The Rule of Law is a
substantive legal principle. According to the Black’s Law Dictionary, 8th
edition, Rule of Law is the doctrine that every person is subject to the
ordinary law within the Jurisdiction. It is a doctrine that general
constitutional principles are the result of judicial decisions determining the
rights of private individuals in the courts or under the rule of Law.  There are a plethora of judicial decisions
and the pronouncements which hold the view that the Rule of Law is sacrosanct
and of utmost importance.

The NBA President, Paul
Usoro SAN has also stressed about the Rule of Law in Nigeria. In his address at
the NBA NEC meetings in 20th June, 2019, the honorable NBA President
stated – ‘’ I  must state that, in my respectful opinion,
the rule of Law lies prostrate in our land in guile some ways and areas ’’. 

The statement of the NBA
President is not far from the truth. We live in a country where the government
led by President Buhari has ignored the rule of Law on various instances and ignores
the fundamental human rights of Nigerians. 
Moreso, the administration has accorded itself the right to pick and
choose which court orders it wants to obey and which it wants to neglect. For
instance, despite the number of court decisions granting bail to the former
NSA, Dasuki, the DSS has totally refused to obey the order, this without any
regret or remorse from the government.

The security agencies are
also not left out of the discuss as the inhuman treatment of Nigerians
continues to be a part of our daily lives as a Nation. Recently we were also
not surprised to learn about the attack of citizens by members of the security
agencies for having a peaceful protest. As Legal practitioners, it is important
that we rise up to our role as priests in the temple of Justice and the
guardians of the Rule of Law. We cannot continue to sit idly by as the Rule of
Law is eroded by any government that does not care about the civil liberties
and freedoms of its citizens.

As lawyers get together to
discuss these topic at the upcoming Annual General Conference of the Nigerian
Bar association. It is important that all lawyers and stakeholders participate
in the discussions to create ways by which we can jointly ensure that our lives
matter and the rights of every Nigerian under the Constitution must be
adequately protected. Join the discussion and hope to see you there.