Lagos-based lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana SAN, has stated that “by invoking human rights whenever politically-exposed persons are asked by the anti-graft agencies to account for the mega looting of the nation’s treasury”, the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, gives the impression that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government should not carry on with the fight against corruption.
In a paper titled, ‘Law, media and economic development of Nigeria’ and delivered at the NBA Annual Conference, Falana noted that the NBA usually invoked human rights whenever high-profile corruption suspects were involved, and faulted the stance of the association on the prosecution of high-profile individuals accused of graft.
He said, “The theme of the 2015 Annual Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was ‘Law and Economic Development’. At the end of a robust discourse, far-reaching resolutions were adopted by the participants.
“Not only were the resolutions jettisoned, the NBA has been defending the human rights of politically-exposed persons accused of the mega looting of the treasury.
“By invoking human rights whenever politically-exposed persons are asked by the anti-graft agencies to account for the mega looting of the nation’s treasury, the Nigeria Bar Association has given the impression that corruption should not be fought by the Federal Government.
“But having realised that the economic crisis plaguing the country has since been compounded by the adoption of neo-liberal policies by the Buhari administration, the NBA has decided to revisit the theme. It is, however, hoped that the NBA will resolve to use the law to challenge the underdevelopment of the country. In my presentation I shall review the national economy within the ambit of the Constitution and the relevant laws.”
“In conclusion, I shall call on Nigerian lawyers to team up with the Nigerian people to wrestle the control of the economy from imperialism and its local lackeys,” the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, averred.