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The Standard Gazette
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Sowore: There was a constitution in Nigeria

The re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore and his co defendant Olawale Bakare by the Department of State Security (DSS) is an all time low in the history of Nigeria. The commando move right in the court is a clear disregard of the judiciary and a mockery of the rights of Sowore and Bakare. It would be recalled that the duo who were arrested for organizing protest against the government of President Muhammadu Buhari were released on bail after 124 days in detention amidst DSS violation of court order against unjustified detention.

Constitution

The constitution of the federal government has been desecrated by institutions totally loyal to the presidency. As the number of dissenting voices continue to increase in President Muhammadu Buhari gulag, the wave of impunity continues to wax stronger among security agencies.

Nigerians May recall that Buhari led administration has no regard for the constitution. Col Sambo Dasuki is being held for four years despite a court order to grant him bail. El Zakzaky and his wife have a similar experience. We have so many Nigerian journalists locked up in jails across the country without trial. The leadership at the centre has obviously inspired states to be reckless and adamant to issues of constitutional value. 

Against constitutional requirements, the Tucano aircraft was purchased without due process. A whopping sum of $1bn was approved without National Assembly approval to fight “depleted” Boko Haram. Nigerians will not forget how the former Chief Justice of Nigeria,  Walter Onnoghen was illegally removed. Nigeria will always remember that against the constitutional mandate, Buhari presented an affidavit in lieu of statement or certificate of West African School Certificate as a minimum qualification for re-election where the court held that he is “eminently” qualified. Tenure elongation of cherry-picked permanent secretaries and continued stay of service chiefs attaining despite retirement are dangerous precedents set by this administration.

The bastardized constitution has opened so many gaps currently working against hapless citizens. Without a warrant, the police can adopt and extort and most times kill innocent people. Now the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has declared the use of Global Positioning System (GPS) for navigation illegal. Already vehicles are being seized and drivers forced to pay money and take a psychiatric test. 

Corruption war, one of the pillars of Buharis administration has failed to contain corrupt practices among government officials. Opposition politicians and reputable financial observers across the globe have issued serial warnings that Nigeria economy heads for the cliff edge. 

Sadly, the usual voices of conscience checkmating bad governance is drowning on daily bases. Some like former Lagos Governor, Bola Tinubu and pastor Bakare are too ambitious to echo the feelings of Nigerians. Reasonable Nigerians are asking why former President Olusegun Obasanjo is no longer talking despite the growing impunity of this government. Is it the power probe or the presidential library? Former President Jonathan is a quiet person but rumore of complicity trails APC victory in Bayelsa. With some Diezani Allison – Maduake loot stinking close to Jonathan, Nigerians are no longer sure of what to believe. Certainly this administration has something against everybody. They have resource of blackmail, loyal institutions and trampled constitution to reign in their foes. 

With almost every past leader in the opposition morally and physically held hostage over real or imaginary “corruption” charges, the Buhari led administration appears unstoppable, untouchable but not invincible. The commando style re-arrest of Sowore and Bakare is another action taken too far by the incumbent administration. Impunity taken too far breeds revolt. This administration appears to be begging Nigerians to take to the street as our constitution is trampled upon on daily bases.

Ebije can be reached via: [email protected]

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