Prof., Sir, we mean no dishonour with the apparent mistake in lead title to your office in the heading above. It is just to avoid failing to abide by stipulated felicities in the practice of our profession; not unlike we are sure obtains in every other occupation. It comes quite aptly too, given that this effort is principally aimed at bringing to your notice a salient oversight we found in your otherwise ‘inspiring’ address to the nation to mark the second anniversary of the Buhari administration. In fact, but for the peculiar circumstance that trust you to the helm of it, this should have been better addressed to Mr. President himself.
Well, like you prayed in the aforementioned address, we join in asking The Almighty to speed up his recovery and resumption of the onerous task of returning our nation to rectitude which he has so ably steered before his indisposition. However, we shall not mince words in reminding you that of all the salient achievements the regime has recorded that you highlighted in the address, you were very silent in the area of law and order and the maintenance of same. We make haste to point this out because unlike your principal who was mostly a military man ante, as a professor of law(s) it is assumedly your one and only home turf.
Yes, we are all glad that – like you did not fail to point out – the Buhari administration has taken tremendous strides in the areas of security, corruption and economy which you had pledged to turn around after your electoral victory. Of course, the records afore and after are there to be cited in its support. Under your care, more than a million Internally Displaced Peoples (IDPs) have been returned to their earlier homes by our intrepid security forces. Apart from the vow to further increase the ease of doing business, the economy that had appeared to be sliding out of control has since retraced its steps to the path of recovery. Above all, the war on corruption is marching on according to plan.
All good and fine; yet we are still minded to ask you about the rule of law – and the prerequisite order – under which alone we can fully cherish these other achievements? Of course, these were saliently skipped over in your address. O yes. Put point blank, if we must, the only area of jurisdiction which ordinarily makes them possible featured in the address was as it concerned the war on corruption. Inter alia, you did point out that though our system of administration of justice has been quite slow, some judicial reforms in the offing are scheduled to take care of it. In that, apart from the already undertaken fortification of prosecution teams, specific courts may be made to try corruption cases with inevitable Godspeed.
Much as this should attract kudos like the other aspects of the speech, we are also minded to wariness by your remarks regarding the abiding temptation of choosing temporary gain over long-term benefit in the effort to recovery. We feel that this will be most beneficial nowhere else like in the administration of our justice system. Like has been noticed since the administration came on stream, the attempt to rubbish suspects before their conviction has often led to derision rather than commendation. Most are immediately put under the lock and key even for months beyond the constitutionally sanctioned; some even when courts of competent jurisdiction have freed them on bail!
So much has this become that even well-known supporters of the regime have found cause to condemn this. For instance, only recently Professor Itse Sagay (SAN) the chairman Presidential Advisory Committee Against Corruption (PACAC) had to ask your government to obey court orders regarding Col. Dasuki, the former National Security Adviser (NSA)and Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). Same undiluted sentiment opined by the Nigerian Bar Association in its statement on the selfsame second anniversary of the administration.
Your Excellency, Sir, but for decency we at The AUTHORITY should have actually started this enumeration with our publisher Dr. Patrick Ifeanyi Ubah. Going to months now he has been held by the Directorate of State Security (DSS) against his wish. Our view here is that whatever the charges against him are, he should at least be given the chance to be answering to them from the comfort of his home; at least till he is found guilty or otherwise. It is our belief that given his various investments in the country – employing thousands of Nigerians, us inclusive – he should be afforded this on self recognition. As a major contributor to your government’s job-creation initiative, he should not deserve less than that. Only this way, Sir, can you be seen to be protecting your home turf which has been severally compromised by this administration.