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Wike accuses NBA of failing to uphold rule of law

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Nyesom Wike

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, on Monday, lambasted the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and accused them of failing to protect the rule of law.

He encouraged the NBA to take action against attacks on the country’s courts rather than just make remarks.

Wike made this assertion during the keynote address at a book presentation in Port Harcourt honoring Justice Mary Odili, who is retiring from the Supreme Court and celebrating her 70th birthday.

The governor expressed disappointment with the NBA’s lackluster effort to social change, which he said was a disservice to the country and exposing it to ridicule.

Read also: How Justice Odili saved my political career – Wike

Wike said, “What is even worrisome on the part of the NBA President is his failure to admit that the NBA, including the inner and outer bar which he leads, has failed in its responsibility to protect the rule of law and defend the judiciary from punitive intimidation and erosion of its independence by the All Progressives Congress-led Federal Government.

“It is quite unfortunate that the NBA is only good at issuing statements of condemnation without more, while the judiciary continues to suffer ferocious bouts of harassment from a Federal Government that has become notorious for its contemptuous attitude towards the rule of law and the rights of Nigerians to an effective justice system.”

He also expressed his dissatisfaction with several speakers at the valedictory court session held in honor of Justice Odili on Thursday, who blamed politics for the judiciary’s issues.

Wike added that at the valedictory court session, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), speaking on behalf of the body of senior attorneys, characterized corruption as the bane of the Nigerian judiciary and pointed the finger of blame at politicians, lawyers, and the Federal Government.

The Governor also stated that the senior lawyer was mostly true on the concerns of lawyer forum shopping and the Federal Government’s intimidation of the courts, but that he was incorrect in his reference to political cases as being responsible for the debasement of Nigerian courts.

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