The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has in response to the proposals made last September 2015 by Barr. Ngozi Olehi, resolved to organize a conference with tagged “One Year Review of Democracy Rule in Nigeria”, to enforce the implementation of rule of law.
The theme of the conference lecture is, “Rule of law, economic growth, and security and anti-corruption war”. The conference which typically captures the state of the Nation will take place on Tuesday May 31, 2016 at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotels Towers, Abuja. Slated to commence at 8AM, it was stated that the entrance into the conference will stop and the doors closed to prospective participants and invited guests at 9:30AM prompt. In his letter dated September 16, 2015 and addressed to the President of NBA, Abuja, Barr. Ngozi Olehi appreciated the leadership of the NBA for its unrivaled humility in admitting responsibility for some of the lapses that arose in the course of hosting the NBA Annual Conference of year 2015. He had pointed out that irritations arising from poor distribution of conference materials which was prevalent had nearly marred the disposition of many colleagues from effective participation at the conference.
It was at that juncture that he voiced his displeasure and exceptions on the worrisome serial poor performance of Nigeria on critical global development ranking, including on the rule of law mantra which is the laudable motto of the NBA. According to Olehi, Governments, the political class and the populace or generality of public institutions had readily dismissed such scores or ranking without any explanations on why poverty and corruption are pervasive and social conditions in Nigeria inhumanly debilitating.
Writing under the caption, “Congratulations on Successful Annual Conference and Suggestions on Rule of Law Mantra of the Bar”, Olehi noted the admission of President Muhammadu Buhari, that more than 100 million Nigerians out of 170 Million live retrogressively below the poverty line. This he argued, is more than enough to stir up any patriotic Nigerian, saying, “obviously the life of an ordinary Nigerian is nothing compared to the poorest citizens of any other nation with comparable and commensurate natural endowments as Nigeria. It was in consideration of this that the social engineer and custodian of civilization and learned gentleman, Barr.Ngozi Olehi counseled that the legal profession should not begin and stop at offering probono services to the very few of the teeming wretched but that the aggregation of our social engineering capabilities can through re-evaluating rule of law mechanisms and insisting on their enforcement transform this country into becoming a prosperous nation and a global giant having been generously endowed by the God of Heaven”.
He added that the UNO, World leaders and the World Bank as well as international development agencies recognized that rule of law is crucial and critical for sustained economic growth, sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.
In urging the NBA to identify the colour of “its own rule of law”, Barr. Ngozi Olehi has set the pace and road map for NBA to key into, joining the rest of the world in advocating for rule of law in accordance to its limitations on powers of government, absence of corruption, order and security, fundamental rights, open and transparently, accountable government, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, criminal justice, and informal justice. By so doing, he said NBA will not only identify its own scope of the rule of law but will incidentally define the extent to which it must address the myriads of socio economic and political malaise plaguing Nigeria presently”.
It is his canvassed, “Rule of Law Summit”, as contained in his letter, and proposals that has eventually attracted the positive response captured in the state of the nation conference that NBA is holding today.
In his summation, Barr. Ngozi Olehi promises that the awareness created by the summit will enable the NBA members move from docile status to play proactive role in charting a new course for “our dear terribly beleaguered country, saying, “for us to hold our leaders accountable and ensure transparency of government operations, we must use the instruments of the rule of law. We will also use the knowledge that will be acquired during the summit and the skills of legislative advocacy to press for laws that will let Nigeria out of its present miserable and regrettable situation. If we do not get the rule of law and security right, nothing else will work, courtesy of United Nations Secretary General, Bontrous Boutros Ghali.
Community Watchdog Newspapers had in its lead story of January 26-29, 2016 published Olehi’s letter captured, “Barr. Ngozi Olehi writes NBA President, carpets Executives on abuse of rule of law, canvasses for summit”. However, the question on the lips of many is whether NBA members are isolated from similar cases of corruption and abuse of rule of law. They argue that it will be suicidal for a third world country like Nigeria to adopt the rule of law when such judges are fond of granting restraining orders and insisting on the release of suspected criminals undergoing interrogation and investigation especially among corrupt politicians who have looted the country blind.
Courtesy: Community Watchdog News