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Wednesday, 20 June 2018

How to save Nigeria’s democracy, by Osinbajo, Onnoghen, others

How to save Nigeria’s democracy, by Osinbajo, Onnoghen, others

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

VICE President Yemi Osinbajo and some other eminent Nigerians have observed that the best way to grow and sustain the nation’s democracy is to ensure an effective justice system.

Osinbajo, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen; Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami; Chair, Nigerian Law Reform Commission (NLRC), Kefas Magaji and ex-Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Prof I. A. Ayua, said democracy would be better served where the nation’s laws were up-to-date and applied dispassionately without fear or favour.

They spoke in Abuja yesterday at the opening session of a national summit on law revision organized by the NLRC. The summit has as its theme: “Law revision towards national development”.

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Osinbajo said the law revision exercise was in line with the present administration’s policy of reforming the justice sector as a measure for sustaining democracy, based on the principle of rule of law.

Osinbajo, who was represented by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Dayo Apata, said: “I believe that every successful democracy thrives on the principle of rule of law. And I also believe in law as an instrument for social change and development

“It, therefore, follows that, if the law is expected to meet these critical demands of the society, it has to be revised, at least every 10 years in line with international best practices and in consonant with the prevailing laws and values of the society.

“It is equally in line with international best practices that, while the Parliament makes laws, the law reform institution is expected to monitor, review, reform and revise the law to guarantee its efficacy, utility, availability and accessibility to the public and to the end users.”

Onnoghen was of the view that the nation’s nascent democracy has to be nurtured, consolidated and developed because democracy still remains the best form of government.

The CJN, who assured that the judiciary would not fail in its duties of law interpretation and justice dispensation, noted that the “duty of nurturing our democracy, no doubt, imposes on all of us severe obligations and conscious efforts”.

He noted that the court, with its process of adjudication was capable of rapidly enhancing the true comprehension of “our constitutional provisions as a step towards the identification of the grey areas, requiring future amendments, modifications or alterations and or even deletion”.

Onnoghen expressed the hope that the Federal Government would fund the various law reforms initiatives to fruition, because of the positive impact, which include providing solution to the various loopholes, which encumber the justice system

He urged support for the initiative, which he believes would impact positively on the nation’s justice delivery system.

Malami, who was represented by the Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation (DPPF), Etsu Mohammed, stressed the importance of continuous law revision in every democracy.

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