‘Disrespect For Rule Of Law, Threat To Democracy’

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Emir of Gunmi, Zamfara State and former Chief Judge, Justice Hassan Lawal Gunmi, has highlighted the disrespect for rule of law and not non-obedience to court orders as some of the factors threatening Nigeria’s democratic stability.
The Emir stated this, in Sokoto, on Saturday, while speaking as a Guest Speaker at the annual lecture and award of the Barewa Old Boys Association (BOBA), held at the Umaru Shinkafi Polytechnic, Sokoto.
Speaking on the theme: ‘The challenges of democracy to the Judiciary: The Nigerian Perspectives’, the Emir also accused the Nigerian politicians as not better than the military rulers based on their attitude and corrupt ways.
He pointed out that the constitution clearly stated the power of the judiciary over the legislature, whereas, there is no constitutional provision given to the judiciary as a watchdog over the Executive.
According to him, “The Executive cannot play the role of both the accuser and that of the judge at the same time. It is an aberration in a democracy. National security cannot take  precedence over the rule of law, rather, it should be guided by the rule of law.
“Orders of Court are disobeyed at will in the name of fighting corruption. No one institution, no matter how highly placed, should flout the laws of the land, not even under the guise of  fighting corruption. Refusing to obey an order of court is another form of corruption in itself.”
The retired judge further stated that, “Any democracy where the Executive tries to intimidate and harass the Legislature and/or the Judiciary into doing its bidding is a democracy under threat.
“In the same vein, it is not right in a democracy for the National Assembly to make governance difficult for the Executive for pecuniary reasons.”