Wike charges NBA to embrace judicial activism

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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has urged Nigerian lawyers to engage in judicial activism as a deliberate measure to addressing the slow dispensation of justice, and attempts to stifle the rights of the citizenry.Governor Wike charges NBA to embrace judicial activism

The governor gave the charge on Monday at the 61st Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference in Port Harcourt.Governor Wike charges NBA to embrace judicial activism

Governor Wike said no excellence can be achieved in the nation’s judicial system when judges lack the courage to enforce the law with equal measure because they are constantly under some form of political intimidation or pressure to please vested interests.Governor Wike charges NBA to embrace judicial activism

He wondered why the NBA has continued to focus less on promoting and fighting for the values of good governance, democracy, judicial independence, human rights and the rule of law when there is urgent need for them to do so.Governor Wike charges NBA to embrace judicial activism

Never in our political history has Nigeria been so badly governed and denied of good governance with the federal government woefully failing in its basic duties to provide for the wellbeing and security of its own citizens as we have experienced in the last six years.”

Governor Wike said;

On a daily basis the economic, social and political rights, including the rights to personal security, freedom of speech, association, dissent and peaceful protests, as well as the right to personal liberty are being violated with impunity by the present central administration and its security apparatus.”

He added that;

The invasion on personal liberty has been brazen and indiscriminate, such that even judges of the superior courts, including Supreme Court justices, have in the recent past been victims of midnight assaults on their premises and subjection to unlawful arrests and imprisonments.”

The Governor further stressed that;

Lately, the new devious trend is to tag security risks to innocent Nigerians and opposition elements and use the Immigration Authority to seize their international passports without a prior court order.”

Governor Wike said it is not enough for the Federal Government to issue Executive Order 10 and do nothing more pragmatic about resourcing the judiciary to the fullest possible extent, including enhanced judicial welfare and conditions of service.

According to him, there is need to seek judicial interpretation of the Executive Order 10 because, in itself, it is an oppressive erosion of the powers and autonomy of the sub-national governments to administer their own judicial budgets in line with prevailing economic indices.

It is for similar reasons of strengthening fiscal federalism that we are in court to determine the proper authority, under our Constitution for imposing and collecting the Value Added Tax in our country,” Wike said.


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