By Innocent Anaba
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has established the Gani Fawenhimi Award for Human Rights and SocialÂ Justice. The association after its National Executive Council, NEC meeting in Yola, Adamawa State, said â€œNEC adopted the recommendation of the NBA Human Rights Institute, NBA-HRI, to establish a signature award for the promotion of human rights and social justice in Nigeria.
The award, to be known as the Gani Fawehinmi Prize for Human Rights and Social Justice in Nigeria is so named in recognition of the path-breaking and inspirational work of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, SAM.
He, Gani Fawehinmi Prize will be awarded annually on the decision of a Prize Panel to a person or institution in Nigeria, which has attained distinction through consistent boldness, courage, independence, innovation and risk taking in the defence of the rule of law, upholding accountable government and defending the rights of the voiceless.
The association on the spate of extra-judicial killings in the country said, â€œthe notorious fact of extra-judicial killings in Nigeria have now become a matter of international concern with the recent airing on Al-Jazeera television of clear cases of murder of unarmed civilians by policemen in Maiduguri.
This is a matter of national disgrace. NEC called on the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Ogbonna Onovo to thoroughly investigate the allegation with a view to bringing the culprits to justiceâ€.
On the Jos crisis, the association said â€œNBA-NEC condemned in unmistaken terms the orgy of killings of innocent citizens and wanton destruction of property which have become a recurrent decimal in Jos, Plateau State of Nigeria. We called on the IPG and other security agencies, to as a matter of national imperative, take urgent steps towards stemming the tide of sectarian crisis, which is becoming intractable in Nigeriaâ€.
On cases of unresolved murders in the country, it said â€œNEC took a critical look at the culture of unresolved murders in the country, from the murder of former Federal Attorney-General, Chief Bola Ige, SAN to the recent beheading of an Area Court Judge in Kwara State by a litigant,Â the gruesome murder of Pamela Ebuzeme in Abuja together with her house help and security manÂ and the murder of an Aba based legal practitioner, Onyinyechi Oriuwa on his way from Gombe to Umuahia at Jos during the religious riots are but sundry examples and called on government to prioritise in the national interest, the unmasking of murderers.