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Monday, 10 August 2015

Buhari’s Shuttle Diplomacy: Legal Implications for Nigeria


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Norrison Quakers
The primary purpose of government as required by the constitution is to inter alia ensure the security and welfare of the Nigerian people.
This constitutional imposition, I believe is the basis of President Muhammadu Buhari’s shuttle diplomacy, the background of which is the request for military assistance in terms of hardware, training and financial support to quell insurgency in the North eastern part of Nigeria and rebuilding it including educating the people.
The other reason is to repatriate moneys illegally siphoned and deposited in foreign banks by politically exposed office holders or their fronts, allies or cronies.
I would prefer to consider the economic, political and social impact or benefits of the President’s Shuttle diplomacy for Nigeria and Nigerians rather than its legal implications.
Nigeria as a country operates as it were a constitutional democracy, the implication of which is that the constitution is supreme having a binding force over all authorities and persons. The shuttle diplomacy in my view is within the ambit of existing laws, legal aid/assistance and mutual treaties between Nigeria and some of the countries visited by the President either at regional, sub-regional, continental and global levels. The persons allegedly involved in the loot are presumed constitutionally to be innocent until otherwise established. It will therefore be out of place to express concerns or fears of possible human rights violations or breach of existing legislations knowing that the diplomatic shuttle is within legal, statutory and constitutional cover.
It is indeed worrisome that our common inheritance or wealth has been siphoned and/or stolen by persons supposedly having the mandate of the people to oversee, manage and control the resources. A cursory look of the provisions of the Constitution reveals that there are checks and balances particularly as regards financial matters e.g. all political office holders are to be paid allowances and salaries from the consolidated revenue fund, the quantum which is also determined by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, with corresponding provisions as regards State apparatus or institutions.
The general acceptance or good will of the current administration of President Buhari is a pointer to the fact that the world as a whole is nauseated by the financial recklessness of our leaders, which is essentially the reason; why they have decided to assist the country to recover the loot stashed away in foreign banks by our leaders. Until the emergence of this current administration, we did not know that military aids were stopped, suspended or seized by the US to Nigeria because military equipment were (somewhat in circumstances that appear questionable) found with and deployed by the insurgents in their attack on Nigeria.
I believe that, President Buhari has the discipline and character to rebrand and develop the nation and since democracy is an all-inclusive and participatory system of government, we must all support the government and do the right things, so as to enjoy global respect and recognition and create an enabling environment for investment.

Quakers SAN practices in Lagos

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