(By Iheanyi Ezinwo)-The declaration of President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria at the 58th Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Abuja that his administration believes that the rule of law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest has been faulted by Hon. OCJ Okocha, Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
In a text message to the publisher of Notable Outcome, the decorated giant in the field of legal practice, argued that the rule of law and national security are inseparable, and that the fight against corruption must be guided by the rule of law in a constitutional democracy.
Hear him: “ I respectfully disagree with President Buhari. The rule of law is an integral part of national interest and cannot be divorced from it. National interest cannot ignore rule of law. National security cannot ignore rule of law. The fight against corruption cannot ignore the rule of law. The rule of law is the corner stone of any constitutional and democratic government”.
President Buhari, at the occasion had argued 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”, even as he challenged legal practitioners to put national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business.