The Emir of Gummi, Justice Lawal Hassan Gummi (retd.), says refusal to
obey a court order is another form of corruption, noting that government
must exemplify the change it promised before expecting citizens to
He said disrespect for the rule of law, bad
governance, disobedience to court orders, non-compliance with electoral
regulations by political parties, godfathers hijacking the electoral
process and dwindling confidence in the justice system posed threats to
The monarch, who was the
keynote speaker at the Barewa Old Boys Association annual lecture, held
at the Umaru Ali Shinkafi Polytechnic, Sokoto, spoke on the topic, ‘The
challenges of the judiciary to democracy: The Nigeria perspective.’
97-year old college, located in Kaduna State, is reputed for producing
five out of Nigeria’s past leaders, including General Yakubu Gowon,
Alhaji Shehu Shagari, late Umaru Yar’adua, late Gen. Murtala Mohammed
and the late Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
It has also produced three
Chief Justices of Nigeria, three Inspectors-General of Police and four
Secretaries to the Government of the Federation.
But in his
address, Gummi described the judiciary as the watchdog of democracy,
without which “reckless marauders will attack the society,” adding that
an insecure judiciary is one of the greatest threats to democracy.
said, “Orders of court are disobeyed at will in the name of fighting
corruption. No one institution, no matter how highly placed, should
flout the laws of the land, not even under the guise of fighting
corruption. Refusing to obey an order of court is another form of
corruption in itself.
“The executive cannot play the role of both
the accuser and that of the judge at the same time. It is an aberration
in a democracy. National security cannot take precedence over the rule
of law; rather, it should be guided by the rule of law.
democracy where the executive tries to intimidate and harass the
legislature and/or the judiciary into doing its bidding is a democracy
under threat. In the same vein, it is not right in a democracy for the
National Assembly to make governance difficult for the executive for
“We all agree that we need change as promised by the government, but that change must first begin with them, then, you and me.”