October 29, 2015 marks 150 days in office of the Buhari’s Presidency as Nigeria’s sixth civilian instituted Presidency, having been constitutionally sworn in and administered withoaths of office and allegiance on 29th May 2015. It is also observed by the Intersociety that Nigeria has in the past 150 days (29th May 2015 till date) been run and administered without a functional federal cabinet or government by Buhari’s Presidency.
In furtherance of our firm promise five months ago to keep the Buhari’s Presidency on its toes by providing constructive assessment of all his policies and actions and steadily raise alarms over destructive and retrogressive or likelihood of destructive and retrogressive policies and actions; we wish to inform Nigerians and members of the international community that we have empirically identified at least 60 constitutional sins and breaches in the past 150 days of the Buhari’s Presidency and the sins and breaches have continued to increase as we write.
These 60 constitutional sins and breaches are divided into Electoral Sins & Breaches, Political Sins & Breaches, Judicial Sins & Interferences, Economic Policy Sins & Blunders and Security & Safety Policy Sins & Blunders. They are all contrary to or in gross breaches of the relevant provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and its subsidiary laws of the Federation including relevant international rights treaties entered into by Nigeria through the instruments of ratification or domestication. They are referred to as constitutional sins because they violate the spirit of the Constitution and constitutional breaches because they violate the letters of the Constitution.
The aspect of Electoral Sins & Breaches is included because the process through which a leader emerges in a constitutional electoral democracy is far more important than what he does or his achievements in office. Constitutional electoral democracy is further composed of input and output legitimacies in positive or meritorious aspect and input and output illegitimacies or demerit in negative aspect. Input legitimacy is the popularity or high rating or acceptance associated with his or her emergence as a democratic leader through popular, pluralistic and all inclusive general polls, whereas output legitimacy is popularity or high rating earned following his or her towering achievements in office.
These explain why the process that brought Buhari’s Presidency to power was revisited and added to its constitutional sins and breaches in accordance with the Principles of Vicarious Liability. Our decision to carefully identify the named constitutional sins and breaches is to bring them to the immediate attention of Nigerians, the international community as well as the Buhari’s Presidency so that they can be clearly understood as triggers capable of plunging the country into social, political, economic and ethno-religious comatose. When further aggregated and congregated, the referenced constitutional sins and breaches are also triggers of structural injustices powered by political backwardness and ethno-religious primordialism. It is also an incontestable fact that the emergence of Buhari’s Presidency as Nigeria’s octogenarian presidency is re-opening of generational wounds and afflictions experienced during the civil war and dozens of ethno-religious killings that gripped Nigeria in the past four decades. The situation is compounded by the fact that Buhari’s Presidency has continued to be seen by many as wounding Presidency in place of being a healing Presidency
A. Electoral Sins & Breaches:
1. Gross manipulation (i.e. hoarding, defacing, diversion, destruction and non-production) of issuance and distribution of permanent voters cards with gross numerical disparity designed to favour north against the south leading to highly divisive presidential poll that brought Buhari’s Presidency to power.
2. Deliberate and scientific exclusion from voting of 12 million registered voters dominated by southern and northern minority populations designed to produce Buhari’s Presidency at all costs, leading to its highly divisive emergence.
3. Creation of mobile voting centers for Muslim IDPs unknown to Electoral Act and refusal to make same or similar arrangements for IDPs of Southeast and minority nationalities’ extraction such as through voters’ cards’ transfer provided in the Electoral Act of 2010.
4. Exclusion through stringent voter registration conditions during voters’ registration exercises of at least 20 million Nigerians of voting age dominated by southerners and other minority nationalities.
5. Introduction of mal-functional card readers contrary to the Electoral Act of 2010 designed to further shut out and weaken southern voting population.
6. Massive deployment and use of millions of under-age voters in the north designed to shore up northern Muslim voting population during the referenced controversial polls.
7. Demographic and scientific manipulation of the 2015 presidential poll as opposed to all inclusive polls befitting a pluralistic and multicultural democratic society like Nigeria.
8. Resurgence through deliberate official (INEC) policies and actions of ethnic, religious and political divisions in the 2015 presidential poll and deepening of same through policies and actions by the Buhari’s Presidency.
B. Political Sins & Breaches:
9. Emergence of someone perceived by many as an age-long sympathizer of ethno-religious divisions and animosity as Nigeria’s President.
10. Resurgence and deepening of ethno-religious divisions and animosities, no thanks to the President’s divisive and segregated policies and actions since assumption of office.
11. Disregard with reckless abandon and abuse of the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as well as the principles of the rule of law by the Buhari’s Presidency.
12. Massive deployment and reckless use of State coercive establishments particularly the DSS to hound, haunt, hurt and harm vocal citizens and members of the opposition contrary to their constitutional rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, personal liberty and movement.
13. Promotion and Institutionalization of government of vendetta or vindictiveness in the past 150 days.
14. Running and promotion of governance policies of exclusion and segregation.
15. Promotion through nepotism and favoritism of corruption and abuse of office contrary to Section 15 (5) of the 1999 Constitution (abolition of corrupt practices and abuse of office).
16. Manipulation and bastardization of the concept of corruption whereby only members of the opposition are labeled corrupt or charged for corruption whereas morally dirty and indicted members of the ruling party are shielded or protected or have their court cases withdrawn or stampeded (i.e. cases involving Abubakar Audu of Kogi State and Timipere Sylva of Bayelsa State).
17. Using corruption to fight corruption and parroting corruption for the purpose of confusing Nigerians and the international community with intent to earn mechanical legitimacy or legitimacy of the graveyard.
18. Promotion and encouragement of all dimensions of corruption: morality corruption, political corruption, economic corruption, institutional or bureaucratic corruption and criminal corruption.
19. Gross violation of constitutional provisions of fair and equitable distribution of public office appointments and resources.
20. Leprous treatment and exclusion of the people of the Southeast zone in federal governance policies and actions in the past 150 days.
21. Concentration of over 70% federal public office appointments in the north.
22. Steadily threatening of the secular and pluralistic composition of Nigeria through segregated and exclusionary policies, actions and utterances.
23. Steady suppression of uniting elements or forces and promotion of divisive forces in Nigeria.
24. Promotion of triggers of constitutional dictatorship and muzzling of opposition forces.
25. Quieting, shutting up and shutting down of hitherto mainstream, independent and credible rights based civil society organizations in the Southwest (Lagos State).
26. Total exclusion of the Southeast zone in non ministerial top federal public office appointments.
27. Domination of top federal political appointments by northern zone (Muslims).
28. Running of the federal government without a Federal Executive Council or Government or Council of Ministers in the past 150 days or five months.
29. Grounding of major government activities or businesses to a halt in the past 150 days owing to absence of Federal Executive Council.
30. Gross intolerance to opposition politics and sustained efforts to make Nigeria a one party State, which is a major trigger of constitutional dictatorship.
31. Making appointments into constitutionally and statutorily created offices in manners clearly incoherent with and unknown to the 1999 Constitution and the Civil Service Rules of the Federation (i.e. appointments of DG of DSS, Custom CG, and former INEC interim Boss).
32. Running an oligarchic and compensatory government as opposed to all inclusive, pluralistic and common interest centered government.
33. Proposing a government or governance cabinet dominated by wearers of glasses without lenses or bodily spent and mentally exhausted cabinet members clad with immoral kaftans and suites.
C. Economic Policy Sins & Blunders:
34. Grounding of Nigerian economy to a total halt following 150 days without government or ministers.
35. Grounding to a halt in the past 150 days major activities of all federal educational institutions including all federal universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, special schools as well as newly established federal universities, owing to none release of statutory funds in the past 150 days. While the existing universities and their likes have managed to survive through their internally generated revenues, the newly established federal universities are virtually grounded to a halt.
36. None awards of public interest projects in the areas of roads, education, health, rail, aviation, water, agriculture, etc following the absence of government or ministers in the past 150 days. 37. Suspension or stalling of public interest projects awarded by the past administration (i.e. 2nd Niger Bridge Project).
38. Abandonment in the past 150 days of maintenance policy implementation on key public infrastructures like roads, etc leading to their gross decay resulting in untold hardships being borne by the masses.
39. Collection from the Federation Account of at least N900Billion ($4.5 Billion) as the Federal Government share of the federal revenues in the past 150 days or five months with little or nothing channeled into public oriented projects.
40. Absence of clearly defined economic policy direction for Nigeria tailored in international best standards as well as continued leprous reliance on crude oil or petrol dollar economy.
41. Introduction of deliberate and harmful fiscal policy aimed at crashing and crushing trade and commerce in which the Igbos who control at least 60% of same are the sole target.
42. Promotion of proliferation of hard currency black markets and hard currency smuggling cartels following ban placed on international currency exchanges.
43. Resurgence and proliferation of illicit or black market mobile hard currency trade dominated by Hausa couriers as was the case in 80s and 90s during the military era dominated by northern hegemony.
44. Proposing for Nigeria a governance cabinet of bread and butter in place of a government of soil and oil.
45. Retention of reckless public borrowing and high public governance cost policies that darkened the administration of the Goodluck Jonathan and grossly impoverished Nigeria and Nigerians.
D. Judicial Sins & Interferences:
46. Domination of federal judiciary by northern Muslims (I.e. Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, etc).
47. Gross executive interference in the affairs of the judiciary particularly by the President’s use of DSS to invite, quiz, intimidate, harass and threaten judges handling high profile cases including election petition cases (i.e. Hon Justice Pindigi’s latest revelation in the media over his travail in the hands of DSS over the Rivers State Governorship matter).
48. Gross and reckless executive interference using DSS and Police in the judicial proceedings and non criminal administrative conducts (i.e. recent ordeal of some INEC officials in the hands of the DSS in Akwa Ibom State gubernatorial poll matter).
49. Executive interference and influencing of electoral court proceedings and judgments using DSS (i.e. See online Hon Justice Pindigi’s public account on how he was threatened, intimidated, harassed and invited for a nocturnal meeting in Kaduna State by the DSS with intent to be bribed).
50. Use of judiciary by the executive as an instrument of vendetta and intimidation against members of the opposition and dissenting community.
51. Use of judiciary to perpetrate and perpetuate unconstitutional and extra judicial detention of vocal and un-convicted citizens (i.e. continued detention of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu of the Indigenous People of Biafra after he has fulfilled all his hash bail conditions imposed by a Magistrate Court).
52. Use of constitutionally incoherent penal laws to judicially threaten and intimidate dissenting citizens for the purpose of their custodial arrest, detention, torture and dumping in awaiting trial or criminal judicial incarceration.
53. Re-introduction through backdoor of Decrees No. 2 and No. 4 of 1984 by presidentially detaining citizens outside the provisions and processes of the 1999 Constitution (i.e. continued detention for eight days of Citizen Nnamdi Kanu under circumstances unknown to the 1999 Constitution and its subsidiary laws recognized by Section 315 of the same Constitution).
E. Security & Safety Policy Sins & Blunders:
54. Death of at least 1,900 citizens in the hands of Islamist Boko Haram and Fulani insurgency and terror activities in the past 150 days. That is to say that between May 29th and September 29th, at least 1,700 citizens mostly civilians were killed and between 29th September and 29th October 2015, at least 200 citizens have been killed.
55. Continued adoption of counter terror and insurgency measures that are incoherent with modern intra State counter violence methods leading to gross breaches of human rights and the Geneva Conventions.
56. Retention of the out-fashioned and out-dated national policy on security adopted in 1979 (36 years).
57. Continued disappearance of the abducted Chibok Girls despite pre election and post election assurances by the Buhari’s Presidency to rescue them in a matter of immediacy.
58. Continued use of AK-47 riffles to pursue bomb detonators-a clear case of failed security and failed intelligence.
58. Gross failure of the Nigeria Police with its large numerical strength and huge public costs to effectively take charge of the country’s internal security owing to obsolete policing and rapacious corruption.
59. Concentration of the country’s security policy planners and executors on gun culture and militancy approaches and their blatant refusal to loosen their grips and civilianize security policy through the all inclusive concept of human security formulated by UN for municipal use in 1994.
60. Total exclusion of the Southeast zone from the membership of Service Chiefs and steady promotion of triggers of a divided society and laying landmines of sectional animosities capable of snowballing into regional tensions and violent conflicts of unquenchable magnitudes.
Uzochukwu Oguejiofor-Nwonu, Esq., Head Campaign & Publicity Department
Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program