Mujahid Asari Dokubo and the life cycle of the law of rule

In 2005, the Nigerian government charged Mujahid Asari Dokubo with five counts of treasonable felony, running an unlawful society, and publishing a rumour likely to cause fear and alarm. The charges stemmed from a meeting of the Pan-Niger Delta Action Conference/Council, at which Dokubo and other activists criticized the government and called for President Obasanjo to be removed by other than constitutional means.

Dokubo was denied bail and his case was appealed to the Supreme Court, which upheld the denial of bail. The court’s reasoning was that national security took precedence over individual rights when national security was threatened.

The author of this article argues that the Supreme Court’s decision was plainly squalid and a poor example of the rule of law. The author also argues that the law of rule in Nigeria is characterized by its shiftiness and lack of moorings in principle.

The author concludes by noting that the shoe is now on the other foot. With the All Progressives Congress (APC) in power, Asari and his followers are now the toast of the law enforcement. The author argues that this is just as unjustifiable as it was to place Asari and the Niger Delta advocates underneath the law in 2005.

The author’s article is a powerful critique of the law of rule in Nigeria. The author makes a compelling case that the law is applied in a way that benefits the powerful and oppresses the powerless. The author’s article is a timely reminder of the importance of the rule of law and the need to hold those in power accountable.

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