Nigeria has assured the international community that it is deeply committed to the concept of rule of law as enshrined in the constitution of the country.
The Acting Director, International Organisations Department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Richard Adedoja, stated this at the UN headquarters in New York while delivering Nigeria’s statement on ‘The Rule of Law at the National and International Levels’.
Mr. Adedoja said: “In Nigeria, the rule of law is a fundamental article in our national jurisprudence and it is a pivotal principle that guides the process of governance.
“We are deeply committed to it. We promote it relentlessly and we have continuously advocated for it at the national, regional and international levels.
“Nigeria remains committed to a process of governance that is firmly anchored on democratic principles.
“We consider the rule of law as a fundamental prerequisite to the establishment of justice and as a basis for peaceful coexistence and the prevention of armed conflict,” he said.
He said the National Human Rights Commission was established to create an enabling environment for the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights.
He said the establishment of the Commission was in furtherance of the promotion of and adherence to the principles of rule of law in the country.
“In addition, the works of the various anti-corruption agencies are meant to ensure that ‘due process’ is always observed and to grant access to justice for all.
“Only few days ago, the Chief Justice of Nigeria directed heads of court to immediately set up what could pass for separate courts to try people accused of financial crimes.
“This is firmly rooted in the understanding that the rule of law must be strictly observed in the administration of justice,” he said.
Mr. Adedoja noted the UN Secretary-General’s Report that recognised that the rule of law as critical in efforts to build and sustain peace, as an enabling factor in the prevention of conflict.
According to him, respect for the rule of law is necessary for the realisation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and for the overall protection and promotion of human rights.
Undoubtedly, the rule of law must also focus on addressing issues such as climate change, migration, and violence against women and girls, he said.
“The adherence to and respect for the principle of rule of law must reinforce our collective responses to global issues.
“Indeed, all responses to global challenges, including climate change, environmental challenges as well as conflict across the world, must be based on the rule of law.
“These include issues pertaining to good governance, democratic practice, accountability, fight against impunity, protection of civilians in armed conflict, women and children.
“In addition, terrorism and transnational crimes, and a host of other subjects have intrinsic to them respect for and observance of the rule of law,” he said.
Mr. Adedoja reaffirmed Nigeria’s delegation support to the Declaration adopted at the General Assembly’s 2012 High-Level Meeting on the Rule of Law.
He underlined the need for national ownership in every effort aimed at strengthening national capacities of Member States in the promotion of the rule of law as well as in providing technical assistance and capacity-building towards that end.
“We call on UN Member States to renew their commitment to respect and defend the UN Charter as a means of promoting international law and strengthening the rule of law.
“We should collectively work to attain a world where the rule of law, accountability and social justice are the foundation for sustainable development and durable peace.
“This must be a priority for the international community, for world leaders and for all peoples,” he said.