By Mark Orgu, News/Comments, June 10, 2023
LAGOS-The Annual Conference of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL) will hold at Citadel Complex, Oregun, Ikeja from June 20 to 23, 2023. In a press statement released and joint signed Dr. Monday O. Ubani , NBA-SPIDEL CHAIRMAN and Mr Okey Ohagba, Chairman of Conference Planning Committee said that, the conference will attract lawyers and judges from various States of the Federation.
“It promises to be an intellectual feast featuring eminent jurists from the Bar and Bench. The theme of the conference is “Post-Election Nigeria: The Judiciary in the eye of the storm”. The keynote Speaker is foremost human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, while the Opening Session will be chaired by former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba OON. Instructive, Dr. Agbakoba has the singular honour of being the NBA President who established NBA-SPIDEL during his Presidency. Hon. Justice Amina Augie of the Supreme Court will feature as a Guest Speaker during the Opening Ceremony”.
The duo further stated that the Opening Ceremony will have the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Abia State counterpart, Dr. Alex Otti. Senators and House of Representatives members among others, even as there will be technical sessions, which will lead jurists and speakers such as Prof. Mike Ozekhome SAN, Prof. Pat Utomi, Mr. Austin Alegeh SAN, Chief J-K Gadzama SAN, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN, Mr. Olumide Akpata, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo SAN, NBA President Yakubu Maikyau SAN, Ms. Boma Alabi SAN, Prof. Paul Ananaba SAN, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN, Mr. Samson Itodo (YIAGA Africa), Mr. Festus Okoye (INEC), Justice Taiwo Taiwo (rtd.), Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe, Ebun Adegboruwa SAN, Prof. Nnamdi Obiaraeri, Mr. Gilbert Tor, Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom SAN, among many others too numerous to mention here.
“We believe that our Guest Speakers will adequately interrogate the theme of the Conference which bothers on the Judiciary’s intervention in the electoral process. Presently, all eyes are fixed at the various Election Petition tribunals where those who were aggrieved with the outcome of the elections are ventilating their grievances lawfully and seeking judicial redress.
Our faith in the Judiciary should remain unshaken, as those who deserve justice shall certainly be served with justice without fear or favour. We invite the press to be a part of this conference where this very important topic will be thoroughly diagnosed by these legal giants.
Reacting to the arrest of Mr. Emefiele, the duo applauded the suspension of the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele while urging that his regime be thoroughly investigated for his alleged role in the mismanagement of the economy.
On the Air Nigeria scam alleged to have been perpetuated by the immediate former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, they want president Tinubu to ensure a thorough investigation and ensure prosecution of the minister who found guilty, even as it touched on subsidy removal and others.
“In the same vein, Mr. President is being called upon to look into the scam of “Air Nigeria” which the immediate past Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika perpetrated before his exit. If the assertion by the Managing Director of Nigeria Air, Dayo Olumide, during a Senate hearing that the aircraft said to be for Air Nigeria was merely a chartered flight from Ethiopian Airline to hoodwink Nigerians, we enjoin Mr. President to institute a high-powered panel of investigation to unearth this large-scale scam that has turned Nigeria into a laughing stock in the global aviation community. This matter is a litmus test for the new administration, especially if President Bola Tinubu wants to be seen as desirous of combating corruption in the polity”.
“The Tinubu Administration is strongly advised to develop a zero tolerance policy towards corruption and mismanagement of public funds. The government must respect the rule of law and avoid executive lawlessness and impunity. These are acts that will bring his administration into collision course with the civil society and human rights community. If the government abides by the rule of law, respects human rights, ensures transparency and accountability as fundamental objectives of state policy, it should be rest assured of tremendous goodwill from majority of the citizens of Nigeria. President Bola Tinubu has a choice to make; may God guide him to make the right choice”.
On the removal of fuel subsidy, we note that though majority of Nigerians do not understand the huge scam that subsidy represents in the oil sector, the process and procedure for the removal was faulty. This has occasioned severe consequences and taken a toll on the hapless citizens who are always the victims of such government policies that are not well thought out. We welcome efforts by the government amid consultations to birth palliatives aimed at alleviating the harshness of the sudden removal. This should have preceded the announcement of the removal of subsidy. Sadly, that was not the case.
“Mr. President must be told in clear terms that Nigerians are groaning in pains, especially with the sudden removal of the fuel subsidy. Salary increase for civil servants – whose population is infinitesimal compared to millions that are outside government employment – will not be enough to solve the present crisis. More drastic and well-thought-out economic packages should be put in place to cushion the harsh effects of the new policy”.
“Again, Mr. President must seek wisdom and the right kind of advice to navigate out of the present quagmire the country has found itself. I do not envy him at this time.
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