There are some views by some persons who view the Nigerian laws as unnecessary and Nigeria being a country where those laws made in force are just something else that is of no use. With due respect to those persons, this paper aims at considering the truth or otherwise of those views and to actually assess some thoughts.
First and foremost, it must be stated that laws are very important for every society to be well organized and well-coordinated, even God Almighty has His own laws that guide the Universe and all humans and everything that He creates. Man displaces God’s made laws and made his own laws as it considers in his own reasoning as necessary. Now, according to section 10 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended)-herein after referred to as the Constitution-, the Government of the Federation or of a State shall not adopt any religion as State Religion.
Also, by section 11 of the Constitution (without having regard to section 4 of the Constitution on legislative powers, though, without prejudice to this section 4 of the Constitution), it (the said section 11 of the Constitution) provides the law-making framework for the entire Federation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria thus ‘11. —(1) The National Assembly may make laws for the Federation or any part thereof with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order and providing, maintaining and securing such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services. (2) Nothing in this section shall preclude a House of Assembly from making laws with respect to the matters referred to in this section, including the provision for maintenance and securing of such supplies and services as may be designated by the National Assembly as essential supplies and services.
(3) During any period when the Federation is at war, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to matters not included in the Exclusive Legislative List as may appear to it to be necessary or expedient for the defense of the Federation. (4) At any time when any House of Assembly of a State is unable to perform its functions by reason of the situation prevailing in the State, the National Assembly may make such laws for the peace, order and good government of that State with respect to matters on which a House of Assembly may make laws as may appear to the National Assembly to be necessary or expedient until such time as the House of Assembly is able to resume its functions ; and any such laws enacted by the National Assembly pursuant to this section shall have effect as if they were laws enacted by the House of Assembly of the State ; Provided that nothing in this section shall be construed as conferring on the National Assembly power to remove the Governor or the Deputy Governor of the State from office.
(5) For the purposes of subsection (4) of this section, a House of Assembly shall not be deemed to be unable to perform its functions so long as the House of Assembly can hold a meeting and transact business.’ Now, it is surprising that despite the importance of lawmaking for the good governance of Nigeria, some persons at some quarters would whenever they intend to get something done or achieved for their own good but if the laws were to be applied, would not have got such desire fulfilled, they would always call for the disregard and or displacement of the law, including the Constitution! The question is ‘why are these persons like the way that they are?!’. There are consequences where the law regulating a society or nation- such as Nigeria- is displaced for a certain group of persons as very soon, other segments or sections would also desire such displacement and then, there would be no law except everyone doing his own thing in his own way and the common society becomes a unit of its own and then, the center would not be able to hold leaving everything to fall apart and then anarchy, injustice, crimes, criminalities, lawlessness, abuse of powers, oppression by the mighty over the weak, the rich oppressing the poor among other negative consequences. These are some of the reasons why the laws made in Nigeria should mean much more to all of us as citizens even if we do not see those laws as necessary and important.
Another issue is that I also considered in my thoughts as to whether the making of more laws (in situations where there are adequate laws in those areas where new laws are required) is the problem or necessity? With due respect, I humbly hold the view that the problem which every government especially the executive which is the arm of government that is constitutionally empowered to implement laws (except on checks and balances by other remaining two arms of government- legislative and the judiciary) made by the legislature by virtue of section 5 of the Constitution is to solve is the problem of implementation of those laws made. In my humble view, as far as Nigeria is concerned, and having regards to our laws as codified currently, are good laws to guide Nigeria faithfully and successfully but the problem is the implementation of those laws.
May I humbly make some recommendations for a better successful implementation of Nigerian laws, I thought of fight: against corruption, embezzlement of public funds and project funds. I further considered recruitment of persons into civil service to be on merit and not on influence or having to be connected to someone in authority as well as bribery and the need to always show ‘appreciation’ in money or kind to a person in authority who is already paid emoluments for his services or work done according to the law. I believe that these are banes of our societies as of the moment and it would do us a better decision to retrace our steps for a better Nigeria. It seems (to my mind) as of this moment that our laws are not better than us in our own selves because we made those laws and we made them not to work for us to achieve the desired results for making them!
Finally, it is hoped that those views would have a rethink of their views and consider those thoughts considered by this paper and those recommendations made for a better Nigeria. I also share the view that ‘together we all stand to achieve wonderful goals that serve the good interest of Nigeria and divided we all fall and fail to make any progress!’. God bless the United Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless the United Citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria! God bless the Progressively United Nigerian leadership!