2023 NACL Conference: Lawyers Advocate for Corrupt-free Leaders

The National Association of Catholic Lawyers (NACL) has emphasized the importance of good leadership at both the federal and state levels of the nation.

This message was conveyed during the inaugural Conference and Fundraising Dinner of NACL in the Lagos Archdiocese, with the theme – “Leadership with Responsibility” held on Thursday, July 13, 2023 at the Nigerian Law School, Lagos Campus.

Dr Nike Akande, the Conference Chairperson, highlighted the need for collaboration between the socio-political and economic aspects of our society to fulfill the commitments made by Nigerian leaders. She emphasized the importance of responsibility and accountability.

According to Dr Akande, in assessing Nigeria’s progress as a nation, we must consider our democratic history, economic development, and the impact of our policies at the grassroots level. The conference aimed to address leadership from a comprehensive perspective, identifying commonalities among our diverse socio-ethnic heritage, holding political office holders accountable through anti-corruption measures, revitalizing the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, bolstering the competitiveness of local service providers in international markets, and attracting foreign investment.

“A look at the sub-topics of this conference shows an attempt to tackle the question of leadership from an all-inclusive viewpoint. This seeks to identify the unifying factors in our diverse socio-ethnic heritage; call holders of political office to account by implementing sanctions for corruption and non-performance; revamp the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors of our economy to strengthen the competitive edge of our local service providers in international markets and attract foreign investment.” she stated.

Prof. Anthony Akinwale, the Pioneer Vice Chancellor of Dominican University, stressed the importance of citizens holding public officials accountable. He expressed concerns about the centralization of power in Abuja, which undermines the effectiveness and efficiency of public administration at the state and local government levels. Akinwale, who is also a Reverend Father, emphasized that leaders must possess ethical, intellectual, educational, and technical foundations to make a positive impact. He advocated for the restoration of the 1963 Constitution of Nigeria, criticizing the 1999 Constitution as a “fraudulent piece” of legislation.

Florence Atuluku, the President of NACL Lagos Archdiocese, stated that leading with responsibility begins with individuals fulfilling their roles effectively in any environment. She emphasized the need for personal accountability, mutual support, adherence to principles of equity, fairness, and justice, recognition of the sanctity of human life, and an understanding that our actions or inactions can impact others in positive or negative ways.

“We must take responsibility for our actions and holding each other accountable, being our brother’s keeper, upholding the principles of equity, fairness and justice at all times, appreciating the sanctity of human life and understanding that our actions or inactions impact negatively or positively on the lives of others,” she said.