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The Tragic Paradox Of Flouting Court Orders In A Democracy


The Oasis Reporters

July 21, 2018

Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd)

Theoretically speaking, Nigeria is a democracy with all three arms of government and other democratic institutions present, yet for the 6th time, a court of competent jurisdiction ordered for a citizen, Sambo Dasuki, standing trial to be released on bail and for the 6th time, this citizen has since perfected his bail conditions but for the 6th time, the country’s Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, has gone on air to announce that the government would disobey the order of its own court by refusing to release this man.

His reason??

He claims that the accused is responsible for the death of about 100,000 people and as such, releasing him on bail is not in the best interest of the public.

This is the official explanation given by a country’s number one lawyer for not obeying the Order of a court for the 6th time running. And this Attorney General is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN…..a man whose primary duty it is to properly advise and direct the government on issues of a legal nature and above all, ensure that the rule of law is upheld and respected at all times especially by the government.

And then the tragic paradox is, this Government has another SAN as the Vice President. Yet again, it has another SAN heading the communication department of the President’s re-election campaign. In addition, it has another SAN, not just an ordinary SAN but a nationally recognized legal god (Itse Sagay) whose books all aspiring lawyers in the whole country must read in their legal journey.

Aside these Government affiliated lawyers, the country in which this legal tragedy is happening has thousands of other lawyers and even a recognized body of lawyers known as NBA plus numberless Civil Society groups.

Above all, there is the Legislature as well as the Judiciary, two arms of government that exists mainly to checkmate the excesses of the executive.


Even in the presence of all these other arms of government, civil society groups and democratic institutions, a President and his Attorney General have continued to subject the basic law book upon which the country rests to bottomless ridicule unchallenged.

If there is one thing the Buhari Presidency has proven, it is that the country called Nigeria is a dark dot in the conscience of civilization. The Buhari Government is turning out to be far worse than Abacha’s.

With Abacha, both Nigerians and the international community knew they were dealing with a military junta who made no pretense at democracy and because they knew what they were dealing with, they were fully prepared with the right response. But with Buhari, the presence of other government arms and the pretentious claim to democracy makes it almost impossible for most Nigerians and the world to appreciate the enormity of the danger they are in with this tyrant. They will be like,

“We are in a democracy, the President cannot Islamize the country, he cannot connive with the Fulani militia to visit ethnic cleansing on Nigerians and he certainly can’t suspend the Constitution and the Rule of law. Haba ! This is democracy, isn’t it ?”

This is even when the same President is doing all of the above and much more right before their very eyes!

And therein lies the tragic paradox.

Written by Charles Ogbu.

The writer is a public affairs analyst

Greg Abolo

Blogger at The Oasis Reporters.

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