buhari, purportedly acting on the order of a court removed the CJN on the allegation of corrupt practices.

The question today is: has the president followed DUE PROCESS in suspending the CJN? The answer is CAPITAL NO! There are laid down constitutional procedures to follow in removing a judicial officer…The National Judicial Council has not been involved in this whole process neither is the National Assembly in accordance with the clear provisions of Section 292 of the 1999 Constitution of The Federal Republic of Nigeria(as amended).

Some have argued that how can the National Judicial Council sit over a matter in which it’s chairman(CJN) is the accused? I think the answer is very simple. All that the chairman would do is to recuse himself in accordance with the rule of natural justice. The foregoing is clear in elementary law.

Let us agree without conceding that the head of the executive arm of the Federal Government of Nigeria acted in obedience to a court order and even if same is valid, when did the executive arm of the present government begin to respect court order? It is the character of the present administration to flout court orders with brazen impunity. Does a government with respect for the Rule of Law choose and pick, which court order to obey?

The responsibility to uphold DUE PROCESS is higher on those who swore to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The point here is not whether the CJN and the judiciary is corrupt, though I believe it is a valid point to consider under another subject matter…The real questions here are: who is afraid of DUE PROCESS and why?

It was Ghandi who said, :an eye for an eye will only make the world go blind, pointing to the uncivilised nature of jungle justice, under which the executive arm of the Federal Government has sought refuge in this matter…

I smell a fast descent into the abyss of the Rule of Force…

I believe strongly in the saying that all it takes for evil to triumph is for men and women of goodwill to fold their arms and do nothing… According to Martin Luther King Jnr. ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ I think our agitation today must be that the executive arm of the Federal Government must reserve it’s unlawful decision and follow DUE PROCESS or be forced to do so by all legal and peaceful means necessary.

History and posterity remain the unbiased judges of what we do or omit to do in this time of huge moral and national crisis.

Do have an INSPIRED week.
http://www.taiwoakinlamiblog.com

Advertisements