The Emir of Gummi, Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi (retd.), has said that refusal to obey a court order is another form of corruption, saying the President Muhammadu Buhari government must exemplify the change it promised before expecting same from citizens.
The monarch said this when he spoke on the topic, “The challenges of the judiciary to democracy: The Nigeria perspective” at the Barewa Old Boys Association annual lecture, held at the Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic, Sokoto.
Justice Gunmi explained that disrespect for the rule of law, bad governance, disobedience to court orders, non-compliance with electoral regulations by political parties, godfathers hijacking the electoral process and dwindling confidence in the justice system posed threats to Nigeria’s democracy.
According to him, the judiciaryis the watchdog of democracy, without which “reckless marauders will attack the society.”
The Emir said, “Orders of court are disobeyed at will in the name of fighting corruption. No one institution, no matter how highly placed, should flout the laws of the land, not even under the guise of fighting corruption. Refusing to obey an order of court is another form of corruption in itself.
“The executive cannot play the role of both the accuser and that of the judge at the same time. It is an aberration in a democracy. National security cannot take precedence over the rule of law; rather, it should be guided by the rule of law.
“Any democracy where the executive tries to intimidate and harass the legislature and/or the judiciary into doing its bidding is a democracy under threat. In the same vein, it is not right in a democracy for the National Assembly to make governance difficult for the executive for pecuniary reasons.
“We all agree that we need change as promised by the government, but that change must first begin with them, then, you and me.”
The President Buhari government has become notorious in disrespecting court orders.
The 97-year old Barewa College, located in Kaduna State, has produced five out of Nigeria’s past leaders, including General Yakubu Gowon, Alhaji Shehu Shagari, late Umaru Yar’adua, late Gen. Murtala Mohammed and the late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
It has also produced three Chief Justices of Nigeria, three Inspectors-General of Police and four Secretaries to the Government of the Federation.