Oluseye Ojo, Ibadan
Oyo State House of Assembly Speaker, Adebo Ogundoyin, has called on Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and the judiciary to ensure the sanctity of rule of law over any self-serving interest in Nigeria.
He said this, yesterday, barely 24 hours after Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, condemned the manner by which Omoyele Sowore was arrested last Friday by State Security Services (SSS).
Both of them spoke at the 65th anniversary, and 2019 Law Week of NBA, Ibadan branch, tagged: “Law, Probity and Good Governance: Practical Approach to Making Nigeria Greater, ongoing in Ibadan.
Ogundoyin said the supremacy of the rule of law should remain the only way human rights of a common man could be protected, adding that Nigerian democracy could be deepened through checks and balances among the three arms of government.
“Coincidentally, today, December 10, is International Human Rights Day and legal profession is an influential profession which has the influence over policy, defence of rights, and the pursuit of justice.
“The judiciary deserves every respect from us as individuals, public servants, organisations, government agencies and institutes, as the third arm of government. This is the only way you can discharge your constitutional responsibility without fear or favour.
“Nigerian lawyers, like their counterparts all over the world, have civil duty to consolidate the country’s democracy.”
Ogundoyin listed political instability, social disequilibrium, insecurity, corruption, ineffectiveness of some public institutions, a declining economy, and lack of a democratic culture as some of the problems besetting judicial system in Nigeria.
Akeredolu has said on Monday that, “the bar needs to talk on quite a number of things. We must be terror against demagogues. It is when your voice is heard consistently that it will earn respect.
“Will people go and desecrate our courtrooms and we keep quiet? The bar must condemn it. There is no explanation anybody can give you. Somebody calls it drama. Drama! How? What we saw was not drama, you must stand up to condemn the SSS for what they did in Abuja.
“Our spirit must remain indomitable. Forget about where we are today because some of us made efforts to say what you have done is wrong and only way out was apology almost immediately but what people believe is different. You must write to justify what is not justifiable.
“If we are not careful, the day will come that people will walk into a judge’s sitting and arrest people with their wig and gown. I am not saying our judges are timid but in the face of gun, most of our judges will shake.”