Renowned human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana at the weekend said President Muhammadu Buhari had turned Nigeria into a banana republic, citing prevailing cases of banditry, insurgency and violence that beclouded the country.
Here are some reactions on social media:
"THOSE IN CHARGE OF RUNNING THE FEDERATION ARE WORKING AGAINST THE PROGRESS OF THE NATION AND NIGERIANS"
– Femi Falana
Let's put it bluntly!
Buhari and his gang are working against the progress of Nigeria and Nigerians!
— Odeyele Ayodeji. (@Haywhy_Jah) May 5, 2019
It's so bad that legal irokos like Femi Falana are beginning to "beg Buhari" to respect courts rulings. Dictatorship in Nigeria is 100%.
— John Danfulani (@john_danfulani) April 26, 2019
Instead of reading the news, digest issues raised& preferably raise a rejoinder to debunk what Falana said, u aimed your uncultured verbal darts at Sen. @ShehuSani ! How can you be a proud Nigerian when u are told ur President has become a law to himself?Free urself from IDOLATRY
— Adeshola Adeola Esq (@Adeola_LLM) May 5, 2019
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), added that Buhari’s civilian administration was apparently worse than the military rule he presided over between December 31, 1983 and August 27, 1985.
He expressed grave concern about the APC government in a paper he delivered at a roundtable discussion the Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism and the British Council organised to the 2019 World Press Freedom Day in Abuja on Friday.
At the public forum attended by a wide range of political leaders, diplomats and professionals, Falana lamented that the country’s senior public officers had substituted the rule of law for “the rule of the rulers,” thereby asking the Nigerian masses “to take their destiny in their own hands.”
Specifically, the human rights lawyer cited Buhari’s records of respecting the rule of law, which according to him, had worsened since his heydays as a military dictator.
In a comprehensive analysis of the two administration, Falana said the irony of such official impunity “is that whereas the Buhari military junta released detainees from custody on the orders of the courts.”
He decried worsening cases of violence, banditry and insurgency, which he said, had become prevalent since the president returned to power in 2015.
He, therefore, concluded that under the the Buhari administration, Nigeria had become a banana republic, saying the president’s human rights record “is worse than when Buhari was a military dictator.”
He, equally, lamented Buhari’s poor record of obeying the rule of law, wondering that president claimed to be a converted democrat, though the claim had been disputed by the refusal of his administration to comply with the orders made by several courts for the release of a number of citizens from unlawful custody.
Apart from treating the orders of the courts with contempt, Falana said Buhari, currently the Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), had ignored the orders of the Community Court of Justice with respect to the restoration of the civil liberties of Nigerian citizens.
He faulted Buhari and his Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, saying the contemptuous act of the administration “has been defended by the president who has insisted that national security should take precedence over the rule of law.
As if that is not enough, the human rights lawyer faulted the decision of the justice minister “to publicly defended the contemptuous acts of the federal government.”
However, the senior advocate said the civilian regime headed by the converted democrat “has refused to release or grant bail to several detained persons in complete defiance of court orders.
“Since the federal government claims to operate under the rule of law, it should be compelled to comply with section 287 of the Constitution which has imposed a duty on all authorities and persons to enforce the decisions of all courts of competent jurisdiction in Nigeria.
“It is so worrisome that provisions of the 1999 Constitution are conveniently sacrificed for political expediency or self aggrandisement of highly placed public officers. In the process, Nigeria is reduced to a banana republic where the rule of law is substituted for the rule of the rulers.”
He equally lamented that those in charge of running the federation are working against the progress of the nation and Nigerians, noting that by deliberately ignoring the rule of law, the Buhari administration was promoting and perpetuating corruption.
Source: Native Reporters