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NBA tasks judiciary on independence, amends constitution

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President, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) (left); Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP), Gbenga Oyebode and first Vice President of the Association, Mr. Stanley Imo.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has encouraged the judiciary to be independent, courageous and unbiased in the execution of their functions without regard to the appointing authority, in order to booster and retain confidence of investors, businesses and the public.

The body also amended its constitution at the end of its 59th Annual General Conference (AGC) in Lagos themed: Facing the Future.

The President of NBA, Paul Usoro (SAN), while reeling out the communiqué issued at the of the AGC, said the constitutional amendments geared towards repositioning the association to meet with societal responsibilities that will enable it to function to the satisfaction of its members and the general public.

Usoro said seven days programme was a combination of three significant activities; the amendments, the appointment of trustees, which have been in place for over 14 years, the national executive committee annual general meeting.

He said the theme was carefully chosen to underscore the future of the legal profession, businesses, the judiciary and government amidst a rapidly changing world driven by fast-paced technological innovations and increasing external competition in a globalised world.

Usoro said the status of the Code of Conduct Tribunal has remained a gray area in Nigerian jurisprudence, which has given rise to great contention.

With a view to resolving the contention, he urged the Supreme Court to avail itself any available opportunity to make an unambiguous determination on the status of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, and clarify whether it is an organ of the Executive or a quasi-judicial tribunal capable of being vested with criminal jurisdiction.

Recognising infrastructure funding deficit as one of the biggest challenges to development in Nigeria, he said government should explore alternative financing structures such as Sukuk and others.

“Government should increase confidence in the domestic business environment by protecting the sanctity of contracts, streamlining the regulatory environment and effecting fraud deterrents.

“We acknowledge the commitment of government under the Sustainable Development Goal 5 on Gender Equality and Female Empowerment, but we urge government to entrench gender equality in the Nigerian Constitution, enact laws that will eliminate gender inequality, strengthen and mandate institutions to implement gender mainstreaming,” he said.

He expressed appreciation to the former trustees for their unalloyed services to the association and announced the approval of Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Joseph B. Daudu (SAN), Augustine Alegeh (SAN), Obafemi Adewale (SAN), Hajia Kwaku and Kanu Agabi (SAN), as new Trustees of the Association.


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