Immunity is without doubt one of the constitutional privileges the President enjoys in Nigeria. Part 308 of the Nigerian structure confers immunity from felony prosecution on the President. Immunity is safety or exemption from one thing, particularly an obligation or penalty. This clause gives Immunity from Trial for the President, Vice-President, Governor and Deputy Governor through the Subsistence of Their Tenure.
A Peek Into Part 308
Part 308 of the Structure states that:
(1) However something on the contrary on this Structure, however topic to subsection (2) of this part –
(a) no civil or felony proceedings shall be instituted or continued in opposition to an individual to whom this part applies throughout his interval of workplace;
(b) an individual to whom this part applies shall not be arrested or imprisoned throughout that interval both in pursuance of the method of any court docket or in any other case;
(c) no means of any court docket requiring or compelling the looks of an individual to whom this part applies, shall be utilized for or issued: Offered that in ascertaining whether or not any interval of limitation has expired for the needs of any proceedings in opposition to an individual to whom this part applies, no account shall be taken of his interval of workplace.
(2) The provisions of subsection (1) of this part shall not apply to civil proceedings in opposition to an individual to whom this part applies in his official capability or to civil or felony proceedings wherein such an individual is just a nominal social gathering.
(3) This part applies to an individual holding the workplace of President or Vice-President, Governor or Deputy Governor; and the reference on this part to “interval of workplace” is a reference to the interval throughout which the individual holding such workplace is required to carry out the capabilities of the workplace.
Buhari Serially Flouts Courtroom Order
Months after Buhari was sworn in because the President of Nigeria in 2015, his guarantees have been tied to attaining his manifesto throughout the framework of the rule of regulation. Buhari promised that his authorities can be truthful, simply, and scrupulously observe due course of, and the rule of regulation, as enshrined within the Nigeria Structure.
“Once more, as with each motion of the federal government that I lead, we’d be truthful, simply, and scrupulously observe due course of, and the rule of regulation, as enshrined in our Structure. I’ll lead by instance to make sure the prudent administration of Nigeria’s assets. The federal government will plug the leakages that gas corruption in Nigeria.”
However these turned out to be mere phrases written on paper to make his statements charming.
In 2015, Nigeria’s former nationwide safety adviser, Sambo Dasuki, was arrested for allegedly stealing $2bn (£1.3bn). Mr. Dasuki was granted bail at the very least six completely different events by varied courts, however the Nigerian authorities persistently refused to adjust to the court docket orders.
Within the wake of his trial, a Federal Excessive Courtroom in Abuja, presided over by Justice Adeniyi Ademola in 2015 ordered the discharge of Mr. Dasuki’s passport and permitted him to journey overseas for 3 weeks on medical grounds. Regardless of the order made on November 3, the SSS refused to launch Mr. Dasuki.
Once more, the previous NSA and 4 others were allowed bail on December 18, 2015, with the same situation to offer a bond of N250 million by Justice Hussein-Baba Yusuf. Though that situation was fulfilled, he was launched four years later after the Courtroom of Enchantment in Abuja declared the continued detention of the former NSA since December 29, 2015, by the DSS as illegal, illegal, and unconstitutional.
Additionally, Buhari flagrantly disregarded court docket orders within the case of El-Zakzaky. Mr El-Zakzaky and his spouse have been charged to court docket by the Kaduna State Authorities for his or her alleged roles within the demise of a soldier in December 2015. They have been arrested in December 2015, after the Nigerian Military extrajudicially killed over 300 followers of the Shiite cleric.
For probably the most a part of the detention interval, Mr El-Zakzaky and his spouse have been held at an undisclosed location by the State Safety Service (SSS). Mr. El-Zakzaky was in detention with none trial for over 17 months.
On December 2, 2016, Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the federal excessive court docket in Abuja ordered the discharge of the chief of the Islamic Motion in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his spouse, Zeenat from the custody of the Division of State Companies. Apart from the order of the court docket to launch them, the court docket additionally ordered that the DSS ought to pay the couple the sum of N50m as compensation. This court docket order was disobeyed.
El-Zakzaky was finally launched in July 2021.
On the current new naira notes, Buhari’s administration got here below assault for flouting the interim injunction of the apex court docket suspending the implementation of the February 10 deadline on using the previous banknotes. The Supreme Courtroom granted an interim injunction on February 8 restraining the CBN and the Federal Authorities from implementing the February 10 deadline. This was nonetheless flouted.
On Thursday, February 16, Buhari mentioned he has directed the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) to increase the validity of previous N200 notes until April 10. The president additionally mentioned all present previous N1,000 and N500 notes will stay redeemable on the Central Financial institution of Nigeria (CBN) and designated factors for 60 days.
Buhari flouted this order with folks elevating considerations that this might result in anarchy.
The Regulation is Supreme
Qudus Alalafia, Head of Chambers, Clemesis Associates, Wuye, Abuja, mentioned that the president’s disregard for court docket orders spells nice doom for the nation. Alalafia famous that the regulation is supreme over anyone no matter standing and place.
“if the physique who’s accountable by way of enforcement of the regulation would now implement the regulation in opposition to a 3rd social gathering, however at each time limit when judgment or rulings or orders are being given in opposition to it, it refuses. It’s a disregard for that regulation. Once we speak about rule of regulation, we speak concerning the supremacy of the regulation over everyone. The lengthy arm of the regulation ought to be capable of meet up with whosoever flout its orders, even together with the draftsman.
“With respect to President Muhammadu Buhari, for me, when you’ve gotten a army man in native apparel, the directions, the best way he was molded, all this stuff contribute to how he would react. This isn’t the primary time President Muhammadu Buhari will probably be flouting court docket orders. The time of Sambo Dansuki, the time of Ibrahim El Zakzaky wherein court docket at one level or the opposite granted them bail and he was saying that based mostly on the safety of the nation, he wouldn’t respect the choice of the courts”
Alalafia mentioned that as an alternative of flagrantly abusing court docket orders, the president is predicted to attraction or return to that very same court docket to set it apart.
“When the court docket has given orders, it’s both your attraction that order or return to that very same court docket to put aside its order. To not fold your arms and say no, and interact in what you decide, what to observe and what to not observe. No, that’s not one of the best for the nation. The plenty too are human beings, blood flows of their physique and once they see that their leaders usually are not respecting court docket orders, clearly, they too won’t respect it.
“In the event that they know that orders are given in opposition to the federal government, the federal government carries out its constitutional responsibility, as a result of this goes past statutory responsibility. It’s constitutional and the bottom norm. In case you have an obligation to implement the regulation, and also you’re not implementing it, meaning it quantities to gross misconduct, which is grounds for impeachment.” he mentioned.