By Umar Muhammad Puma
The just concluded primary elections by political parties ahead of the 2019 general elections in the country does not in any way show that Nigeria’s democracy is advancing, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, has said.
Delivering a goodwill message at the public presentation of the book;
“Intrinsic and Extrinsic Aids to the Interpretation of the Constitution, Statutes and Private Documents” authored by Hon Justice R. N. Ukeje in Abuja yesterday, Rt. Hon Dogara, argued that democracy is all about adherence to rule of law and due process.
“If you look at it very well you begin to wonder judging from different primaries conducted by political party as to whether we are making progress in the advancement of our democracy,” he queried.
“Democracy is all about laws, it’s all about due process, about the rule of law. Therefore, the deeper your laws, the deeper your democracy. We can deepen our laws by deepening the interpretation of these laws to make them applicable to situations that may arise after the laws have been written. There are no better ways to deepen our democracy.
While commending Hon Justice Ukeje who came out of retirement to write the book, the Speaker noted that, “there is a yawning gap in this area of law, and thankfully she has decided in make a concerted effort at plugging this gap. The issue of interpretation of statues including the constitution is absolutely important in the advancement of our democracy.”
He said the book is a noble effort by the former chief judge of the federal high court because in all cases the Judges who interpret “these laws would not have sat in the hollowed chambers of parliament, so they are not there in the contemplation of when these laws are made, and therefore they are not there when these laws are crafted.
But then they must interpret them.”