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Government urged to make people-oriented policies

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Mrs. Joyce Oduah, NBA General Secretary (Left); Mrs. Folake Solanke (SAN); Mrs. Michelle Omogun-Anekwe, MD/CEO of Kauntarium Ltd; Mr. Monday Ubani, SPIDEL Chairman; Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo (SAN), Oyo State Attorney General and Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN), immediate past SPIDEL Chairman.

Government has been urged to make people oriented policies for the welfare and security of the nation.

Lawyers were also called to view public interest lawyering as an avenue to enhance the relationship between the ordinary citizen and the judiciary.

This was disclosed in a statement signed by the immediate past Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA- SPIDEL), Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) and Chairman, NBA-SPIDEL 2021 conference planning committee, Monday Ubani, on SPIDEL yearly conference with the theme: ‘The Role of Public Interest in Governance in Nigeria’ held in Ibadan.

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The event also had the launch of the ‘Sorosoke’ human rights reporting app of the NBA, which aims to aid the general public in tracking and reporting human right abuses.

The conference observed that the current federating structure of the Nigerian State is clearly disorganised and the situation is seen in the spate of security crises in the country.

It therefore called on the Federal Government to champion the creation of State police as a way of reducing over-reliance on national security outfits for preservation of lives and property.

Speakers at the conference discussed issues surrounding the imperatives of public interest in governance, internal security as a prerequisite for national development; the legality and efficacy of public inquiry by state governments; the role of the office of the public defender; sustainable development goals, third party data capturing for national identification numbers project, paternity fraud in Nigeria and others.

According to Ananaba, to ensure security, kinship and regional consolidation, there is need for constitutional review and restructuring of the nation.

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“We call on State Governors to enforce judicial autonomy in their States and ensure the financial independence of the judiciary and the legislature. This will ensure that the judiciary is poised to deliver justice to the poor and oppressed without fear or favour,” he said.

SPIDEL however, noted that government must pass laws penalising persons and agents who are in breach of data protection law, particularly those who without authority use the data of citizens to protect the fundamental rights of privacy.

“Furthermore, persons who act as third parties in data collection/analysis and usage should be men of high level of integrity who should also pass proper security checks,” the statement added.

In another development, it was observed that several State Governments have continued to disobey court orders and their Attorneys General appear unable to advise them accordingly. The Conference therefore urged the NBA to amend its Rules of Professional Conduct to include provisions compelling all Attorneys-General to ensure that their governments obey court orders and any Attorney General that fails to do so be heavily sanctioned accordingly.

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