Nigerian lawyers in Canada call for equitable justice in Madu’s case
The Canadian Association of Nigerian Lawyers (CANL) has called on the government to be equitable in the case of Honourable Kaycee Madu, who was recently suspended as the Attorney General and Minister of Justice of the Province of Alberta.
CANL said, in a statement made available to The Guardian, the Premier of the Province of Alberta, Jason Kenney, had suspended Mr. Madu from the cabinet post pending the outcome of a probe into Mr. Madu’s call to Edmonton’s Police Chief, Dale McFee, during which the issue of a driving ticket issued to Mr. Madu was raised as part of a conversation about policing.
“There have been endless vilification of Mr. Madu by the media even before the investigation has commenced. Consequently, Mr. Madu’s rights and entitlements to be presumed innocent until proven to be at fault are being desecrated, such that the opinion of the public is already skewed against him,” the association said.
It said against the backdrop, it was compelled to state that on March 10, 2021, Mr. Madu was en route to a pre-arranged news conference to address the media about disturbing revelations that several police officers had been engaged in misconduct when he was stopped by a traffic police officer and issued a traffic violation ticket.
“Given the reported prevalent climate of racial minority profiling and surveillance power abuse by the police at the time, we wonder aloud about the coincidence between the time of Mr. Madu’s fateful encounter with the traffic police officer and the time that he was billed to tackle allegations of police misconduct.
“Some people have contended, and we agree, that while the phone call placed by Mr. Madu to the Chief of Police may generate concern in the minds of many, the concern ought to be resolved in the full context of the lived experiences of those in Mr. Madu’s shoes,” CANL stated.
The association it was reasonable to wonder whether he had fallen victim to the racial profiling scourge, as he has explained in his press release on the issue.
“We believe that Mr. Madu had both personal, communal and official responsibilities to ensure that he or similarly situated people were not being victimised in light of the prevailing circumstances. We have examined the reported circumstances of the phone call more closely.”
“We deem that the main issue, racial profiling by the police, raised in Mr. Madu’s phone call to the Chief of Police, is of existential nature to us. We highlight and take comfort in the reported fact that the Chief of Police has publicly stated that Mr. Madu neither pressured him nor made him to feel pressured during their discussions,” the association said.
CANL called on the Premier Kenney “to ensure that equitable justice is served in this case and request him to reinstate Mr. Madu to his position in the cabinet to continue to serve the people of Alberta should he be found not to have interfered with the course of justice after the completion of a full investigation by an independent panel.”
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