Buhari’s government dragged to UN over ‘flagrant disregard of court orders’

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Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has petitioned Mr. Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers requesting him to use his good offices to “prevail on the government of President Muhammadu Buhari to end persistent disobedience of court rulings and orders and uphold the Nigerian Constitution 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international obligations on protection of the independence and integrity of the judiciary.”

The organization said, “Selective enforcement of court orders if not urgently addressed would ultimately put the rule of law in Nigeria under siege.”

In the petition dated 11 May 2018 and signed by SERAP deputy director Timothy Adewale the organization said, “Persistent and apparently deliberate disobedience of court rulings by the Nigerian authorities is an affront to the supremacy of the Constitution and the independence of the judiciary and if not urgently addressed may lead to self-help and undermine the authorities’ oft-expressed commitment to fight corruption. Protecting judicial independence is an obligation to be guaranteed and not a privilege that States may grant.”

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The organization also said: “Disobedience of court rulings also directly violates the fundamental principles of the rule of law and separation of powers. We urge you to publicly condemn disobedience of court orders by the Nigerian authorities and prevail on them to refrain from any threats or interference that may hamper court’s independence as the supreme guardian of the country’s constitution and laws.”

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