The Executive Secretary National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu Esq has called on all government agencies to abide by the rule of law and refrain from disobeying orders and judgments of court.
Reacting to the continued detention of the Presidential Candidate of African Action Congress, Mr. Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Security Service (DSS) despite court orders, Ojukwu said no individual or institution should be allowed to toy with the judgment and decisions of the court emphasizing that “all court orders are binding and must be respected by affected persons or institutions”.The decent way to disagree with a court order is to appeal against same he said.
Ojukwu who frowned at the continued detention noted that disobedience of court order is an invitation to uncertainty in the law. He therefore called for the immediate release of Sowore in line with the order and in accordance with his bail conditions if these have been met by his lawyers.
He said the rights of citizens must be protected and jealously guarded against any form of impunity and it is an inherent obligation on the part of government agencies to guarantee these rights and further build citizens’ confidence.
Ojukwu further stated that there is an urgent need for all the arms of government to work together because their functions are mutually reinforcing and failure of one arm to adequately carry out its statutory duties as laid down by the Constitution will impact negatively on the functioning of the government as a whole.
“The rule of law must be observed by all government institutions at all levels of governance”, he stressed. The strength of government is in its institutions and every effort should be made to strengthen and not to undermine government institutions, to engender good governance and promote the rule and protect the rights of people.
He stated that any party that is not satisfied with the ruling of the court has the right of appeal instead of resorting to self-help. Any disobedience of court order is an affront to democracy and rule of law which should not be condoned in any civilised society