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|Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by kingsvictor2: 11:20am On Mar 31, 2020|
Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN
By Unini Chioma - March 30, 2020
JUST IN: Buhari Signs Quarantine Regulations On Lockdown Abuja, Lagos, Ogun For 14 Days
Restriction Is Good, But Palliatives Are Needed– Babatunde, SAN
An eminent lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN said “Presidential Order not enforceable without legal backing”.
In a statement made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL), the learned silk said “Following the national broadcast of President Buhari on the COVID-19 pandemic yesterday, some lawyers have questioned the constitutional validity of the restriction of locomotion of people in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun states. No doubt, the President is empowered to adopt any measures deemed fit to combat the dangerous disease but such measures have to be spelt out in a Regulation made pursuant to section 305 of the Constitution or under the Quarantine Act. Otherwise, the presidential order on the restriction of movement in the affected areas cannot be enforced by the police.”
He said “Even though civil rule was restored in the country 21 years ago the psyche of the political class has not been demilitarised. Hence, decisions taken by rulers are required to be obeyed “with immediate effect” without any legal backing. But in Okafor v Governor of Lagos State (2016) LPELR-41066 (CA) the Court of Appeal called on all authorities to appreciate the need to govern the country under the rule of law. Thus, the directive of the Governor of Lagos State restricting the movement of citizens and residents during the State’s monthly environmental sanitation exercise was struck down because of its unconstitutionality. It was the unanimous view of their Lordships that the arrest of Appellant for flouting the order or directive of the Governor was completely illegal.”
Falana, SAN quotes the words of Georgewill, J.C.A. in the case of Okafor V Lagos State Government above as follows:
“It is my view, that democracy thrives more on obeying and promoting the rule of law rather than the whims and caprices of the leaders against the lead. I find the conduct of the Respondent in not only persecuting the Appellant, yes that is what in my view it amounts to when a free Citizen of this great Country such as Citizen Faith Okafor, is put through the rigours of criminal process for an offence not prescribed in any written law but merely on the directive of the Governor of the Lagos State. An action which if allowed to thrive in a democracy such as ours could confer on such officeholders infinite, absolute and autocratic powers contrary to the clear provisions of the Constitution of the land, to which both the leaders and the led are subject. I refuse to allow such autocratic, absolute and infinite powers to fester upon our nascent democracy.”
Falana argued that “Lawyers who are saying that the law should be completely relegated to the background in combating the coronavirus pandemic reminds me of the dissenting judgment of Lord Atkins in the case of Liversidge v Anderson 1944 UKHL 1. While accusing his learned brethren of being “more executive minded than the executive”, his Lordship said inter alia:
“In England, amidst the clash of arms, the laws are not silent. They may be changed, but they speak the same language in war as in peace. It has always been one of the pillars of freedom, one of the principles of liberty for which on recent authority we are now fighting, that the judges are no respecters of persons, and stand between the subject and any attempted encroachments on his liberty by the executive, alert to see that any coercive action is justified in law.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria said “However. while the nation’s armed forces should be commended for making their medical facilities available to members of the public in the fight against the highly dangerous virus the plan to dispatch armed soldiers to the streets to enforce the COVID-19 guidelines should be shelved because it is illegal. For the upteenth time, I am co?pelled to draw the attention of the military authorities to the case of Yussuf v Obasanjo (2005) 18 NWLR (Pt ) where Salami JCA (as he then was) held that “It is up to the police to protect our nascent democracy and not the military, otherwise the democracy might be wittingly or unwittingly militarized. This is not what the citizenry bargained for in wrestling power from the military in 1999. Conscious steps should be taken to civilianise the polity and thereby ensure the survival of and sustainance of democracy.”
“In the same vein, in the cebrated case of All Progressive Congress v Peoples Democratic Party (2015) LPELR 24349 Aboki JCA held that the President lacks the power to call on the Armed Forces to restore law and order in any part of the federation without the approval of the National Assembly as provided in sections 217(2) and 218(4) of the Constitution as amended. His Lordship reminded the Federal Government of its legal obligation “to confine the Military to their demanding assignments especially in these trying times of insurgencies and encroachment into the country’s territories…”
Falana concluded that “just last week the satanic Boko Haram force was reported to have massacred 47 Nigerian troops and 92 Chadian soldiers in two separate attacks. In view of such enormous challenge our patriotic armed forces should concentrate efforts on the counter-insurgency operations being carried out in the north east region while the police and allied security agencies are allowed to enforce the COVID-19 regulations and guidelines.”
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Iyiataata92: 11:22am On Mar 31, 2020|
Even though the government need all the support they can get at this critical time, Buhari should know that his is no longer a military ruler. Many people and organisations, including The Punch, have criticised his high-handedness in issuing orders, including arrests and disobidience of court orders. He claimed he is a 'converted democrat' but he is not living it up
If he continues like this, then anarchy is inevitable
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by redsun(m): 11:32am On Mar 31, 2020|
Law makes no sense in a lawless country like Nigeria, that is why it is unruly n the first place.
However, in his critical time, relatively normal countries are undermining their rule of law to impose stringent measures and some like Hungary have resorted to decrees.
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Fweshspice(m): 11:39am On Mar 31, 2020|
Oga this is a matter of Life and Death, The Law won't get us a cure. So Swerve!
Desperate times require Desperate Measures.. Y'all He-goats hopping on my mentions can go Hug high tension!
1 Like 2 Shares
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by rexwalters: 11:49am On Mar 31, 2020|
Iyiataata92:Hypocrite Ipob sympathizer please shut up, you and Femi Falana should disobey the Federal Government’s Order in this state of emergency, and get bail from kirikiri prison, 3 weeks from now, then you can explain your position at your bail hearing to your Lordship at Igbosere High Court.
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Iyiataata92: 11:52am On Mar 31, 2020|
rexwalters:You're a full fool. Falana is trying to make you aware of your right even in this critical time and you're here showing your ignorance
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by rexwalters: 11:53am On Mar 31, 2020|
Fweshspice:Femi Falana is a very intelligent lawyer, notwithstanding the scripture says atimes when a fool is silent, he is thought to be clever. Please Oga Senior Advocate you too talk, Shut up, you must not air your opinion on every topic in public.
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Optional09: 11:54am On Mar 31, 2020|
nonsense follower of a blood sucker
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by rexwalters: 11:56am On Mar 31, 2020|
Optional09:A hungry man is an angry man, please go find food chop before you kill your siblings for house.
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by rexwalters: 12:00pm On Mar 31, 2020|
Iyiataata92:I don’t need anyone or Falana to remind me of my rights, I have read The Nigerian Constitution of 1999 ( As Amended) for Myself, and is aware of my fundamental rights as a Citizen of The Republic of Nigeria, it is permanently saved on all phones, and laptops for quick access.
Go to Biafra Hypocrite, what concerns you with our shithole Nigeria? what rights do you have in a state of emergency? Zombie, follow follow nnenna Kanu, go out if you have the guts, either corona virus, or law enforcement will teach you a lesson, even the scripture warns obey the authority, I put them there.
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Iyiataata92: 12:03pm On Mar 31, 2020|
rexwalters:You should have privately asked me to help you clarify between a state of emergency and this lockdown order.
Why showcasing ignorance in public?
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by rexwalters: 12:07pm On Mar 31, 2020|
Iyiataata92:From your handle, I believe you were born in 1992, that makes You roughly 27, turning 28, My Goodness Gracious, your parents must be wondering, who gave birth to this terrible infant?, please professor clarify for the world to showcase your ignorance, go ahead and explain the difference between a state of emergency, and a lock down?
|Re: Presidential Order Not Enforceable Without Legal Backing — Falana, SAN by Fweshspice(m): 12:10pm On Mar 31, 2020|
Optional09:You are sick in the brain.. Ode oshi
CORONAVIRUS LOCKDOWN: What Urgently Do You Need Now That We Are On Lockdown? / 12 Customer’s Vehicles Damaged After A Part Of Spar Mall In Calabar Collapsed / Strictly For President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR.
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