*Frictions among the three arms of government
Concentration of governmental powers in the hands of one individual is the very definition of dictatorship end absolute power is by its very nature arbitrary, capricious and despotic. Limited government demands therefore that the organization of government should based on some concept of structure, whereby the functions of law-makings, execution and adjudication are vested in separate agencies, operating with separate personnel and procedure. We are not prepared, write Vile, to accept that government can become, on the ground of “efficiency’’, or
for any other reason, a single undifferentiated monolithic structure, nor can we assume that government can be allowed to become simply an accidental agglomeration of purely pragmatic relationships…. By separating the function of execution from that of the law-making, by insisting that every executive from action must, in so far at any rate as it affects an individual, have the authority of some law, and by prescribing a different procedure for lawmaking the arbitrariness of executive action can be effectively checked.
Professor Ben Nwabueze
When the excesses of judiciary was unfairly punctured by DSS’s (Executive) lawlessness and those muscles flexed by executive (presidency) was equally stretched to overreach the legislative arms of government which were applauded by legislative aggrandisements to further foist execution of policies of government, then the very essence of checks and balances which powers the efficient rule of law is taking shape. Thus, the very change we hope for is nearer than expected.
Separation of power borne out of a need to have supremacy of law and prevent a situation where by a person, an institution or a group of like minds will be all in all and the existing laws will have to bow and take a new direction as proposed by the tyrant authority.
It is so unfortunate that democracy we practiced in Nigeria in the past was never a government as wished by the people rather a government of a few individual who mould the destinies of the entire people as interest them.
Those governments which policies have been concluded in the presidential parlour and what we see in the National Assembly and courts were mere acting of those scripts written by the president, directed by Senate president and Speaker and endorsed by the Justices of the Federation.
I do not know what grade of stupidity will each Nigerians rate himself/herself when they realise how they were jested at while on the long queues in the frost freckled morning and sun scorches afternoons risking every valuables to project their people while casting their vote that would never count.
No iota of Checks and Balances in the past administrations could be identified from a critical assessment. The available Separation of Powers were just in passing as what seemed to be three arms of government de jure (in law) was a single group of people de facto (in actual fact).
The portion of inaugural speech of General Muhammadu Buhari in fighting against corrupt practices and upholding the rule of law is a clear indication that the unwilling members of his cabinet will wage war against his projection.
I could not guess that a personality like that of President Muhammadu Buhari could be sabotaging his own effort by his inaction against the like of Ibrahim Magu, Secretary of the Government of the Federation and some other people in his cabinet who were partners to his sworn enemies who are subjected to prosecution.
If you are coming to equity, you are expected to come with clean hands. One begins to wonder whether the crusade is for revenge or for national sanitisation! More so, budget padding is never a new thing but a strained relationship within the arms of government exposed such an unethical deed.
The subsequent coup d’état that followed the victory of APC in the National Assembly championed by Bukola Saraki and Dogara actually destabilised the party so much that what seemed to be a party broke into countless pieces and none could couple the components to its former whole.
Our legal system which belittled the weighty proof of evidence levelled against Bukola Saraki has done more harm to our administrative integrity. It is not healthy to allow Dr. Bukola Saraki to hold on to a leadership of National Assembly where laws are manufactured while he is standing trial of several criminal acts. You do not expect this type of a man to pass a law that will ease his conviction or confirm a man who is firmly ready to nail him.
Hon Abdulmumin Jibrin and Senator Ali Ndume might have been sacrificed by the legislative arm of government, the necessity will still not do without forcing them to be conscious of themselves and other arms of government expected to check their excesses. Oneness of the houses during the previous political dispensation and its friendship with other arms of government eventually looted our treasury. None of the looted resources were revealed to be appropriated by the National Assembly.
When he was granting his inaugural speech as the latest Chief Justice of Federation, Justice Walter S. Onnoghen, pledged to give the best judicial look under his watch. Choices of words in this speech showed a high level of seriousness and readiness. This seriousness was never without a lesson learnt from illegal search against his brethrens by the DSS which exposed how corrupt our judges are.
Since the attack, what seemed to be a docile judicial system will soon be a potent entity which will never for any reason whatsoever sacrifice justice for either an undue influence or highest bidder. It will be so hard for any personality to have his or her way out of due process of law as there can never be any prize worth sacrificing one’s integrity for.
Justice Ayo Salami might be a good example of a sacrifice for due diligence in justice delivery system but I am so sure that the sacrifice is worth making as the remaining bad eggs would definitely find it difficult to ventilate their immoralities.
History will have Ayo Salami’s role in exposing illegality in our judicial system written in a golden board of memory passing from one generation to another. Several judgements of court are not worthy of a precedent not to talk of a good one. They are irreconcilable set of judgements which has caused several confusion to the adjudication of the lower courts. Judgments purposefully prepared for immorality and impunity occasions. These forms of immorality wouldn’t have succeeded if executive and legislative were not in alliance with the judiciary. Such an undue and undeserved favour expected by judiciary from executive arm of government represented the true form of our justices as stooges. As these crises continue among these arms of government, independence of the judiciary will definitely become inevitable.
There can never be any correct way of a good government which is the yardstick for attaining a developed nation than a proper separation of powers of government among the true three arms of government which will never form alliance to prevent operation of checks and balances. That is the only time each arm of government will continue to do the right things for fear of being checked by the others