By Victor Adeoti
Ile-Ife (Osun) – Amos Idowu, a professor of law at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, on Tuesday said that corruption and indiscipline had caused irreparable damage in the country.
Idowu, who said this while delivering the 308th inaugural lecture of the university in Ile-Ife, said most Nigerians are “ enmeshed in these unfortunate traits of humanity.’’
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the lecture was entitled: “ Problems of the Nigerian Constitutions and Constitutional Problems of Nigeria: Workable Solutions .’’
He said corruption and indiscipline had led to the inability of leaders to ensure productive governance, courts of law struggling to give justiceable interpretation of the constitution and other laws and the failure of law enforcement agencies to enforce laws.
“It is rather unfortunate that Nigeria had produced the best of human resources which have failed to meet her expectation,’’ he added.
Idowu also said one of the cardinal constitutional problems of Nigeria was the fragile nature of the independence of the judiciary, often described as the last hope of common man.
“Up till now, it has been difficult in Nigeria to arrive at a practical and effective institutional separation of the judiciary from the other arms of government which would have been a necessary tool to bulwark against all forms of tyranny, victimisation and oppression.
” Constitutional framework has not been able to achieve complete freedom of the judiciary from the enclaves of the legislatures, executive, politicians and other influential members of the society,’’ he said.
Idowu said findings indicated that the 1999 constitution was not acceptable to most Nigerians, with many claiming that the document was forced on them by the military.
He said there was need for a new constitution such that the authority and power to make and adopt it should not be vested in the National Assembly.
” The people who should be engaged in making the constitution should be more dispassionate, knowledgeable, experienced, loyal and disciplined and not mere political gladiators who are more interested in their selfish economic and political aspirations,’’ he said.
He said the new constitution being proposed should be an effective and authoritative legal framework consisting relevant provisions on part-time legislature sitting 36 times a year as well as providing for effective devolution of powers and state police among other demands.
Idowu also said government at all levels should cut down on overbearing expenses of governance while political leaders should learn to be loyal and sincere to the electorate and be subject to their control. (NAN)