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Buhari Tasks Lawyers to Uphold Rule of Law

ABUJA, NIGERIA (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the Nigerian Legal Practitioners to join in the crusade to accord due respect to the rule of law, as well as put professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business.

Buhari gave the challenge Sunday in his address at the opening ceremony of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) 2018 annual conference in Abuja.

The President established that Lawyers have role to play in ‘’enhancing our business environment and promoting social justice by promoting respect for the Rule of Law; contributing to the law reform process and putting national interest and professional ethics above self in the conduct of their business’’.

“Rule of Law must be subject to the supremacy of the nation’s security and national interest. Our apex court has had cause to adopt a position on this issue in this regard and it is now a matter of judicial recognition that; where national security and public interest are threatened or there is a likelihood of their being threatened, the individual rights of those allegedly responsible must take second place, in favour of the greater good of society’’ the President stressed.

Similarly, President Buhari tasked lawyers on forthcoming 2019 General Elections, admonishing them to remember that by reason of law profession, they all have a responsibility to work for national cohesion and unity through their speeches and public positions and most importantly in their advocacy in court.

“In the context of opinions and narratives about our past and present political and socio-economic experience, you cannot afford to jettison rational and proper analysis of issues in a manner which builds, rather than destroys the nation. I also urge you to work to uphold and improve the sanctity and integrity of our judicial and electoral institutions which play a fundamental role in the sustenance and growth of our democracy’’ Buhari restated.

He noted that the law could only be ‘’optimally’’ practiced in a Nigeria that is safe, secure and prosperous.

Mr. President assured the Lawyers about the resolve of his administration to promote measures that will achieve a vibrant economy under which the practice of law will thrive.

President reiterated: ‘’Through fiscal discipline, good housekeeping, we navigated the difficult days of economic transformation at the beginning of this Government in 2015 and have now come to improving economic indices, including the consistent increase in our foreign reserves; thirteen straight months of decreasing inflation; the expansion of social safety nets programmes as well as the blockages of historical drain pipes in our national treasury, all within the context of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan’’.

He noted that it is equally significant to emphasize that ‘’our willingness to hold persons accountable for offences against society, through the judicial process, will equally transform the future of public service in Nigeria in a positive manner’’.

According to President Buhari, the first challenge of his administration was to transform the country swiftly into a society where impunity in the management of national resources would be replaced with a culture of accountability and transparency.

He added: ‘’we needed to deploy our resources to address our common needs rather than the greed of a callous few.

“In order to achieve this, we have had to disrupt age-old assumptions and unsettle ancient norms in the management of our national patrimony, as you have all witnessed in the last three years’’.

However, Buhari noted that while his government has made appreciable progress in several sectors, including public awareness of the need to challenge the corrupt and the brazen in our midst, he observed that the country has also learnt useful lessons on the dynamism of our society.

He affirmed ‘’elements within every society, including some lawyers, can equally become unduly resistant to change, even where it is proven that such change is to serve the interest of the larger society.  At worst, corruption fights back’’.

Buhari urged Lawyers to participate actively in its various intellectual and social activities in order to build new bonds and strengthen old relationships.

He also congratulated the incoming National Executive of the NBA led by Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, and wish them a successful tenure in the task of advancing legal practice in Nigeria.

The theme of 2018 NBA Conference is: “Transition, Transformation and Sustainable Institutions”. Over 10,000 Lawyers are participating in the assemblage.


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