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FG’s failure to obey court judgements detrimental to rule of law – SERAP

  The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project called on the Federal Government to obey court judgements against it stating that a f...


The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project called on the Federal Government to obey court judgements against it stating that a failure to do so is detrimental to the rule of law.

In a statement on Thursday, signed by the group’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, SERAP noted that the failure of the Major Gen. Muhammadu Buhari’s (retd.) regime to obey judgements issued by the court erodes the citizens’ trust in the judiciary.

The statement read in part, “The failure and/or refusal to enforce and implement legally binding judgments of the court is entirely inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s international human rights obligations.

“It is unacceptable to take the court, which is the guardian of justice in this country, for a ride. A democratic state based on the rule of law cannot exist or function if the government routinely ignores and/or fails to abide by court orders.

“The persistent and deliberate disobedience of judges’ decisions would, ultimately, shatter citizens’ confidence and trust in the ability of the justice system to render justice for victims of corruption and human rights violations.

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens but more particularly those who publicly took the oath of office to protect and preserve the Constitution is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a constitutional democracy like ours, this is meant to be the norm.

“The implementation of these judgments will be a special moment for the government’s anti-corruption agenda and the supremacy of the rule of law in Nigeria, as it would go a long way in protecting the integrity of our legal system.


“Implementing the judgments will provide the government with the much-needed resources to fund national budgets, reduce the growing level of borrowing, and serve as an effective deterrent to corrupt public officials and improve public confidence and trust in the administration’s oft-repeated commitment to fight corruption, respect human rights and observe the rule of law.

“Implementing the judgments will also would be in keeping with Nigerians’ expectations, and entirely consistent with President Buhari’s oft-expressed commitment to ‘kill’ corruption–whether by public officials or private contractors—and help to build citizens’ trust and confidence in the ability of this government to take head-on the systemic corruption in Nigeria.”

The group urged the government to “immediately take meaningful steps to implement several judgments obtained by SERAP against the Federal Government to raise money to fund the budget, reduce the growing level of borrowing, and address the escalating rule of law crisis in the country.”

SERAP, however, stated that if the court’s judgements are not implemented, it would begin contempt proceedings against the government.

“Unless the judgments are immediately implemented, SERAP will consider pursuing contempt proceedings against the Federal Government in national courts, and international sanctions against the administration for its persistent disobedience of court judgments,” the group said in the statement.

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