By Festus Ahon
UGHELLIâ€”A human rights activist and Warri-based legal practitioner, Dr. Akpo Mudiaga-Odje, says the passing away of Chief Gani Fawehinmi has opened up a yawning gap in their collective struggle to emancipate Nigerians from the shackles of pandemic poverty and arrested development.
Odje, in a statement made available to newsmen in Ughelli, said: â€œNotwithstanding his transition to glory by the grace of God Almighty, his works have immortalized him as one of the masters of our time.Â Gani is irrepressible, dogged and a spartan defender of Nigerians in particular and the entire human race in general.
â€œChief Gani Fawehinmi only recently again expanded the narrow confines of locus-standi in the case of Fawehinmi Vs. President.
â€œIn that case, the Court of Appeal, speaking through the equally terribly learned Aboki JCA, granted standing to Fawehinmi to successfully challenge the discriminatory and unconstitutional payment of dollar salaries to the erstwhile Minister of Finance and Federal Capital Territory (FCT), that is to say, Dr. Ngozi Iweala and Malam El-Rufai.
â€œIn the area of the law as an instrument of social engineering, Chief Fawehinmi demonstrated rare and exemplary courage in instituting 32 cases in respect of Dele Giwaâ€™s death and made 319 appearances in support of same.Â He is indeed a very great man.
â€œHe fought on our behalf and at his own expense.Â He raised questions on government policies and challenged them through the due process where necessary.Â If not for our dubious electoral process, Gani could have also had the undisputed mandate of the masses to superintend over our affairs.Â A task I have no doubt in my mind that he could have meticulously discharged.
â€œHe has built our constitutional law in both forensic and academic spheres by printing the best law reports in our country today since 1985.
â€˜It is with this in mind that we should celebrate his life and refer him to the younger generation to be studied as a course for the virtues discipline, hardwork, integrity and exemplary patriotism.â€