Falana charges lawyers to defend rule of law

Femi Falana

A senior advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana has charged the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), to defend rule of law.

Falana, who was a discussant at the 10th Kehinde Sofola (SAN) memorial lecture held in Lagos last Thursday also criticised the government for disobeying court orders. The topic of the lecture was, “the role of the legal profession in nation building: the Nigerian context.”

He said: “ Rule of law is to govern a country in accordance with the constitution. Is that what is happening today? Are our lawyers working to ensure that our country is governed according to the constitution?

“Under Alao Aka-Bashorun presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association between 1987 and 1989, over a disobedience of a single court order, the NBA went into a boycott of the courts until that order was complied with and through out that era, the military never disobeyed court orders.”

The keynote lecturer, Dr, Wale Babalakin (SAN) said Nigeria can only sustain democracy if we abide by the rule of law. “It is not what we only obey when it suits us. We must obey it and do so consistently,”he stated. According to him, lawyers have to make the study of law a very serious business.

Emir of Kano, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi said the federal character principle should be based strictly on merit rather than on ethnicity.

The emir, who chaired the lecture, said the government should only ensure that representatives of the people in political, legal, or economic institutions in the country were drawn from suitably qualified individuals and not on ethnic considerations.

A former Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Ayotunde Philips, who spoke on behalf of Kehinde Sofola Chamber’s Alumni, extolled the virtues of the late legal icon.

She described Sofola as a watchdog for all his employees who kept everyone on his toes as well as demanded dedication to the profession.

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Femi Falana
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