Nigerians, for a very long time, saw a new approach among lawmakers on questionable acts from the president and the judiciary around the recently signed Electoral Act 2022.
The Nigerian Constitution, whether one views it as weak or vulnerable, does not answer every question, but it remains clear on separation of powers.
No court or judge in Nigeria has the power to stop legislators from doing their legislative duties, revisiting, or amending legislation.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Inyang Ekwo, the court restrained the legislature from deleting or taking any further steps on the new law, but the role of the court is to interpret the law, not make laws.
Although President Muhammadu Buhari is allowed to ask the legislature questions, such as the request to remove the section of the electoral act that requires government appointees and political office holders to resign in order to run for election in the party primary, he pushed too hard this time.
Despite the request of the President, the Senate, especially known for frequently succumbing to the wishes of the President, in a unique way, hit back at the president and took a swipe at the judge for overstepping.
The Nigerian people praised the National Assembly, especially the Senate under the unique and bold leader, Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, not because the senate won or the president and the court lost, but because democracy triumphed in a rare manner.
Therapeutically, what occurred here is that the senate stopped the presidency and the judiciary at all costs to progressively prepare for Nigeria’s steady democratic growth.
This occurrence by the senate is educating the presidency and the judiciary to start having regard for our laws, our system of justice, or our young democracy itself.
By way of what I call legislative therapy, the senate allowed democracy to stand in opposition to self-interest on the part of future presidential and gubernatorial aspirants currently active in government.
In a democracy, the people through the legislature are sovereign—they are the highest form of political authority, and power streams from the people to those in power, and that is what the senate demonstrated through its lessons on therapeutic or corrective democracy for the presidency and the judiciary. Let’s hope that the legislature, especially the senate, will stop being wishy-washy on important democratic and national matters and, in a healthy manner, pushback on overreaching presidents and overactive judges. On a sympathetic note, the senate under lawan, should know that many advanced democracies actually feel sorry for Nigeria because it is dealing with so many problems at the same time, from upheaval to abduction, to a worsening security situation, and it does not have a large-scale police force for a country of this size, so let state police become a reality in your time.
John Egbeazien Oshodi, who was born in Uromi, Edo State in Nigeria, is an American based Police/Prison Scientist and Forensic/Clinical/Legal Psychologist. A government consultant on matters of forensic-clinical adult/child psychological services in the USA; Chief Educator and Clinician at the Transatlantic Enrichment and Refresher Institute, an Online Lifelong Center for Personal, Professional, and Career Development. He is a former Interim Associate Dean/Assistant Professor at Broward College, Florida. The Founder of the Dr. John Egbeazien Oshodi Foundation, Center for Psychological Health and Behavioral Change in African Settings In 2011, he introduced State-of-the-Art Forensic Psychology into Nigeria through N.U.C and Nasarawa State University, where he served in the Department of Psychology as an Associate Professor. Currently, a Virtual Behavioral Leadership Professor at ISCOM University, Republic of Benin. Founder of the proposed Transatlantic Egbeazien Open University (TEU) of Values and Ethics, a digital project of Truth, Ethics, and Openness. Over forty academic publications and creations, at least 200 public opinion pieces on African issues, and various books have been written by him. He specializes in psycho-prescriptive writings regarding African institutional and governance issues.
Prof. Oshodi wrote in via [email protected]