First published on the 1st of September 2018
The Nigerian state cannot afford for the law, to rule. The Nigerian state, is a criminal state, and if it were to be accountable for its own actions, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusallami, each and everyone of the people you would call Nigerian statesmen, would either be in prisons, or would have been executed for high crimes and treason against the state.
I was called to the Nigerian bar, just shy of two decades ago. For me, Law might as well have been a calling. Whatever else I was going to be, being a lawyer was the foundation, I was born to be a lawyer. But as is the case with the old, my mind wanders. Today’s preoccupation does not concern a subject I have dealt with extensively in my soon to be presented book on my life and the Nigerian Criminal Justice System. The system itself, being the criminal.
Today’s vituperations have been provoked by a distraction raised by the elevation of the doctrine of the Rule Of Law, into the trending topic of discussions, that have ranged from the sublime, to the ridiculous, and now seeks to benumb brains already assailed by existential preoccupations.
The Law does not rule in Nigeria. Wrap your brains round that truth first. The Nigerian state cannot afford for the law, to rule. The Nigerian state, is a criminal state, and if it were to be accountable for its own actions, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusallami, each and everyone of the people you would call Nigerian statesmen, would either be in prisons, or would have been executed for high crimes and treason against the state.
If the Law were to rule in Nigeria, Jonathan and his entire gang would be in jails, stripped of their loots, and we would have been spared the cackling of vultures that the PDP current gatherings truly represents. If the law were to rule in Nigeria, the APC would not be the laundromat of crooks relaunched as saints, by the Alli Baba with the legions of thieves.
If the law shall rule in Nigeria, the president would not presume to harbor Maina, the DG of the Health Insurance agency would not be back on the job, Babachir would be in jail, and Baru would be busy explaining when, how and why the petroleum subsidy have reappeared.
If the Law rules in Nigeria, we would not be hearing the abomination of Professor. Sagay justifying crimes allegedly committed by the finance minister. El Zakyzaky would be in his own bed, Dasuki would be answering for his own crimes, his fate determined by a justice system that is anchored on the rule of law. We would not behold the gathering of crooks the Council Of State meeting represents.
L’etat C’est Moi. The Nigerian state is designed without any intention of allowing the law to rule. The powers required to keep the Nigerian state as it is currently structured and governed from collapsing, cannot be subsumed beneath the rule of law. The Nigerian state endures exactly because the law does not rule, men rule in these parts. It is why we do not have institutions. It is why we have strong men.
The EFCC have served three presidents before Buhari. It has been blessed with the overwhelming goodwill of the Nigerian people. I challenge anyone to tell me when that agency has ever acted without reading the body language of the president in power. The EFCC has not fared any better under the reign of the saint, the harvest of crooks promised the victims, never managed to move beyond media convictions, the system that allowed the ascension of their current patron, ensured that they had been defanged at creation.
I am grateful to Buhari for his honesty, candor, and boldness, in declaring before the gathering of liars, sorry, lawyers, that the security of the state, takes preeminence over and above any impotent protestations and or pretense, about the rule of some imaginary law. Where was the rule of law when the assembly elected its own leaders? Where was the rule of law in Benue, Kogi, Taraba, Plateau? Has the rule of law been on vacation in the Niger Delta?
National Security has always been more important than the rule of law in Nigeria. The problem is that the hapless citizens confuse it for the security of their own lives, and properties. The preservation of the state and the governing system, for the benefits of the beneficiaries, and not the nonexistent citizens, have assured that the law cannot rule in the Nigerian state as currently constituted.
The path to Buhari’s second term will bring to the fore, his fascist tendencies. It is the only way he knows, and it is the easiest route for him. I expect him to take the easy road.
When the hour comes, I am certain that the men, long dead in men, shall arise, and we will find the grace to not only speak the truth without fear, but to envision and birth the nation where the law, and the law alone, will not only rule, but shall suffice for the protection and promotion, of National Security.