IN A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY, genuine, systematic and progressive democratization process, expediently, needed to sustain democracy. At the heart of a nation’s democratization are the rule of law, human rights, among others. They are the pillars of democratic society.
The judiciary has crucial role to play, in the quest to sustain an enduring democracy in Nigeria. In the absence of upright judiciary in the country, the content of a democratic society becomes questionable. Democracy, rule of law and human rights, share mutually inclusive relationship. Without the rule of law and human rights, there is no democracy.
The past one month, has seen politicians in Nigeria shopping for judicial rulings to suit their peculiar challenges; and some judges – expected to be esteem judicial officers at the temple of justice, are offering themselves and judgements for sales. They have been involved in issuing embarrassing and conflicting orders emerging from courts of same coordinate jurisdiction.
Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad, who is also the Chairman, National Judicial Commission, NJC, may be coming to the rescue. He has summoned six Chief Justices of six States in Nigeria – Rivers; Kebbi; Cross River; Anambra; Jigawa and Imo States, over “frivolously embarrassing” and “politically motivated” ex parte orders granted politicians by High Court judges in their states.
Justice Tanko Muhammad’s invitation to the six Chief Justices says, in parts: “My attention has been drawn to media Reports to the effect that some Courts of coordinate jurisdiction were granting conflicting Exparte Orders on the same subject matter.
“It has become expedient for me to invite you for a detailed briefing on the development. This is even more compelling having regard to earlier NJC‘s warning to judicial officers on the need to be circumspect in granting Exparte applications”.
NIGERIA’S Judiciary, observers and analysts have noted, needs to regain appropriate trust and confidence of the citizens to deepen and advance the country’s democracy. The reminder is that everyone has the right to take part in governance of the country – directly or through freely chosen representatives.
Experts have also, noted, that democracy stipulates equal access to public service in one’s country. The framework being that: “The will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government; this will shall be expressed in periodic and genuine elections which shall be by universal and equal suffrage and shall be held by secret vote or by equivalent free voting procedures”.