Mandy Demechi-Asagba warmly felicitates NBA Ota Branch on the occasion of her 2023 Law Week
Mandy Demechi-Asagba warmly felicitates with the Chairman A. O ADEGOKE ESQ, his Exco, the Chairman Law Week Mr. Akinola Sanni Esq, his team and the great members of the UTTER BAR- Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) OTA Branch as you celebrate your Law Week with the theme: “LAW AND NATION BUILDING”
The theme is apt for a time such as this.
LAW is the foundation of Nation Building. Without Law there can be no Nation. What you have in the absence of law is Chaos as succinctly put by Thomas Hobbes in his theory of State of nature: ” life is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and Short”
He characterised it with extreme competition, lawlessness, Chaos, war of all against all, self preservation and conflict of natural rights, prevention of emergence of societies. Noting particularly that “man in his natural state is Selfish, Evil, Greedy and dangerous.”
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We have seen this play out in Nigeria. The insensitivity to the suffering and yearnings of Nigerians by the ruling class who seem very happy to have stripped and subdued Nigerians weaponizing poverty.
Law is created to protect all, particularly the weak and vulnerable and bring orderliness, justice and fairness.
Nation-building is constructing, structuring and restructuring our national identity using the power of the state.
Nation-building aims at unifying the people within the state so that it remains politically, economically and socially stable and viable in the long run.
Governments are created by the will of the people and the minute the will of the people stop to count in voting in leaders of their choice and in the affairs of the Nation, then the question would be ‘is there LAW?’ ‘Is the Law Ruling?’
Where the constitution – the supreme law of the land the leaders swore to uphold is violated and shredded with Executive impunity and lawlessness?
Grand and reckless corruption,
Where the resources of the Nation are unevenly distributed
Where the judiciary is caged
Where government owned refineries are grounded for selfish gains to the detriment of Nigerians
Where the oil producing states are marginalised and living in squalor in the midst of plenty being economically exploited.
The importance of law and nation building is an inseparable twin. This cannot be overemphasised. Law is the only source that controls the behavior of individuals, groups, communities and organisations in a society.
That the Law is not ruling is a deliberate attempt to foist injustice on the people of Nigeria. This is a political Coup thus operating a system that permits the concentration of wealth and the means of production and exchange in the hands of few individuals.
They have deliberately failed and or neglected to harness and distribute the material resources of the nation to serve the common good and to control the National economy to secure the maximum welfare, freedom and happiness of every citizen on the basis of social justice and equality of status and opportunity. This is a rape of Justice.
For the Nigeria Nation to progress, there is an urgent need to have an Independent Judiciary who will uphold the constitution and ensure justice is done and seen to be manifestly done. To ensure justiciability of Chapter II of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 ( As Amended). With an empowered and adequately equipped and incentivized Judiciary and Police Force to ensure Law and Order. In so doing there will be a safe and secure environment for all to thrive, with equitable distribution of the materials resources, gender inclusiveness, affirmative action implementation, zero tolerance for corruption and violence, protection and preservation of government owned corporations, refineries, properties, businesses and resources and attract foreign Investment and boost tourism.
The Law if tried, tested and implemented and not just there decorating the shelves nor frustrated by corruption is indeed critical and crucial to the progress, security, civility and development of any nation. A vibrant and proactive judiciary is the law and law maker personified using judicial precedents to redefine the legal system and shape society to be law abiding and not barbarians; they have all it takes to curtail Executive and Legislative excesses. They need to take back their controlling power long usurped.
A bold, courageous and fearless judiciary is all we need to enthrone the Rule of Law and checkmate the Executive And Legislative Arms.
In recent times, the Judiciary has been in the eyes of the storm. Will the Judiciary rise to the occasion and save Nigeria from the brink of collapse? Would the Judiciary sell Nigeria for a pot of porridge? It’s a choice they have to make.
There is no better time than now to liberate the judiciary and take back its pride of place as the watchdog of society. It’s time to damn the consequence for Justice. Begin to take some bold steps to do justice without fear or favour acknowledging and respecting the sanctity of the office they hold as representing God to do justice for the people thus using the instrumentality of the Law to bring about the much desired change and fix the Nigeria of our dream.
I cannot but mention the heroines of the Judiciary: Mary Peter-Odili JSC Rtd., Hon. Justice Amelia Nkemdilim Izuako Rtd, Hon Justice Flora Ngozi Osadebey-Azinge who refused to compromise Justice.
I trust your array of resource persons will do justice to this theme which to my mind is number one solution to Nigeria’s multifaceted problems.
Wishing you and the entire Ota Bar a very successful, impactful and memorable Law week!
Mandy Demechi-Asagba Esq
3rd Vice President
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)