Eminent lawyers chart path to nation’s growth
EMINENT lawyers, including those who had served in public offices or are still serving as governors, Judges as well as the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) yesterday charted path on how lawyers can contribute to national development during the 55th yearly general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Abuja.
Among the speakers were the former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Dahiru Musdapher; former governors of Cross River State, Donald Duke and Liyel Imoke; immediate past governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and former governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio.
Others include the IGP, Solomon Arase; Sokoto State governor, Aminu Tambuwal; Governors M.A. Abubakar of Bauchi State and Simon Lalong of Plateau State; Head of Service of the Federation, Danladi Kifasi and Senator Umar Dahiru Tambuwal, former Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters.
Other lawyer governors such as Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Ben Ayade of Cross River State and Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State were represented while Linda Ikpeazu represented the House Speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Justice Musdapher challenged lawyers to live up to expectation by advising government under which they serve to obey the rule of law, stating that only the office of the Attorney-General is recognised by law. He urged lawyers who serve in states to stop equating themselves with other commissioners whose offices are not created by law.
Duke said law prepares one for leadership. He said that law is required to make any given society to work.
“We as lawyers owe our nation a responsibility to ensure that our society is run properly. We cannot do without the impact of lawyers to make it work”, he said.
Fashola on his own stated that Nigeria has benefited sufficiently from what the lawyers have done.
His words: “Our existence is circumscribed by law itself starting from the Constitution. We are the best persons trained not only in drafting the laws but interpreting and implementing the law.”
For Imoke, the role of lawyers in developing economies such as Nigeria cannot be over-emphasised. He, therefore, stressed the need for the restructuring of the country, adding that the issue of the present federation needs to be addressed if there must be sustainable development.
Akwa Ibom governor, Akpabio, said lawyers are playing critical role in governance, stating that lawyers must be in government, both federal and states, adding that his being a lawyer has helped a lot in changing his state through ‘the uncommon transformation agenda’.
Arase in his contributions said in spite of the difficult task of policing the country, he wants to ensure there is policing with human face.
He said: “The first thing I did when I became the IGP was to ensure that investigations are intelligent-driven. If that is done, pre-trial detention will reduce.”