Ekweremadu tasks legal practitioners on national unity
Legal practitioners in the country have been asked to unite and serve as a catalyst for national development, integration and sustainable democracy, Deputy Senate President Ike Ekweremadu stated on Tuesday.
Ekweremadu made the call at the opening of the 2018 Law Week of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abuja Branch, in Abuja, with the theme: ” The Legal Profession as a Catalyst for National Development, Integration and Sustainable Democracy”.
According to him, legal practitioners need to unite, work as a group, speak against impunity and ensure that they speak with a collective voice.
“The bar must come in and say enough is enough as there is too much disunity in the country.
“The bar should be able to draw a line and say we cannot continue in this path or else we will destroy our country,” Ekweremadu said.
Ekweremadu added that all hands should be on deck to persevere the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.
The deputy Senate president gave the assurance that the National Assembly on its part, would continue to ensure that the judiciary gets its due allocation.
“Democracy will die if the independence of the judiciary is destroyed, the National Assembly turned to a rubber stamp and the media gagged.
“As part of efforts at ensuring the independence of the judiciary, the National Assembly has ensured that in the appointment of judges, the most senior judge is appointed as chief judge,” he added.
He said it was commendable that the Federal Government had forwarded the name of Justice Abdul Kafarati to the National Assembly for confirmation as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court.
In a goodwill message, the Chief Judge of the FCT High Court, Justice Ishaq Bello, reaffirmed that development and national impunity would not be achieved in a divided house.
Bello said that with the 2019 elections fast approaching, the need for unity among lawyers could not be over-emphasised.
He said that if legal practitioners failed to settle personal animosities, they could be translated into the court room and frustrate legal proceedings thereby causing unnecessary delays.
The FCT chief judge maintained that as the head of court, he would ensure that members of the unity bar, settled whatever animosities that existed among members to pave the way for national development.
Earlier, Mrs Francesca Frank-Chukwuani, Chairperson, NBA Abuja branch, while welcoming guest, said that the 2018 law week celebration was aimed at X-raying the socio-economic and political challenges bedeviling the nation.
In their goodwill messages, Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), NBA President, Mr Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN), and former Deputy Governor of Plateau, Mrs Pauline Tallen reiterated the need for unity among lawyers for national development.