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The Role of Law, the Judiciary and the Legal Profession in curbing Security Challenges in Nigeria By Ismail Khadijat Moromoke

Between year 2012 and 2020, the security challenges in Nigeria have resulted in as much as 70,000 deaths (1). 

The current security challenge in Nigeria is traceable to the aftermath of the civil war which promoted the importation and use of arms and ammunition by civilians (2). 
After the war, the arms became possessions of civilians and ex-military men who make recourse to crime owing to job loss and the need to survive (3). 
Since then, the state of security in Nigeria continues to change unpleasant face ranging from ethnic-tribal conflicts, Niger-delta militants, terrorism, Boko-haram insurgency, farmers-herders conflicts, banditry and kidnapping. Law, judiciary and the legal profession must be on the rescue.
Since Independence in 1960, Nigerian political leaders have had to grapple with the issue of national security in a country with diverse culture, ethno-religious and political identities (4). The indicators and manifestations of the economic and socio-political crises in Nigeria include: economic decline, high external debt, spiral inflation, political instability, pervasive and entrenched social conditions, personal in security, poverty, internal terrorism and persistent opposition against government by different ethnic and geo-political associations and groups (5). 
All these constituted the various security challenges of the Nigerian nation since the state of fear of anxiety stemming from a concrete or alleged lack of protection or adequate freedom from danger is seen as insecurity (6).
Injustice, inequity and ethnic distrust are seen as the root causes of the security challenges in Nigeria and have paved way for the scary cumulus of insecurity seemingly engulfing Nigerians currently 7. In fact, other external influences that amplified the existing insecurity conditions borrowed their strengths from the three pre-existing”bad”(8). Poverty is also the precursor for the growing insecurity in the country (9). 
Youth unemployment is not out of the show. According to Rochas Okorocha, the high rate of youth unemployment in Nigeria is sending a signal that the Nigerian state is sitting on a time bomb that could explode at any point in time 10
Security challenges have retarded national and this can be inferred a one time World Bank’s president, Robert McNamara who said, “security means development”. Conversely, when there is no security, there will be no development(11).
The onus of curbing security challenges in Nigeria is now placed on law, judiciary and the legal profession. There is a wall of difference between legal frameworks and application of law. The law should be allowed to fully annexed so that it’s purpose in ensuring peaceful coexistence can be achieved as portrayed in the definition given by Thomas Hobbes that law is the formal glue that holds fundamentally disorganized societies togethe12
Old laws should be amended and new laws should be enacted based on the happenings in the country. Also, the current constitutional review ongoing in the country should take into consideration the justiciability of the provisions of chapter II of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, As Amended as this will go a long way in addressing the major factors of insecurity which include: education, empowerment and social welfare packages. 
It is believed that a state whose citizens enjoy basic human rights, economic and social rights (from the law) will be averse to insurrection or any form of insurgence against the government (13).
The Executive Order 10 signed by president Muhammadu Buhari for the judiciary financial autonomy should be fully implemented by the state government. By this, the judiciary will be able to safeguard the law in the administration of justice thereby restoring people’s faith in the justice system of the country. 
Legal representation of unprivileged citizens should be the objectives of legal professionals. There is no indecency in taking up probono cases in order to proper dispensation of justice to parties involved in order to serve as deterrence and reformation of the society of insecurity.
The blame game should stop. Everyone should take up to the task of promoting security and stability in Nigeria. The law, judiciary and legal profession also have their respective responsibilities as discussed above in ensuring that Nigeria is worthy of being regarded as “a place of living”.
(2) Ibid.
(3) Ibid.
(4) Asikia Ige, ‘The Quest for State Security in Nigeria: The Imperative of Human Rights and Good Governance’, Journal of Public and International Law, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, pg. 180.
(6) Achuma, I.C, Igbomereho, I. and Akpo-Robaro, M.O(2013), ‘Security, Challenges in Nigeria and the Implication for Business Activities and Sustainable Development’, Journal of Economics and Sustainable Development, Vol.4 cited by Callistar K. Obi, ‘Challenges of Insecurity and Terrorism in Nigeria: Implication for National Development’ available at <>accessed 24 June 2021.
(9)op.cit (1)
(11) Human Rights Review, An International Human Rights Journal, vol.3, February 2012, An Annual Publication of the Department of Public Law, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and the National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria(NNHRC), A Publication of the National Human Rights Commission, vol.6, December 2016, pg. 104.
(12) Ado John, ‘Various Law Definitions by Famous Authors’ 7th September, 2018<> accessed 24 June 2021.
(13) op.cit.(4).

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