THE SANCTITY OF RULE OF LAW, NATIONAL SECURITY AND PERSONAL LIBERTY IN NIGERIAAbstract:
The above statement encapsulates the need for adherence to the rule of law in political governance. This has more than ever before brought the primacy between national security and personal liberty of individuals in Nigeria to the front burner. The partisans of rule of law say, it is the font et origo, the father and grundnorm which takes precedence and priority over national security. It is a paradigm shift from the logic of empire, kingdom and fiefdom. The crux of the matter in this piece is which arm of government determines when national security or interest is in jeopardy? This paper therefore examined the concept of the rule of law and the extent to which it can be sacrificed on the altar of national security in a democracy. Using primary and secondary sources of information, the study found that it is dangerous to national security or interest for the executive arm to whimsically deprive citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed rights because of perceived or actual threat to national security. The study concluded that the determination of when national security takes prominence over the rule of law should be the exclusive preserve of the judiciary. To do otherwise would amount to the ruins of law.