Implementation: A Cog In The Wheel Of Law Practice In Nigeria – Falana



    Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, says implementation of law practice in Nigeria has been a cog in the wheel of the profession.

    Falana stated this on the 27th of August, 2020, during a webinar organized by the Legal Torch Initiative (a dedicated and result-driven initiative for law students in Nigeria and Africa) on Human Rights in Nigeria.

    Falana explained that there are numerous human right laws operative in Nigeria however, there are few individuals to drive home the provisions.

    Other human right issues raised by Falana were incessant arrest, disobedience to court orders, abuse of rights, police harassment and so many others.

    The human rights activist advised that in cases of harassment by law agencies, action should be brought against the law enforcement agency as well as the officer or officers involved to ensure that justice takes it full course.

    Others at the event include Executive Secretary, NHRC, Femi Aborishade, Tope Akinyode, ACP Ishaku Basiran and Prince Henry Shield.

    The virtual discussion was moderated by a popular broadcast journalist in Ibadan, Mr. Oluwaseun Akinola.

    Mr. Femi Aborishade, a legal practitioner and human rights activist expressed concerns that we live in a society where not everyone’s life matters and added that when there is injustice, resistance is inevitable.

    Aborishade explained that in this part of the world, rights are not given but fought for and won.

    He urged Nigerians to take advantage of Section 40 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), campaign and take their stands against medical tourism and campaign for the equality of the power of the rulers and the ruled.

    On the other hand, Tony Ojukwu, Esq (Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission) stated that human rights issues in Nigeria are always a challenge to discuss.

    He explained that there has been a notable improvement in human rights in Nigeria considering what used to be during the Military regime and what is happening in the present.

    Tony continued that “the fact that you can approach the law enforcement agencies and report a violation of your right shows there is improvements.”

    Being the Secretary to the NHRC in Nigeria, he gave a statistics of the commission’s activities per annum.

    He said, in 2019, the commission received about one million two hundred thousand complains and was able to resolve about eight hundred thousand cases.

    He concluded that some cases are often resolved instantly and the ones that lingers are often the complex ones.

    Tope Akinyode, a human rights activist and lawyer expressed concerns that Nigeria as a country is doing bad with regards to human rights.

    According to him, considering the level at which Human rights issues are handled in other countries particularly developed countries, Nigeria is seriously lagging behind.

    Tope added that the government and the Nigerian elites are the ones trying to suppress human rights in Nigeria adding that the government of the day is particularly ‘intolerant’.

    He said the government ought to learn from what is happening in Mali and amend its ways.

    In his own part, Prince Henry Shield discussed the constant and unrepentant action of the government on defiling court orders.

    He also emphasized the need for practical actions to be taken much more than the numerous virtual human right conferences.

    Henry Shield further made a personal plea to Mr. Aborishade, admonishing him to create a platform where people can be unified and where the voices of the masses can be heard in oneness.

    ACP Markus Ishaku Basiran, Head, Complaints Response Unit, FHQ, Nigeria Police Force in his own address advised and admonished every Nigerians to be delicate and intelligent when dealing with irrational and armed police officers.

    He also made public the NPF complaints lines and the unit’s official email.

    When asked about what can be done when Police Harass citizens, the police chief said:

    “my style of policing is seeing my self as a victim, so when you see yourself as a victim dealing with an officer who is armed and is unwilling to listen, the best thing to do is to play along and follow him to the station so one can easily identify him with the particular location and then make complaints”.

    ACP Markus also reiterated the Nigeria Police Force commitment towards safeguarding the rights and interests of every Nigerians at all levels.

    The discussion was put together under the leadership of the Founder/President of the body, Oluwatosin Olaniran and Vice President, Peace Adebayo.

    It was geared towards evaluating and repositioning human rights in Nigeria and its attendants laws and perspectives and also to proffer solutions to the abuse of human rights in Nigeria.

    In his closing remarks, the Founder, Oluwatosin Olaniran appreciated the distinguished panelists and participants for making it down to the platform. And expressed optimism that every points raised by the panelists will be put into consideration in order to reposition human rights in Nigeria. He further appreciated the entire team for the support and contributions.

    The Precision NG recalled that Legal Torch Initiative in the month of June, 2020 organised the first and largest virtual gathering of Female Law Students in Nigeria tagged “Female Law Students Summit 2020” with the theme “The Phenomenal Woman”.

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