By Vivian Onyebukwa

The lawmaker representing Bende North Constituency of Abia State House of Assembly, Hon. Ibekwe, Nnamdi Chimdi (Oziomachi), has stressed the role of the rule of law, checks and balances which protects the fundamental rights of Nigerians in a constitutional democracy.
Hon. Ibekwe in Lagos recently said the principle of the rule of law, checks and balances are the integral parts of democracy which had been adjudged to be the best form of government.
According to him, democracy enthrones an equitable and egalitarian society with an emphasis on fostering progress through participatory governance.
He added that in a democracy the people hold the four aces in deciding who holds what political office through a seamless electoral process.
Furthermore, he stated that the democratic principles promote equality, freedom, accountability, rule of law, protection of people’s rights, peaceful conflict resolution, innovation, civil society participation, transparency, adaptability, and peaceful transfer of power.

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Hon Ibekwe therefore, urged the three tiers of government to deepen Nigeria’s democracy by upholding the principles of the rule of law and separation of powers.
The lawmaker also said that the essence of a constitution and constitutionalism lies in establishing fundamental principles, structures, and rules that govern a country.
He averred that the key points in constitutional democracy include the rule of law, checks, and balances to avoid arbitrariness, protecting fundamental rights, separation of powers, legal stability, and adherence to constitutional principles.
He reiterated that to guarantee the supremacy of law and sustain democratic governance in Nigeria, the 1999 Constitution emphasises the separation of powers among the three arms of government – the Legislature, Executive, and the Judiciary.
He said that separation of powers brings about checks and balances. “This concept prevents any of the arms of government from arbitrariness, just as it checks tyranny, and safeguards the rights and interests of the citizens.The Legislature is primarily responsible for making laws, representing the interests of the people, overseeing the executive arm to avert abuse of powers, and ensuring accountability, and transparency in governance,” he said.
According to him, while the legislators may propose and allocate funds for projects, it is the duty of the executive arm (government agencies or local authorities) to execute and implement the projects.
Hon. Ibekwe, however, noted that legislators do play the crucial role of overseeing and monitoring the progress of the projects to ensure they are carried out effectively and in the best interest of the public. “Each constituency needs to conduct needs assessment as it is an important aspect of the legislative process in Nigeria and that by needs assessments, legislators can better understand the challenges facing their constituents and work towards addressing them through appropriate legislation and oversight functions,” he said.
He described service delivery as another key function of the Legislature as they are expected to make the laws and ensure that government agencies and departments are effectively implementing the policies and programmes to meet the needs of the people.
He contended that by monitoring service delivery and holding the executive arm to account, legislators play a crucial role in promoting good governance and improving the quality of life for citizens. “In the 1999 Constitution (as amended), the legislative arm is meticulously delineated within Sections 47 to 100 and the Second Schedule, explaining the intricate tapestry of the National Assembly and state Houses of Assembly. These provisions serve as the bedrock for the modus operandi of the legislature, delineating its composition, powers, functions, and procedural mechanisms within the democratic framework of the nation. While the legislature makes the laws, the executive executes the mandates, and the judiciary takes the pivotal role of interpretation-a symphony of governance harmonising the ethos of democracy. By upholding the principles of separation of powers and ensuring that each arm of government fulfils its core responsibilities, Nigeria can strive towards a more inclusive, responsive, and effective system of governance that serves the needs and interests of all of its citizens,” the lawmaker said.