Oseiza Oniwon Reacts To Bayo Akinlade’s Dinner Criticism, Pens Open Letter to Vice-Chair, NBA, Lagos Branch and Chairlady, Human Rights Committee

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In the latest reaction to the allegations made by Bayo Akinlade on the issue of spending millions on dinner by the NBA Lagos Branch, Oseiza Queen Oniwon, Secretary, Planning Committee International Human Rights Day NBA, Lagos Branch has written to Abiye Tam-George, Vice-Chairman, NBA, Lagos Branch and Chairlady, Human Rights Committee.

Read her statement below;

You are on the path of contributing your best to humanity; you show up, you take distress calls from colleagues , you visit prisons, and police stations, you organise events and encourage your team to join events. One time, I saw you give your ATM and your PIN for us to print documents. You and the team are not on trial in the Court of someone elses perspective.

I read Mr. Bayo Akinlade’s opinion on the 2019 dinner of the branch very early in the morning probably as soon as it was posted, and I saw the part where he wrote … “in my view” …. I concluded it was an issue with perspectives.

If eight thousand people decide to pool resources together and have a great day and eat afterwards then is not an issue if someone perceives it as wrong or right.

Moreover it is not mandatory for all members to attend.

In the context of the weight of human rights violations and state of the nation, it is important to note that having a dinner or not will not automatically resolve these issues.

Just as the dinner will not affect the exchange rate of Dollar to Naira or automatically restore our national foreign exchange reserve.

One time my brother had just begun full-time ministry, so at Christmas he said we should visit the beach with his young children and his wife, so my siblings, my mum ( to babysit the children) and I, visited the beach and took some pictures.

Upon our return we ran into road safety Corps they arrested our vehicle over a flimsy reason and we spent the better part of the day in their station until we were able to get one of their Oga on phone to release our vehicle.

When I got back to my base a dear friend saw the beach pictures and said “what kind of enjoyment are you people having when souls are perishing and Jesus is coming back soon”! I smiled at her perspective. If only she knew the flip side of the ordeal with FRSC then she will be happy with us for the little enjoyment at the beach as that was the only reason that whole day was not ruined.

We may not be able to solve all the problems of human rights violations but we are doing the best we can, and with more resources we shall do more. Certainly we cannot ask people to stop having a great day because we must solve a problem.

Perhaps if we consider the issue of human rights violations holistically we shall see many perspectives.

There is a Judiciary throwing accused persons into prison custody with onerous bail conditions impossible for even an innocent person to fulfill.

There is a Ministry of Justice that will not prosecute diligently or issue DPP advice to dispose of frivolous charges.

There is a Chief Judge who will not perform a statutory Prison visit to decongest it.

There is government; Federal/ State that neglects inmates of correctional facilities and allow law enforcement agencies to harass citizens with impunity, and extort money under any guise .

There is government that forgives terrorists ‘repentant’ ones they say, and keep innocent people in prison for demonstration and crime parade.

There is a human rights commission that does not respond when you call their attention, etc.

I am just saying we can only do our best and leave the rest.

I have observed in my very little time around Courts and Law (about two decades of work experience) that; all these problems have always been there. The nomenclature may change but basically the issues are not new.

There has always been congested prisons with inmates who are badly treated. There have always been pregnant women, and women with toddlers held as prison inmates just as it is now.

The poor renumeration of Lower Courts and Court Employees have always been there (the JUSUN was formed and Court Employees have embarked on several strike actions) yet the poor condition of service did not change.

The Judiciary have always been tied to strings of the executive just as it was then so it is now. As it was with the military rule so with democratic government .

And there was a “Gani Fawehimi” and others then who did their best to change the narratives, so there are people who are still doing their best today.

May God help us to do the best within the resources He committed to us to bring a change for posterity and leave indelible mark in history.

God bless you Chairlady.

Oseiza Queen OniwonOseiza Queen Oniwon
Secretary, Planning Committee
International Human Rights Day
NBA, Lagos Branch

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