Executive Impunity and Rascality

Nigeria is a country that seems to be in perpetual crisis primarily due to lack of adherence to the rule of law by various branches of government and rampant corruption. President Buhari was elected to office on condition that he will fight corruption and restore discipline in the country. The bitter truth is that there is no way discipline and corruption could be restored when the executive branch which is entrusted with the responsibility of enforcing the law are not setting good example.

President Buhari is supposed to be a tough guy who will restore order and wipe out corruption. It is sad how acting chairman of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), Mr. Ibrahim Magu was sabotaged during his confirmation hearing before Nigerian senate. Was Mr. Magu not screened before his name was forwarded to the senate for confirmation? How was it possible that a bad report was issued by a department under the control of the president? Department of State Security (DSS) issued a report to the senate with the sole aim of sabotaging Mr. Magu’s confirmation.

The action of the head of DSS, Mr. Lawal Musa Daura and the secretary to the government of the Federation towards Mr. Magu is what happens when a president chooses to fill important positions in his government with his relatives. Relatives in Nigeria and other places are known to believe that they can do anything they want without any consequence. They start thinking after a while that they are untouchable and can go as far as taking laws into their hands. There is no other way to explain the conduct of the the Director General of DSS who released two reports to the senate against Mr. Magu which the senate used as a cover to deny Mr. Magu conformation. He did it not once but twice and still kept his job.

The senate has called on the secretary of the Federal government to resign because of his involvement in the northeastern displaced person’s allocation where money was embezzled. That case is still pending but the secretary has refused to make himself available to the senate when he was called upon to appear before them. It should come as no surprise that the director of customs appointed by the president also refused to appear before the senate. His failure to appear before the senate will prevent the senate from carrying out their oversight function.

It is also true that the senate erred in forcing him to wear custom’s uniform during his appearance. I am not a fan of Nigerian senate or the House of Representative but the institution must be respected and allowed to carry out its oversight function. The senate has the power to call anybody before them or arrest any minister or government official who fails to appears before them when called upon. Another adviser to the president on corruption, Mr. Sagay have also decided not to appear before the senate and insisted that they have no power to ask him to appear before them and he is supposedly a legal practitioner. It is unfortunate that President Buhari has not cared to call this officials to order.

The result of all the impunity and rascality by some officials of the executive branch will result in anarchy and further undermine the rule of law. It should also be recalled that the court granted Nnamdi Kanu and Mr. Dasuki and some others bail but the president will not release them from jail.

Few days ago, the minister of finance went to the House of Representative and asked members of the House to decrease the power of the Central Bank of Nigeria governor because she alleged that the CBN is making it difficult for her and the executive branch to implement their economic agenda. Mrs. Finance minister should back off and leave the monetary policy to be handled by the CBN just like it is done in other major developed countries including United States.

The federal government’s economic team headed by the Finance should concentrate on the fiscal policy. The Independence of the CBN must be protected. They should not be dragged into politics just like other institutions that has been rendered ineffective. President Buhari must change course and adhere to the constitution and rule of law. Presidents will come and go but the constitution must be upheld while the president is in office. If not, anarchy will rule. Institutionalization of Nigerian democracy and the rule of law is the best legacy any president can leave behind. It is the only glue that can keep Nigeria together in the long run.

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