- Femi Falana has berated Nigerian lawyers for aiding impunity and human rights violations
- The human rights lawyer said that the NBA is no longer performing its duty of fighting human rights abuses and violations
- According to him, the NBA speaks out only when the rich people are oppressed
A Lagos-based human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigerian (SAN), Femi Falana, has challenged Nigerian lawyers to stand up to their responsibilities in discharging their duties.
Channels TV reports that he said the actions and inactions of some lawyers are pointing comfortably towards impunity and human rights violations in the country.
Legit.ng gathered that Falana disclosed this on Wednesday, January 8, in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.
He said the NBA has a history of protecting the rule of law but added that the present-day NBA simply holds seminars and annual lectures.
“Nigerian lawyers are comfortable with impunity, abuse of the rule of law, and violations of human rights.
“We have a history of struggle in this country. Under the previous military regimes, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) stood its ground in protecting and defending human rights. That is no longer the case," he said.
Falana stated further that in 1987 when the late Alao Aka-Bashorun was NBA president, no one or even dictator dared violate court orders but stated that the reverse is the case in the present-day NBA.
He said: “Today we are only interested in organising annual seminars, dinners and at the end of the day, the bar is not doing much.
“I am talking of when human rights were put in abeyance by military dictators. Our judges insisted that the rule of law must be fully complied with. So, nobody or regime was allowed to treat court orders with contempt or disdain."
Falana also lamented that it is only when rich people are oppressed that the NBA and even the media speak out loud.
“It is only when the rich are arrested, where we can make money, that we shout from the rooftop. So there is human rights violation in Nigeria," he added.
He, however, called for human rights enlightenment and education in Nigerian schools and called on the state government to introduce human rights courses in the school curriculum.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Falana on Wednesday, January 1, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his declaration over the much rumoured third term bid.
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