According to Daily Trust, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari, in a speech at the opening of the 59th Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference (AGC), which commenced in Abuja on Sunday, stated that the Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest.
Going further, the President stressed, “Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society”.
If anything, the direct fallout of this harmless speach gives room for legal chaos and the enshrining of personal interpretation to law and justice. The Rule Of Law represents a strict modus operandi of a country’s code of conduct, and by itself exhaustively provides remedies for emergencies, national security matters and other emergencies without recourse to self-help or bogus interpretation either my administrators of justice or by executive pronouncements or fiat.
The Rule Of Law cannot be subject to situations, the Rule of Law is the very fabric of a Nation’s guiding codes, it is sacred and beyond the reproach of government control or subject to political considerations. When the Rule of Law becomes subject “national interest” or security concerns”, it loses its power and a nation loses its guiding principle; All mode of conduct is open to be interpreted under a vague term as “national interest”.
Perhaps, this belief borne by Executive self-righteousness has been the logic behind so many court disobedience in recent times, where Nigeria’s Courts have been reduced to an institution of Opinion of law, not as arbitrator having the power to declare the effect of law.