Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Nigeria’s Deputy Senate President and member of the opposition People’s Democratic Party, PDP, has said that the rule of law is necessary for the survival of democracy in Nigeria and the world at large.
A statement issued in Abuja by Ekweremadu’s Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, said the Deputy Senate President stated this at a dinner organised by the International Law Institute (ILI), Washington DC, for its alumni in Nigeria.
According to the statement, Ekweremadu noted that democracy becomes gravely imperiled if the powers of the judiciary to enforce compliance with the rule of law are subjected to legal, extra-legal, and sociological limitations, stressing that no country could experience meaningful development without the rule of law.
The statement reads in part: “Our task as an emerging democracy is to continue to build a society where government agencies, as well as individuals and private entities must be subjected to and accountable under the law.
“We must ensure that the process by which laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient, and ensure that justice is delivered according to established laws, timeously, competently, ethically and independently.
“I hold the opinion, and fervently so, that the principle of the rule of law is at the heart of the survival of democracy, as democracy without the rule of law is like salt that has lost its saltiness.”
Ekweremadu, who assured that the National Assembly would continue to partner ILI to build the capacity of its members and parliamentary staff, also said economic growth, political modernisation, protection of human rights and other worthy objectives, were hinged on the rule of law, based on World Bank indicators.
He added that developing nations, which were in dire need of development, lacked the rule of law to a large extent, situation that is attributable to lack of strong democratic institutions, lack of independence of the judiciary and political instability.