- Ex-archbishop of Lagos, Okogie, says Nigeria's current democracy is faulty because of the disobedience to court orders
- He notes that such action is a reminder of the days of military juntas which serially ignored court orders
- An elected leader, he said, should listen to people and not seek to quash opinions different from his own
A former Catholic archbishop of Lagos, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie, has faulted the disobedience to court orders by the federal government, saying the action is reminiscent of the dark days of the military in Nigerian politics.
The Catholic priest made the assertion in a statement he released on Friday, December 13.
According to him, disobeying court orders and humiliating the judiciary were the practices of military juntas who had no regard for the rule of law.
"If the executive disobeys court rulings, and if it intimidates and humiliates the judiciary, then we are back to the era when a military junta made laws and interpreted them without any regard for fundamental human rights,” he said.
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He explained that in a democracy, elected leaders represent the people and so, they must listen to the people. True democrats not only listen to the people, he said, they are also not afraid of dissenting opinions.
He faulted Nigeria's democracy, saying the actions of the presidency, negates principles of the practice.
“How can we claim to live in a democracy when presidential spokespersons tell us the presidency is always right?” he queried.
Legit.ng notes that the presidency has, in recent times, come under heavy criticism for its refusal to obey court orders.
The latest attack on the presidency along this line was by a national newspaper which wrote in its editorial that it would now refer to President Muhammadu Buhari by his major-general rank from his days in the Nigerian Army. It also vowed to refer to his administration as a regime - a term used to refer to a military government.
But Legit.ng reported earlier that the presidency has explained why the likes of former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and activist Omoyele Sowore, are still in detention despite being granted bail.
In an exclusive interview with Legit.ng's Political Arena, Ajuri Ngelale, the senior special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on public affairs, on Thursday, October 3, explained the circumstances surrounding the continued detention of those in custody.
The presidential aide said the court granted bail on some of the charges preferred against the suspects, but they had to remain in detention because other charges against them were yet to be treated by the court.
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