Nigeria has consistently demonstrated respect for the rule of law at both the national and international levels, the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the UN, Amb. Tijjani Bande said.
Bande stated this while delivering Nigeria’s statement on “The Rule of Law at National and International Levels” at the UN Headquarters in New York.
At the national level, Bande said, the rule of law is a fundamental article in Nigeria’s national jurisprudence.
He said “Nigeria considers the rule of law as a fundamental prerequisite for the establishment of justice and as a basis for peaceful co-existence and the prevention of armed conflict.
“Therefore, we promote the rule of law at all levels as vital means of strengthening cooperation, establishing enduring peace and security within and among states.
“We have consistently demonstrated our respect for the rule of law, both at the national and international levels.”
The envoy said that as a country governed by a written constitution, Nigeria remained committed to a process of governance that was firmly anchored on democratic principles.
The Nigerian ambassador stressed that the country’s constitution provides the basis for “Rule of Law” approach to governance at the national level.
Bande said that Nigeria appreciated the connection between the rule of law and democracy, and the supremacy of the rule of law as a prerequisite for the promotion and protection of democracy, good governance, and sustainable development.
He added that the constitution of Nigeria prohibits discrimination on any grounds, saying “we have also demonstrated a strong political will to fulfill our international obligations through the domestication of relevant international instruments and recommended practices.
“These are the Freedom of Information Act 2011, to promote open government; the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, and the Money Laundering Prohibition Act 2011, to give impetus to the global fight against terrorism, terrorist financing and economic crimes.
“Our judicial system has continued to play a pivotal role in the advancement and elaboration of the rights of the people through effective oversight over the actions of both the executive and the legislative arms of government.
“The role of the judiciary as the final arbiter among the three branches of government and in the electoral process has created an enabling environment for peace and stability to thrive in Nigeria.
“Judicial decisions against the government are complied with as a matter of routine and constitutional obligation, thus laying a firm foundation for the institutionalisation of the rule of law at the national level.”
He added that the work of the various anti-corruption agencies such as the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the Code of Conduct Bureau and Tribunal, were meant to ensure that “due process” is always observed.
At the international level, Bande said Nigeria consistently pursued a foreign policy anchored on the promotion and achievement of global security, as well as the protection of the dignity of all persons.
He noted that Nigeria recognised the important role of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and other international tribunals in the peaceful resolution of international disputes.
He said that adherence to the ICJ ruling on the land and maritime border dispute between Nigeria and Cameroon amply illustrated Nigeria’s commitment to the rule of law at the international level.
“Our support for peacekeeping since our independence in 1960 are expressions of our commitments to international peace and security, including the rule law,” he said.
According to him, Nigeria appreciates the sustained initiative of the United Nations to promote the rule of law and transitional justice in conflict and post-conflict societies all over the world.
“Therefore, member states should collectively work to attain a world where the rule of law, accountability and social justice are the foundation for sustainable development and durable peace.
“This must be made a priority for the international community, for world leaders and for all peoples,” the Nigerian envoy stressed.