Ayanruoh support Sagay’s comment on Supreme Court verdict on Rivers, Zamfara


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Mr. Felix Ayanruoh, a United States and Nigeria licensed attorney and recipient of the United States Congress, Congressional Recognition Award has put his weight behind Prof. Sagay’s comment on the apex courts recent decision on Rivers and Zamfara.

In a recent telephone call from New York he said the purpose of democracy is to preserve and promote personal liberty including the right to vote, be voted for and the said vote count.

Ayanruoh stated that he is aligning his constitutional philosophy with the learned SAN – he argued that the court should prioritize the protection of voting rights so that Nigerians themselves can decide at the ballot box who should lead them instead of judges or justices.

In light of Prof Sagay’s mirroring critiques, what account for the staying power of democracy and justice? The answer I think is the fact that Nigeria from independence, excluding military regimes is built on representative democracy.

Democracy also known as a Representative Government is an electoral system where citizens vote to elect people to represent their interests and concerns. Those elected meet to debate and make laws on behalf of the whole community or society, instead of the people voting directly on laws and other debates.

The fact that the constitution central value is democratic participation is non sequitur – all of the words of our constitution are used to set the ground rules for democracy.

The core of our system of government appears to consist of both the central value of our constitution as democratic and participatory and therefore in searching to the limits on how to interprete the open-ended provisions of the constitution and our electoral laws, judges should be guided by the principle of democratic principles and participation

There is logical inconsistency between establishing a basically democratic system with substantial side constraints where constraints is to be found in guardians (judges) as against millions, but if overtime the guardians, pursuant to their ostensibly unlimited role of enforcing the side constraints, increasingly remove the most vital right from the domain of the voters and their representatives, then the point of the constitution’s democratic provisions will be lost and accordingly we ought to reject it at the outset an interpretation of the open ended provisions that authorize the guardians to proceed down that part

The Supreme Court’s decision in Rivers and Zamfara are certainly interventionist decisions that must be reversed for democracy and justice to stay supreme.

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