By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP has scored the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari on its sixth anniversary very low over safety of human rights of residents, itemizing seven judgements the administration refused to obey.
SERAP, in a letter dated May 29, 2021 by it’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare additionally urged Buhari to make use of the sixth anniversary of his administration to finish the worsening rule of regulation disaster, egregious violations of Nigerians’ proper to life and safety in a number of elements of the nation.
The Buhari administration is marking six 12 months anniversary with some officers claiming that “Nigeria has become a better country than it was before Buhari’s election in 2015,” and that “Nigerians would celebrate and praise the administration after Buhari’s tenure in 2023.”
SERAP, urged him to make use of the anniversary as a possibility to halt Nigeria’s backsliding from constitutional and worldwide obligations, reverse a gentle deterioration of the rule of regulation and protracted breach of human rights, together with the rights to a corruption-free society.
SERAP mentioned: “We urge you to publicly give an assurance that you just and your authorities would finish the worsening rule of regulation disaster, obey court docket judgments, genuinely fight grand corruption, and handle the systematic and egregious violations of Nigerians’ proper to life and safety in a number of elements of the nation.
“We are gravely concerned about persistent attacks on the rule of law. Millions of people are falling into preventable poverty, and live in a state of insecurity. This government’s effort to use anniversary celebrations to deflect attention from its record of assault on the rule of law isn’t going to work. Instead, it should use the occasion to create a rule of law-friendly environment that would make Nigerians safer.”
According to SERAP: “Systematically breaching the rule of law is not a sign of strength. Your administration should urgently comply with Nigeria’s constitutional and international obligations to respect the rule of law, if it is not to leave behind a legacy of impunity and attacks on the rule of law, and ultimately, on the system of protection of human rights after your tenure in 2023.”
The letter, learn partly: “Should your authorities fail and/or refuse to urgently implement the really useful measures, SERAP would strategy the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union to invoke their charters and treaties to revive the rule of regulation and human rights in Nigeria.
“Attacks on the rule of law have made it harder for your administration to fulfil your oft-repeated promises to combat corruption, and to protect Nigerians’ right to life and security.”
“SERAP is seriously concerned that a culture of attacks on the rule of law has adversely affected the functioning of the country’s judiciary, undermined the integrity and authority of our courts, and reduced their ability to function effectively as the fundamental safeguard of rule of law in the country.”
“SERAP believes that respect for the rule of regulation and human rights is important in case your administration is to have the ability to successfully and satisfactorily handle the rising poverty, inequality, and insecurity throughout the nation.
“Persistent disobedience of court docket judgments by your administration represents a systemic menace to the rule of regulation, as this has infringed upon judicial independence and undermined authorized certainty, in addition to exacerbated the chilling impact on victims’ entry to justice and efficient cures.
“Nigeria’s rule of law breakdown, the systematic breaching of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 [as amended] and the country’s international obligations have also seriously undermined Nigeria’s leadership role within the ECOWAS, the African Union, and generally in the comity of nations.”
“Ensuring full and effective respect for the rule of law and human rights would send a strong signal of your commitment to uphold the country’s constitutional guarantees and international obligations, and that you are ready to do what is needed to halt the backsliding from these guarantees and obligations.”
Lists of judgements ready compliance
SERAP continued: “The judgments your government is yet to obey include at least seven judgments obtained by SERAP. The first is the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering your government to tell Nigerians about the stolen asset it allegedly recovered to date, with details of the amounts recovered.”
“The second judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris [as he then was], ordered your government to publish details on the spending of stolen funds recovered since the return of democracy in 1999, while the third judgment, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, ordered your government to publish details of payments of billions of naira to allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies since 1999.”
“The fourth judgment, by Justice Oluremi Oguntoyinbo, ordered your government to challenge the legality of states’ life pension laws and to recover pensions already collected by ex-governors now serving as ministers and members of the National Assembly.”
“The fifth judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris ordered your authorities to prosecute principal officers and lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481bn from the 2016 price range. The court docket additionally ordered publication of the report on the alleged 2016 price range padding.
“The sixth judgment, by the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Abuja, ordered the Nigerian authorities to supply free and high quality schooling to all Nigerian kids with out discrimination. The seventh judgment, additionally by the ECOWAS Court, ordered the Federal Government to carry all oil corporations working within the Niger Delta to account for oil air pollution and related human rights violations, and to pay compensation.
“Another court docket order that’s but to be complied with is the order for the discharge of Islamic Movement of Nigeria chief, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his spouse, Zeenah, from illegal detention, obtained by human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana.
“Nigeria’s democracy should have as its basis respect for human rights and the rule of regulation. Treating the choices of Nigerian courts as not binding is antithetical to any modern notion of the rule of regulation and democracy, and clearly counter-productive to the combat in opposition to corruption.
“Democracy is an inherent element of the rule of law, and obeying decisions of the courts, combating corruption, and ending growing insecurity in the country are closely connected with the existence and consolidation of democracy, good governance and development.”
SERAP, subsequently, urged Buhari to instantly instruct the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN to implement all excellent court docket judgments in opposition to your authorities since May 2015, together with these highlighted above.
Vanguard News Nigeria