It is my position that in the Nigerian case, the argument which insists “nobody is above the law” is a pre emptive answer to an un-asked question that comes from guilt and political hand washing like that of Pontius Pilate.
Her conclusion is anchored on the ideals of representative democracy and judiciary as practiced in United States of America from where she drew her scintillating examples. But Elsie’s ideals of rule of law and equality before the Law hardly work in Nigeria despite its wholesale importation of the Presidential system from the States.
She overlooked the Nigerian factor. In the USA, we have clear separation of powers between the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary and equality before the law that informed her ”Nobody is above the law” argument.
Let me offer some background. The concept of equality of all (before the law) has been fascinating to all in every society — from the Greco/Roma era to the modern bastion of western democracy the USA. In Athens, everybody was present but as the system evolved through the centuries, the cumbersome “everybody must be present” was abandoned for representative democracy which can be aptly described as the “political all of you” represented by one person. That one person is important more than the others and expressed in the respect given to his position and his profound influence in the society. With his influence comes in exceptions and bending of rules of law. This is often expressed as “The laws being made for us and not us for the law”.
There is the Nigerian factor where justice is expensive, where impunity reigns and most often justice favours the rich who can bribe their way through and obtain justice. It is an understatement to say the Nigerian judiciary is a cesspool of corruption for anyone to be an advocate of ‘equality before the law’ — as it is a compromised skunk not fit for purpose, in all ramifications.
What we have in Nigeria is the judiciary that is ancillary to the Executive. It is an established fact that in Nigeria’s Presidential system, past Presidents such as retired General Olusegun Obasanjo used the judiciary and key agencies of law enforcement to fight political enemies. Obasanjo did in his two term Presidency from 1999 to 2008. The judiciary in Nigeria has always been a willing tool in fights against political opponents of the Executive arm.
In Nigeria, the Judiciary is very complex in its dimensions. For instance, does our judiciary function as in other countries like the USA whose Presidential system we copiously introduced in 1979 with contradictions? The answer is capital NO.
What we see today as fight against corruption beginning with the Senate President is nothing but a judicial charade full of sounds and fury and will signify nothing because this is not the first time that Bukola Saraki has been docked for “false” Asset declarations. In 2013 when he queried the Fuel subsidy scam under President Jonathan, the Economic and Financial Crime Commission was unleashed against him and he was later discharged. All of a sudden the comatose and moribund Code of conduct bureau is revived and functioning to the point of fighting a retroactive offence committed more than ten years ago when the Senate President was a Governor. Buhari tempted his hubris and Saraki’s appearance at the tribunal is a glowing tribute to his strength of character and tenacity of purpose despite having a restraining order from a Court of Law. Political vendetta through the judiciary is not rule of law but a lethargic misrule of the law and should be condemned by all not minding the Robespierrean ilk of change all over the country chanting sai Baba..sai Buhari.
Instead of settling down to the business of governance, Buhari has opted for plebeian rabble rousing that goes a long way to show that campaigning was easy but governance is hard. In any true democracy, political impasses like these are most often resolved through dialogues and lobbying and not judicial murder via ventriloquism.
Boko Haram: SkyNews London interview wt USAfrica Publisher Dr. Chido Nwangwu on BOKO HARAM vs BUHARI (Nigeria’s President inaugurated May 29, 2015). Interview on May 30 (Houston) May 31 (London) 2015
VIDEO #CNN special #CHIBOK Girls n #BokoHaram Live intvw wt the Founder of USAfrica multimedia and public POLICY networks Chido Nwangwu. CNN anchors John Berman n Michaela Pereira.
and friendship HOLD lessons for humanity and Africans, USAfrica Founder Chido Nwangwu takes a measure of their works and CONSEQUENCE to write that Mandela and Achebe have left “footprints of greatness.”
He chronicles, movingly, his 1998 reporting from the Robben Island jail room in South Africa where Mandela was held for decades through his 20 years of being CLOSE
to Achebe. He moderated the 2012 Achebe Colloquium at Brown UNIVERSITY
in Providence, Rhode Island.“I’ll forever remember having walked inside and peeped through that HISTORIC Mandela jail cell (where he was held for most of his 27 years in unjust imprisonment) at the dreaded Robben Island, on March 27, 1998, alongside then Editor-in-chief of TIME magazine and later news chief EXECUTIVE of the CNN, Walter Isaacson (and others) when PRESIDENT BILL Clinton made his first official trip to South Africa and CAME to Robben Island. Come to this island of scourge and you will understand, in part, the simple greatness and towering grace of Nelson Mandela”, notes Chido Nwangwu, award-winning writer, multimedia
specialist and founder of USAfricaonline.com, the first African-owned U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET
, in his first book; he writes movingly from his 1998 reporting from South Africa on Mandela. http://www.mandelaachebechido.com/
•Dr. Chido Nwangwu, moderator of the Achebe Colloquium (GOVERNANCE, SECURITY, and PEACE in Africa) December 7-8, 2012 at Brown UNIVERSITY in Rhode Island and former ADVISER on Africa business/issues to the Mayor of Houston, is the Founder & Publisher of Houston-based USAfrica multimedia networks since 1992, first African-owned, U.S-based newspaper published on the INTERNET USAfricaonline.com; CLASSmagazine, AchebeBooks.com, the USAfrica-powered e-groups of AfricanChristians, Nigeria360 and the largest pictorial events megasite on the African diaspora www.PhotoWorks.TV . He was recently profiled by the CNN International for his pioneering works on multimedia/news/public policy projects for Africans and Americans. E-MAIL: Chido247@Gmail.com