Certiorari And Prohibition

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Certiorari And Prohibition
Fast Fading Remedies In Nigerian Administrative Law? A Critical Analysis
Author: Olubunmi Odeniyi, Esq.
Publisher: Bunmi Odeniyi & Associates
14 pages
One time payment: $0.00
Required subscription: Free
Language: English
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The dire global financial meltdown’s impact has now hit the country full blast despite the initial misguided official federal government’s denial strategy and false claims that the nation’s economy is immune from external economic crises. To worsen the situation, the failure of the regulatory regime and the hypocrisies of financial institutions, the latest being the huge interest-rate manipulation scandal (a.k.a. the LIBOR-Gate) rocking the so-called too-big-to-fail banks have all added to the troubles of developing economies.


Poor grasp of modern economic management, abject lack of practical efficient initiatives, unguarded utterances and the obsession with obsolete models and paradigms have resulted into unprecedented runaway inflationary trends, owing $5billion in foreign debt and more dwindling revenues available for the usual sharing and distribution among the tiers of the government. Once the usual mismanagement, corruption, sheer incompetence, lack of accountability and looting of the public resources are also factored into this mix, the prospect is looking very bleak. The resultant effect is that each level of government has embarked on aggressive fund generation drives to make up for the shortfall in earnings; from direct taxation such as the controversial increase in fuel pump prices, increase in import duties for basic essentials such as food despite the fact that the substitutes which are being touted as replacements have not been fully developed internally, inexplicable leap in electricity tariff despite inefficient power generation and distribution, the repackaging and issuance of useless vehicle number plates, displacement of whole communities to pave way for choice property allocations, drivers’ licences registration, wrongful seizures of motor vehicles, et cetera; all at the expense of the hapless citizen’s welfare. The Constitution of the Federal Republic is very clear that the actual and primary purpose reason for government is the security and welfare of the people (Section 14 [2] {b}) and not pauperisation of the populace through various guises.


We are having a hard time to see exactly what difference, if any,  in the so-called ‘nascent democratic’ governance and arbitrary military regimes in terms of the blatant violations of civil and human liberties, unnecessary criminalising of minor offences and misdemeanours under the guise of public policy; where some state legislative Houses of Assembly have disturbingly revealed themselves to be no more than mere rubber stamps of approval for whatever executive exigencies that are dreamt up in the continuing process of impoverishment of the citizenry through the gradual churning out of draconian laws and regulations meant to squeeze funds, inflict hardship, deprive assets, restrict movement, stifle freedom and pauperise the collective. Cicero was right: Summum ius summa iniuria(More law, less justice). This is being systematically carried out with the creation of numerous agencies and parastatals whose primary agenda seems to be generation of more funds into the government’s kitty from harsh fines and penalties from simple offences. It can therefore be safely predicted that these agencies’ intrusion in the lives of the citizenry will inevitably result into more abuse of civil and personal liberties, either as a result of overzealousness, impunity or excessive violations of guaranteed constitutional rights.


Certiorari and Prohibition are effective weapons of administrative law which have been unduly neglected and probably not fully understood by practitioners and those we stand to represent. These are extra ordinary remedies with astounding capabilities. It is only when we are aware of the effective impact these prerogative orders possess in their deployment to ensuring timeous reliefs and how the courts can push forward and extend the scope of the operations of these remedies that practitioners can efficiently utilise same in checking these creeping abuses of the citizens’ fundamental rights and to ensure a review of excessive ultra vires actions by these governmental agencies.


A proper understanding of the remedies available to the citizens through the courts of law for the practitioner and the redefinition of the fearless role expected from our judicial officials are desperately required to salvage, protect and advance the remaining vestiges of our collective humanity otherwise posterity will not forgive us for the sad and fearful future we are fashioning as a legacy for the unborn generations.

About the publisher:

‘Bunmi is the Managing Partner of ‘Bunmi Odeniyi & Associates, a full service business law firm based in Lagos, Nigeria with special emphasis on the corporate commercial practice.


’Bunmi graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Law – LL.B (Hons.) – from the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos State and was called to the Nigerian Bar as a Solicitor and Advocate of the Supreme Court of Nigeria with a BL (Hons.) from the Nigerian Law School, Abuja, F.C.T. 


He secured his Master’s degree in Law - LL.M (Hons.) specializing in Corporate Finance and Corporate Management from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State and has his Ph.D. in view at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State.

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