By Dayo Benson
Amid threat by the National Assembly to override the president’s veto despite Supreme Court ruling that status quo be maintained, former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) president, Mr Joseph Daudu SAN, has described the lawmakers’ decision as an assault on the Constitution.
Similarly, former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Adesola Oguntade, cautioned against non-adherence to the rule of law in the country.
They both spoke at the 10th edition of the annual B.O. Benson lecture series, organized by the Ikorodu Branch, as part of its law week activities.
According to Daudu, who was the guest lecturer, the decision of the National Assembly to override the President’s veto is an assault on the Constitution they swore to uphold.
The ex-NBA boss who spoke on topic “The survival of Democracy: An Overview of the 2015 Elections” faulted the provisions of the Electoral Act 2010 which vested INEC with the power to prosecute electoral offenders instead of the police, saying that the electoral umpire lacked the capacity to perform the duty.
In his opening remarks, Justice Oguntade, who was the Chairman of the occasion, urged lawyers to assist in speedy administration of justice by ensuring that “there is no congestion of cases in courts.” He also advised lawyers to desist from telling clients that judges needed to be bribed if they (clients) wanted favourable outcome of their cases. A life member of Body of Benchers and former Lagos State Attorney-General , Mrs Airat Balogun, charged judges to be transparent in administration of justice and avoid unnecessary adjournments.
NBA President, Mr Austin Alegeh SAN, on his part, asked lawyers to be of good conduct at the Election Tribunal while pointing out that corruption was thriving in the judiciary because lawyers who offered bribe found willing allis in judges who receive the bribe.
However, the Ikorodu NBA branch Chairman, Chief Adedotun Adetunji, noted that ethical questions of Elections Tribunal and the associated issues, such as the exclusive hold of some lawyers on Election Tribunal briefs and technicalities of the proceedings, are professional aspects to be considered.