The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest Development and Litigation (NBA-SPIDEL) will hold a town hall meeting with diverse stakeholders on February 28, 2022.
The event is scheduled to take place at the Marriott Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos.
The Chairman of NBA-SPIDEL, Dr. Monday Ubani made the following remarks about the upcoming programme:
NBA SPIDEL is on the verge of holding a town hall meeting with an intention to arouse the consciousness of the various institutions that are under the mandate to provide socio-economic rights to the citizens of the country.
The socio-economic rights of Nigerian citizens are provided under Chapter Two of the 1999 Constitution. Despite the elaborate provisions in the constitution for those rights, like education, free health and employment etc, the same constitution provided that those rights are not enforceable.
Unfortunately our Nigerian judiciary are very much eager to wash their hands like Pontius Pilate whenever the citizens through public interest litigation seeks to hold the government accountable over the promises they made while seeking power.
We are not ignorant that some developing countries like India, Pakistan with similar ouster provisions like Nigeria have adopted a more proactive interpretative module in deciding that the government cannot shirk from its basic responsibilities.
We are of the view that the government of Nigeria must be made to awake from their slumber in realising that promises made during electioneering campaigns ought to be fulfilled.
Our candid view is that the Judicial arm of the government whose responsibility it is to interprete and enfoce these rights must be aroused from sleep to take up their role in holding the government liable over these socio economic rights as provided for in the constitution.
The town hall meeting intends to gather some Judicial Officers, the politicians, the legislators, lawyers and civil society leaders to ruminate over this very important topic that will redefine the art of governance in Nigeria.
It is a hybrid program. The link is already out and those who are participating online are reminded that they need to register and remember to join on-line. Those who will attend physically are also required to register as no one will be allowed to access the hotel without prior registration.
The maximum number of persons allowed for physical attendance will not exceed 200 persons.
The purpose of this town hall meeting is to make the Nigerian judiciary be aware that they owe the citizens of Nigeria the abiding responsibility to interprete the 1999 constitution to give life to the spirit and letter behind it.
Secondly the public interest lawyers and activists should not give up hope yet but must strenuously seek to propel the judiciary to develope the legal jurisprudence that accords with justice and equity to the people.
The President of the Bar, Mr Olumide Akpata has thrown his mighty weight behind this program. He has nominated technical persons on programme planning who are complementing the Section’s Planning Committee for success. The President of the Bar is the Chief Host of this epoch making event. NBA-SPIDEL remains grateful to the President for being number one public interest lawyer in the country for his support to matters of public interest and development law.