Top Social Icons

Responsive Full Width Ad

Left Sidebar
Left Sidebar
Featured News
Right Sidebar
Right Sidebar

Monday 31 October 2022

The orders of court supersedes all other person's or government's directives or policies---Lawyer

  The orders of court supersedes all other person's or government's directives or policies---Lawyer

Court orders are meant to be obeyed by all persons and authorities; irrespective of whether they are in agreement with the order or not. No order of court is ever made in vain. The orders of court supercedes all other person's or government's directives or policies. The orders of court are the interpretation of the laws of the land and policies of government. It has been the decision of court that even if an order is made by a drunken judge, such order remains binding until set aside by the judge or a superior court.

The hallmark of a democracy is the equality and the recognition of the separation of powers of the three arms of government. Where orders of court are disregarded, it amounts to jettisoning the judiciary, which has been severally described as the last hope of the common man.

Section 287 of the Nigerian constitution guarantees that judgments of courts are enforceable by all. 

The consequences of disobedience is to be held in contempt and liabe to imprisonment.

Orders of court may be in the nature of Final judgement, injunction which may be interlocutory, interim or pepertual. 

As it relates to detention of people, such must be with an order of court, otherwise, it is illegal and unconstitutional.

When a person in detention is ordered to be kept in prisons, a mental home or such other place as the court may deem fit to make, then it behove on the relevant persons and authorities to carry out the order of detention. In the same vain, whenever the court may make an order to release a person, such person ought to be released immediately without further delay.

However, in recent times, this democratic character seems to have eluded this Nigeria government of Buhari, as the disrespect for the rule of law and judgment of courts have become the order of the day.

When the retired Nigerian Military Colonel, Sambo Dasuki was arrested by this Buhari's administration, the courts granted him bail severally but was not released by the State Security Services(SSS) until the court eventually discharged and acquited him. The same faith befell the lawyer, Olisa Metu. He was denied freedom despite his health situation until he was discharged and acquited. This is the same thing Mazi Nnamdi Kanu is currently facing; except that in his case the Federal government seems to want him dead, slow and painful death so that despite his health situation and despite having been discharged by the court of Appeal on the 13/10/2022. The federal government came up with a strange legal step called "stay of execution" despite the fact that the court of Appeal had in a case of similar nature, refused the same prompting. See the article of FEMI FALANA(SAN) - THE LAW AS AT YESTERDAY.

Even under a military junta, the Court of Appeal held that the application to stay the liberty of a citizen could not be granted, as it was incompetent. The principle was established in the case of NIGERIAN ARMY V GLORIA MOWARIN (1992) 5 NWLR(Pt 235) p 345, where Atu Kalgo JCA (as he then was), held as follows:

“Now, the position in this matter is that the Applicants are flagrantly flouting an order of court by refusing to release the Respondent. In other words, they are in contempt of an order of the court. The same contemnors have come with very unclean hands supplicating before this court for a grant of a favour that would, as it were, legalise their contempt. I would liken the Applicants to a sinner who prays to God to assist him in the commission of his sins. Just as God will not listen to such a supplication, this court will not grant such a prayer.”

His Lordship further stated that "the refusal of the application will not cause any injury to the Applicant, but if the application is granted, the Respondent will continue to suffer personally in detention after the court have declared her detention unlawful ab initio”.

In his contribution to the leading judgment, Owolabi JCA had this to say:

“But the question which I must ask is whether when a person has been discharged in a criminal proceedings, the prosecutor having appealed can bring an application for the execution of the judgment to be stayed? I am of the firm view that an application in such proceedings for a stay of execution will be incompetent. In the present case, where the trial Judge has ordered the release of the Respondent who has been held in prison custody the present application for a Stay of Execution is absolutely incompetent. The prayer of the Applicants for a Stay of Execution pending the determination of the appeal, is an invitation not only to reverse the decision of the learned trial Judge, but it is also to maintain that the order of detention is lawful.”

So, why has the law suddenly changed in Mazi Nnamdi Kanu's case. Is it because he is a special case? This is one such situation where one begins to agree that there are two sets of laws for the people in Nigeria; one for the Igbos and one for the others, otherwise what was the reason for the second set of the court of Appeal judges to stay the respect for human rights of a person but will not stay another's.

Well, orders of court remains the orders of court and must be obeyed. So, until the court of Appeal or the supreme court set aside the order for stay, we can only leak our wounds of injustice.

Written by Barrister Nnaemeka Ejiofor

Published by Family Writers Press International

No comments

Post a Comment

Responsive Full Width Ad

Copyright © 2020 The Biafra Herald