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SERAP urges Buhari to end disregard for rule of law

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President Muhammadu Buhari has been advised to use the sixth anniversary of his administration to halt Nigeria’s “backsliding from constitutional and international obligations”, reverse a steady deterioration of the rule of law and persistent breach of human rights.

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that gave the advice also urged Buhari to publicly give an assurance that his government would end the worsening rule of law crisis, obey court judgments, genuinely combat corruption, and address the systematic and egregious violations of Nigerians’ right to life and security in several parts of the country.

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In a letter, the organisation expressed grave concerned about the persistent attacks on the rule of law in Nigeria.

SERAP, in the letter dated May 29, 2021, and signed by its Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, said millions of people were falling into preventable poverty, and living in a state of insecurity.

“This government’s effort to use anniversary celebrations to deflect attention from its record of assault on the rule of law isn’t going to work. Instead, it should use the occasion to create a rule of law-friendly environment that would make Nigerians safer.”

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According to SERAP systematically breaching the rule of law is not a sign of strength.

“Your administration should urgently comply with Nigeria’s constitutional and international obligations to respect the rule of law if it is not to leave behind a legacy of impunity and attacks on the rule of law, and ultimately, on the system of protection of human rights after your tenure in 2023.

“Should your government fail and/or refuse to urgently implement recommended measures, we would approach the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and African Union to invoke their charters and treaties to restore the rule of law and human rights in Nigeria,” the group warned.

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SERAP added that attacks on the rule of law had made it harder for Buhari’s administration to fulfil its oft-repeated promises to combat corruption and to protect Nigerians’ right to life and security.

According to the group, the rule of law crisis in the past six years is illustrated by the Buhari government’s persistent failure to obey decisions of Nigerian courts; failure to consistently combat corruption and push for transparency in asset declarations by high-ranking government officials, and the failure to protect Nigerians’ right to life and security.

“Persistent disobedience of court judgments by your administration represents a systemic threat to the rule of law, as this has infringed upon judicial independence and undermined legal certainty, as well as exacerbated the “chilling effect” on victims’ access to justice and effective remedies.”

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Buharirule of lawSERAP
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