The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said it rejected in its totality President Muhammadu Buhari’s statement that national security supersedes rule of law.
Recall that Buhari made the controversial comment while declaring open the 58th NBA Annual General Conference in Abuja on Sunday.
But in the communiqué signed by the immediate-past NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) and General Secretary, Abiola Olagunju, the association said national security concerns must be managed within the ambit of the law.
The association also urged all Nigerians to subject themselves to the rule of law.
The communiqué read in part, “The conference completely rejects the presidential statement subordinating the rule of law to national security. The NBA restates that the rule of law is central to a democracy and any national security concerns by the government must be managed within the perimeters and parameters of the rule of law.
Also, the association frowned on the president’s recent recourse to issuing executive orders on matters that are already in court.
It said the president’s action constituted a breach of the principle of separation of powers, which is a guiding principle of any democratic society.
“The conference emphatically objects to the issuance of the Executive Orders in respect to matters already in court and observes that any such order is a breach of the principle of separation of powers; and counsels that Executive Orders be issued for good governance and to manage operations of government, and not to encroach or usurp upon the constitutional powers of other arms of government, lest Executive Orders become attempts at decree-making,” the communique further read.
Meanwhile, the conference also witnessed the swearing in of new NBA President, Paul Usoro (SAN) and new executives of the association.