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NBA calls for removal of Ribadu, el-Rufai

Posted by By Tony Amokeodo and Femi Makinde,Port Harcourt on 2006/08/29 | Views: 523 |

NBA calls for removal of Ribadu, el-Rufai


The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Lanke Odogiyon, has called on the Federal Government to remove the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Lanke Odogiyon, has called on the Federal Government to remove the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Malam Nuhu Ribadu, and the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Nasir el-Rufai.

Odogiyon, in his speech at the opening of the NBA annual general/ delegates‘ conference, in Port Harcourt, on Monday, said, ”We now demand that Mr. Nuhu Ribadu be relieved of his post as the chairman of the EFCC.”

Lamenting the spate of disobedience of court orders by the executive arm of government, he said that Ribadu and el-Rufai were ”the new face of government‘s disobedience for court orders, injunctions and judgments, with absolute contempt and disregard.”

Odogiyon said that governance must be about laws, rather than personalities.

He added that ”the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice either looks the other way or is completely castrated” when court orders were being disobeyed.

Although he commended the Federal Government‘s efforts at fighting corruption, he frowned at the operations of the EFCC, which he described as selective.

He acussed the commission of being reckless in its operations and cited the arrest and detention of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria for seven days without trial.

He said, ”While we acknowledged that the EFCC has succeeded in successfully prosecuting this war against some persons and agencies, we condemn the use of the commission as an instrument of witch hunting political opponents of the government. EFCC has been sectional and selective in fighting corruption.

”The commission operates as if it is above the law, arresting and detaining people for weeks or months without charging them with any offence in court.”

Also at the occasion, the Chief Justice of the Federation, Justice M.A, Belgore, urged lawyers to fashion out a way of ensuring quick dispensation of justice.

Belgore said that the quick justice dispensation would make the citizens to have confidence in seeking redress in court.

He identified cumbersome court procedures as a snag in the quick justice dispensation.

He said, ”The procedures we now have are too cumbersome, time-consuming, and expensive. What justice is there in a case travelling 20 years from trial court to Supreme Court with most, if not all, the original litigants, albeit in representative capacity, dead! Justice delayed is justice denied. At the end of the exhaustion of all remedies, sometimes, parties are not sure that justice has been done.”

He noted that the structures of court procedures had not undergone any major change from the 1948 Rules of Supreme Court, which was an abridged form of Rules of Supreme Court in England that emerged with the great changes of 1893.

He said, ”Why can’t a party with grievances go to court with a simple complaint, listing in numbered paragraphs his complaints and what he wants the court to do for him? The English who left us with our present procedures have thrown them overboard with their new rules now in a Red Book, no more White Book!”

He noted that since Nigeria had one Bar, why should its procedural laws differ from federal to state and from one state to another.

He said that although the principle of federalism must be respected, it should not be at the expense of gross judicial inconvenience.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.