President Bill Clinton, the 42rd President of the United States of America, was incited and impeached by the House of Representatives in America on two charges bordering on perjury and obstruction of justice.

In summary, he was impeached for the in fracture and violation of public values. This underscores the importance attached to the enforcement of public values in America and other developed countries.

Osaro Eghobamien, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is a crusader for the restoration of the right public values within the judiciary. The word ‘right’ is used to skirt his activities as corruption now appears to be part of our current public values.

Equally, Professor Emmanuel Oristejafor submitted that human capital is hardly developed or retool in an environment where public values are not enforced.

What then are Public Values?

Public values is extremely difficult to define and ascertain, but in a nut shell, it is the values created by government actions, offices, activities, laws and regulations and it is different from private values.

Public values should embrace the following underlying principles, namely;

  • Universality
  • Accountability
  • Fairness and Equity

The litmus test of public values is similar to that of customary law in that it must not be repugnant to natural Justice, equity and good conscience.

Finally public values must emanate from the society as there must be some forbearance or willingness of the people to enforce it.

Every action or in action of government can be measured in terms of;

  • Economic Cost
  • Political Cost and
  • Social Cost

The implications of compromising the underpinning fundamentals of public values is accountable for our strangulated development and constricted economy.