NBA REACTS TO DEMOCRACY DAY ADDRESS OF PRESIDENT TINUBU, SAYS ONLY COURT CAN DETERMINE WHAT CONSTITUES “ILLEGAL ORDERS”, TASKS NEW GOVERNMENT ON ECONOMY, SECURITY AND ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the statement made by President Tinubu in his Democracy Day Message “that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.”

In a letter dated June 12, 2023 and addressed to President Tinubu, the NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN noted that “while the NBA will at all times vehemently oppose any attempt by any person or group of persons to truncate or in any way abridge our democracy, it is important to note that the determination of what constitutes “illegal orders” still remains a matter within the exclusive preserve of the courts of law.”

In the letter, Mr. Maikyau congratulated Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on his swearing in as the sixth democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and tasked the new government on the immediate issues of national security, economy and administration of justice.

On insecurity, the NBA President stated that “what Nigerians require is a well thought-out, informed, all-inclusive and purposeful intervention, with as much information made available to the public, to the extent permitted within the parlance, so as to reassure Nigerians of the sincere commitment of government in the area of security.” He continued: “Government must be transparent; the people must, by deliberate and conscious investment in manpower development and equipment purchase/procurement, be taken out of the state of fear, which decades of bloodshed and flourishing criminal activities have plunged the country into; the psyche of Nigerians must be recovered from the place of despair and despondency! The right people must be given the task of implementing security plans and policies.”

While admitting that the preponderance of views support the removal of subsidy removal by the new government, Mr. Maikyau noted the need to ameliorate the effect of the subsidy removal on the common citizens. According to him, “what remains however, is the need to immediately deploy such measures that will address the ensuing difficulties associated with the withdrawal of the subsidy. With the level of infrastructural deficits in many respects and the reliance on petroleum products as the primary source of power for most businesses, entrepreneurs and private users, there is the urgent need to put in place policies that will help cushion the effect of this otherwise laudable decision before its positive impact will begin to be felt or noticed within our socio-economic space.”

On the issue of administration of justice, the NBA President noted that “every aspect of our judicial infrastructure requires fundamental rethinking. Our approaches to policing, adjudication, bail, sentencing, imprisonment needs change in significant ways. Achieving the desired justice system will be process, not an event. Nevertheless, change must be accelerated to keep up with the expectations of Nigerians, particularly those of the poorest and most vulnerable communities. Such change must be thoughtfully planned and carefully managed. We are confident that under your able leadership, Nigeria will be able to respond effectively to these various challenges.”

The NBA President stated that the NBA would hold the new government accountable to its commitments and he concluded the letter by wishing that the new administration “will bring peace, development, prosperity and empowerment to the Nigerian people.”

Akorede Habeeb Lawal
National Publicity Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association

DOWNLOAD LETTER TO PRESIDENT BAT HERE

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