Nigerian human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has expressed regret that President Muhammadu Buhari is refusing to obey court orders.
According to him, the thought that a Buhari, who complied with court orders as a military leader could not do same today, is painful.
Falana stated this when he spoke in Lagos on Thursday at a public lecture marking the 30th anniversary of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR).
The theme of the lecture was “Chronicling the struggle, identifying the way forward” and was delivered by a Professor of International Law and Jurisprudence, Akin Oyeboye.
Falana, speaking as CDHR Board of Trustees chairman said, “Thirty years ago, it would have been impossible to assemble to discuss human rights in our country. Notwithstanding that we are currently having what you might call rickety democracy; there are gains, all the struggles of over 30 years, which we must celebrate today.”
The Lagos based lawyer meanwhile, regretted that under the current dispensation, governments are disobeying court orders.
“I just remember this morning trying to write a letter to the Attorney General of the Federation and I found, very painfully, that whereas the Buhari/Idiagbon regime complied with all court orders for the release of those who were held illegally under the state security detention of persons Decree No 2 of 1984, we cannot say the same today under a democratic government,” he said.
Oyebode on the other hand, in his lecture criticised the 1999 Constitution, describing it as lacking legitimacy because the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar regime failed to allow the citizens make their input in the constitution.
He said, “The general contempt held by the dictators everywhere for the people informed the attitude of the junta towards the right of the Nigerian people to partake in the making of the most important law governing their lives.”
On the way forward, Oyebode said for Nigeria to enjoy a liberal democracy that the people must be ready to ensure government is put on its toes. This he said, will bring about a speedy end to impunity in the country.
The CDHR national president, Malachy Ugwummadu, said the progress of the organisation in the last 30 years has been “eventful; a mix bag but clearly with huge prospects and possibilities of fulfillment.”