LAGOS — The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, weekend, called on the Federal Govern- ment to set up a high powered commission of inquiry into the floating corpses on Ezu River at Amansea in Anambra State.
Receiving the report of its Human Rights Committee, headed by the Vice President of NBA, Mr. Osas Irabor, at a one day Regional Human Rights summit in Ibadan, Oyo State, Wali regretted that nobody had accounted for who the victims were and how they came floating on the river.
He called on the Federal Government to set up a high powered commission of inquiry to investigate the incident, with a view to bringing those responsible to book.
Wali added that the report of its committee would soon be made public, after same had been debated by the National Executive Committee, NEC of the association.
He urged judges to expeditiously determine the human right cases to enhance protection of the rights of Nigerians, noting that the role of the judges was to protect human rights and also determine if there had been a breach of a person’s right or not.
Wali said that the NBA had been in the forefront of promoting the rule of law and protecting the fundamental human rights of Nigerians, adding “It is incumbent for courts to entertain public interest litigation matters using the process of judicial review.,
He called on lawyers, particularly members of the Human Rights Committee of the various branches of the NBA, to take up human rights cases and engaged in public interest litigation.
“I will advise they make use of their regional mechanism for public interest litigation matters like the African Human Right Court and ECOWAS Court. By so doing, lawyers will be protecting fundamental rights of Nigerians, especially the less privileged,” he said.
“There have been cases of human rights abuses on both sides in the fight against insurgency, terrorism and crime. The NBA has reportedly decried this and has received support from the Minister of Justice, Mr Mohammed Adoke,” Wali said.
The speaker on the occasion, Chief Mike Ozekhome, SAN, called on lawyers not to refuse cases of defending clients simply because such cases were not popular according to public perception.
“By so doing, the lawyers may unwittingly be succumbing to the tyranny of the majority or vociferous minority that control the media and, therefore, mould public opinion,” he said.
He called on lawyers to spearhead agitation against bad governance.
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