Disobeying court orders or using the court to influence or oppress citizens was one of the shortcomings of the administration. If a government sworn to uphold the Constitution and respect the independence of all organs of government actively ignores judicial decisions, how much respect and restraint can be expected from private citizens?

The Buhari Years: What We Ordered Versus What We Got – Civil society leaders reflect on the Buhari administration and its achievements, shortcomings and regressive actions.

Following the end of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, it has been argued that Buhari’s eight-year administration, which we would tag as his legacy, has left Nigerians with unfulfilled expectations. While many believe that the former president backtracked on many fronts in the last eight years, others believe that he did the best he could under the circumstances and urged other Nigerians to take note of some of the administration’s achievements. Do not dismiss

11 after emerging as the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congressth December 2014, Buhari vows “Govern Nigeria faithfully under the constitution, strive to secure the country and manage the economy efficiently, attack poverty through shared economic development, attack corruption through fair application of the law, Govt. Tolerate no religious, regional, economic or gender bias, return Nigeria to a position of international respect through a foreign policy of patriotism and for choosing the best Nigerians for the right jobs. Prominent among his promises were the fight against corruption, tackling insecurity and improving the country’s economy.

Tackling corruption is synonymous with promoting transparency and accountability across all sectors, where there is availability of accurate information about various issues, actors’ commitments and performance, and institutions and actors are held accountable for their actions. Transparency and accountability contribute to establishing legitimacy as well as legitimacy and credibility of operations, and ultimately strengthen democracy and the rule of law at all levels.

In the buzz around corruption, the judiciary has not been left out. As the third branch of government, the judiciary should be independent of the other two arms of government – the executive and the legislature. The independence of each of the three arms of government allows for the effective checks and balances that should foster and strengthen a vibrant democracy.

The judiciary has experienced myriad challenges, ranging from alleged corrupt practices by judicial officials to interference by politicians, low levels of public trust in the judiciary, and poor infrastructure, including inefficient filing and case management systems .

Effective internal reforms of the judiciary will reduce its vulnerability to external pressures. Adequate funds, infrastructure and skilled manpower must be addressed for a judiciary that is properly prepared for its functions and overall optimum performance. The Judiciary was and will continue to be a strategic entry point for reform, to make it an effective third organ of government.

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In response, President Muhammadu BuhariRa Signed Executive Order 10 (EO10) of May 2020, which seeks to enforce the implementation of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution and provide a practical framework for financial autonomy for the legislative and judicial branches of state governments. This was regarded as a positive approach by the judiciary and the public, although several state governors failed to adopt it, as they filed a lawsuit on September 17, 2020, through their attorneys-generals, challenging the constitutionality of the executive order. was opposed. The Supreme Court’s decision stated that EO10 violates provisions of the 1999 constitution, which clearly sets out the functions and powers of the heads of each organ of government, and concluded that Buhari had violated his will by signing EO10. Worked beyond powers. This brings judicial dependence to the highest level.

Historical incidents of favoritism, corruption and inefficiency – coupled with worsening negative public perception – have created a situation where the operation of the judicial branch of government in Nigeria threatens public order and stability.

Disobeying court orders or using the court to influence or oppress citizens was one of the shortcomings of the administration. If a government sworn to uphold the Constitution and respect the independence of all organs of government actively ignores judicial decisions, how much respect and restraint can be expected from private citizens?

This came to the fore during the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests in 2020, when youths demanded national police reform. By deliberately and systematically not using its vast constitutional powers to protect citizens from abuse, the court system bears some responsibility for the episodes of violence that gripped Nigeria during the protests. Nine #EndSARS protesters from Rivers State arrested without charge or bail, among 21scheduled tribe October 2020 and 17th February 2021. A clear violation of the law, but the action did not deter the criminals. A clear example of how impunity perpetuates illegality in general, and human rights violations in particular.

All of the above not only undermines the competence of the judiciary but also demonstrates that the judiciary is incapable of giving fair judgments, especially when it deals with the executive branch or the political class.

The new administration needs to hold itself to a high standard of upholding the rule of law and respect the judiciary and work actively to ensure its place as the third branch of government. This can be done by upholding the rule of law and ensuring a transparent and accountable government, and efforts should be made to amend the constitution to effectively enforce judicial independence.

kemi okanedo Executive Director of The Rule of Law and Empowerment Initiative (also known as Partners West Africa-Nigeria), a women-led non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing citizen participation in security, governance and criminal justice reform .

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