Senators elected on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday, August 27, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of elevating national interest above the rule of law.
Three PDP senators who spoke to the press insisted that the rule of law is sacrosanct and the grundnorm of any democracy, Vanguard reports.
Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe (Abia South), said: “Rule of law is the grundnorm of any democratic society. Elevating any other thing above it means moving away from democracy to autocracy.”
Senate deputy minority leader, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha, said: “Rule of law is national interest number one.”
Chairman, Senate committee of public accounts, Senator Matthew Urhoghide (PDP, Edo South), said: “The rule of law is sacrosanct, if we have a legal system that is dictated by laws that are made. Of course, the laws that are made are supposed to be obeyed.
‘’Where they are violated, you go to a law court or any enterprise as such and you seek a redress or an intervention. That intervention will pronounce whether there is a contravention or not. And if it is so, what are the consequences.
“These are laid down procedures. So, processes and procedures, as far as legal system is concerned, must be obeyed because they were within the confines of the rules of laws that are already made.
“When a court makes a pronouncement, it is supposed to be adhered to. There is no question of variable in it or other interpretations because the court has given its own interpretation. And when they pass a judgment or make a ruling, it must be adhered to strictly. So, rule of law itself is already an issue that cannot be controverted. It must be adhered to by any society, citizen, country or system that believes in orderliness.
“So, that again cannot be violated or overlooked, if a system has to be orderly. To say national interest can overrule rule of law, I ask what national interest is. If our national interest says that we should not obey rule of law, what is the national interest that will cause citizens not to obey rule of law.
“If somebody kills another and the judgment is that that person be jailed, will you say national interest? It can only give room to brigandage, disorderliness and criminality; that means, anybody can just do anything in the name of national interest.”
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Legit.ng earlier reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said the Rule of Law must be subjected to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest.
The president made this statement while challenging members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to uphold and improve the sanctity and integrity of the nation’s judicial and electoral institutions to enhance democratic culture in the country.
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