Question 7

  1. lliteracy and Ignorance are some of the impediments to the reality of the rule of law in Nigeria. This directly related to the masses who are the usual victims of human right abuses and abuse of power in Nigeria.

When people are ignorant of their right or do not have a clear understanding of their rights, it becomes almost impossible for them to get justice because they do not even know when the right is violated.

This ignorance allows the perpetrators of human right abuses to get away. It should be remembered that the protection of fundamental human rights is an important element of the rule of law in Nigeria.

Thomas Jefferson was once quoted as saying, “an ignorant people can never remain free”

Relatively close to illiteracy and ignorance is, poverty, sometimes, the latter is always as a result of the former. To ensure that the rule of law is protected, the independence and neutrality of the judiciary is sacrosanct.

The question now is how you get the intervention of the courts when you cannot afford legal representation, an average Nigeria cannot with ease afford the services of a good lawyer. The technicality of the law necessitates legal representation which is not affordable.

  1. Inefficient Justice System
    The judicial system in Nigeria has always been a subject of criticisms. The judiciary especially in Nigeria has been reported not to have discharged its duties without fear or favour.

The judiciary is popularly referred to last hope of the common man, but the judiciary is now crippled with bulk of cases without being decided for many years. There is no sufficient manpower and the system of judicial administration has not promoted quick dispensation of justice. Justice delayed is justice denied no doubt.

  1. Corruption
    Corruption has permeated every fabric of Nigerian governance and administration. Justice is not even spared. There are cases of bribery and intimidation by the some power mongers right from the street to judges. This has not allowed the rule of law to fully manifest in Nigeria.

There is a grievance now common to the masses because some people now pose to be above the law and the law has not done enough to bring them to book. Even when they are brought before the court, they wield so much influence to navigate their way through the whole process.

  1. No True Separation Of Powers
    Separation of power is a doctrine of the law that is designed to incontrovertibly promote the rule of law. Separation of power entails little or no influence and interference between the three arms of government.

The principles of separation of power will promote ‘checks and balances’ to ensure that one arm of government do not act in excess of its constitutional powers. In Nigeria, there is a substantial amount of interference and influence and especially between the Judiciary and the Executive.

  1. Political Interference
    Nowadays, the law is being employed to settle political scores. Let us examine the fight against corruption for an instance; the quantum of political interference is making a whole mess of the whole process.

Nigerians now believe that the present day government is fighting its political enemies while the perpetrators of corruption and reckless looting walk around as free men.


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