President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration will not sacrifice issues of national security for the rule of law.
The president said this while delivering an address at the opening of the 2018 annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.
He said the rights of those who threaten national security does not take priority in place of the greater good of the society.
“The rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest,” he said.
“Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society.”
Buhari said the choice of theme for the conference titled ‘Transition, transformation and sustainable institutions’ showed that the body of legal practitioners proffer solutions to wider society problems.
Due to the longing of the citizens for a change, he added that he had the challenge of transforming the country swiftly to a place where there is no impunity in the management of resource.
The president said there is need to utilise the nation’s resources to meet the needs of common men and not the greedy ones.
“In order to achieve this, we have had to disrupt age-old assumptions and unsettle ancient norms in the management of our national patrimony, as you have all witnessed in the last three years,” he said.
“While we have made appreciable progress in several sectors, including public awareness of the need to challenge the corrupt and the brazen in our midst, we have also learnt useful lessons on the dynamism of our society.
“However, elements within every society, including some lawyers, can equally become unduly resistant to change, even where it is proven that such change is to serve the interest of the larger society. At worst, corruption fights back.”