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Udom urges lawyers to defend rule of law

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Udom Emmanuel

Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State has urged lawyers to rise and defend the rule of law in the country.

He made the call while declaring open the quarterly National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), which ended in Uyo, the State capital at the weekend.

He said: “The NBA is a critical institution in our national fabric today. If not for lawyers, only God knows what those political hawks would have done to us. The NBA is the foremost organization in defense of the rule of law in Nigeria today. Therefore, lawyers should rise up and defend the rule of law.

The Governor stated that a situation where the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared someone victorious in an election, only for a report from a Divisional Police Officer (DPO) annulled the same election is highly regrettable and without the rule of law, democracy will die in Nigeria.

He urged the NBA to strike out from the Roll of lawyers, names of those who left the profession immediately after their call to the Bar to do some other things apart from law practice.

The governor also called on NBA to assist in ensuring that IOCs relocate to the states where they are exploring from for even development and economic growth.

The NBA President, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) in his earlier address, commended Akwa Ibom state government for promoting smooth operations of Criminal Justice Administration and making dispensation of justice in the State easy.

Mahmoud said that his leadership of the lawyers’ umbrella body has succeeded in elevating the NBA as a credible partner for national development.

The NBA president said the association had, in the last few months, pursued the reform of the law profession and tried to enhance the governance framework of the association.

In his remark, the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, Mr. Uwemedimo Nwoko, called for increased attention to the plight of young lawyers.

He expressed the hope that the Legal Profession Regulation Bill would propose a remuneration and welfare committee to stipulate a minimum wage for young lawyers in private law firms.

The NEC reinstated the leadership of the Section on Legal Practice, which has Mrs. Mia Essien as the chairman based on the recommendation of the Yusuf Ali-led Committee.

The NEC also agreed to organize the Chief Gani Fawehinmi Human rights award this year together with a lecture on the World Human Rights Day on December 10. The NEC also agreed to resuscitate the NBA Human Rights Committee and get them with all the Sections of the association involved in all the activities of the Bar so that they will be carried along in the affairs of the association.

In his vote of thanks, the General Secretary of the NBA, Isiaka Abiola Olagunju thanked the Governor and his Executive Council for hosting the NEC and assured them that the NBA will not relent in efforts defend the rights of every Nigerian and promotion of the rule of law in the country.



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