The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, has said that no democracy in the world can survive without strict adherence to the rule of law.
This is contained in a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Uche Anichukwu, and issued to journalists on Saturday in Abuja.
According to the statement, Mr. Ekweremadu made the remark at a dinner organised by the International Law Institute (ILI), Washington DC, for its alumni in Nigeria.
He noted that no country could experience meaningful development without the rule of law.
He said: “Democracy becomes gravely imperilled if the powers of the judiciary to enforce compliance with the rule of law are subjected to legal, extra-legal, and sociological limitations.
“Our task as an emerging democracy is to continue to build a society where government agencies as well as individuals and private entities must be subjected to and accountable under the law.
“We must ensure that the process by which laws are enacted, administered, and enforced is accessible, fair and efficient.
“We must ensure that justice is delivered according to established laws, timeously, competently, ethically and independently.
“I hold the opinion and fervently so that the principle of the rule of law is at the heart of the survival of democracy.
“A democracy without the rule of law is like salt that has lost its saltiness.”
The Senator noted that the World Bank had indicated that economic growth, political modernisation, protection of human rights and other worthy objectives, were hinged on the rule of law.
He expressed concern that developing nations, which were in dire need of development, lacked the rule of law to a large extent. He attributed the situation to lack of strong democratic institutions, lack of independence of the judiciary and political instability.
Mr. Ekweremadu assured that the National Assembly would continue to partner ILI to build the capacity of its members and parliamentary staff.
The statement quoted Kim Phan, the Executive Director of ILI, as expressing happiness with the growth of democracy in Nigeria. She also expressed joy with the opportunity the institute had to be part of the country’s success story.
She said that the institute was committed to the growth of democracy and development of Nigeria.