Nigeria Needs To Be Restructured Urgently — Chief George Uwechue, SAN - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Nigeria Needs To Be Restructured Urgently — Chief George Uwechue, SAN

Nigeria Needs To Be Restructured Urgently — Chief George Uwechue, SAN


*Urges CJN To Liaise With Executive, NASS To Reduce Supreme Court Workload

*Says Production Of Many 1st Class Law School Graduates, Evidences Standard In Legal Education

Fmr. Chairman of the Body of Benchers & 2nd Republic Speaker of House of Representatives, Chief George Uwechue, SAN has stated that there is an imperative need to urgently restructure Nigeria, as he expressed his thoughts on some national issues.

He said he believes that the way forward towards development in Nigeria is through restructuring and adequate devolution of power, thus, he said “I honestly believe that Nigeria needs restructuring, and urgently too”.

In addition, he said the clamour for resource control should not be taken for granted by the Federal Government and therefore, the need for adequate attention.

“This issue of resource control and restructuring have been the subject of discussions by the Afenifere, the Ohaneze Ndi Igbo and the South-South groups in recent times. Happily, as reported in the media a few days ago, a meeting was held between the South-South Leaders with the Federal Government, in which the Special Assistant to the President, Professor Ibrahim Gambari received their demands, which we hope should be taken seriously by the Federal Government.

“The other issue of the feasibility of a peaceful devolution of powers from Nigerian’s strong centre to the States or regions, are among the matters the Federal Government is expected to consider as a matter of urgency. The final issue of “outright break up the country”, is unpatriotic; we should in-deed, urge for the expansion of ECOWAS, just as the Europeans who, after two devastating world wars formed the European Union”, he said.

In another development, the learned silk described the recent #EndSARS protest as a long-overdue step.

“There is no doubt that the protests have been long overdue. The actions of SARS/ Police on our roads, constrained most elders like me to go by air whenever travel inevitable.

“The protests were supported by all and sundry and on the 11th of October, 2020, the Inspector General of Police promptly abolished SARS and created SWAT, as an alternative for the time being.”

On the thousands of people being called to the Nigerian Bar yearly, he said he does “not believe that Nigeria produces too many Lawyers, notwithstanding the fact that, even if as you stated, over 6,000 people are called to the Bar every year. The number of people called to the Bar each year must be considered along with the candidates for each year.”

Similarly, he said contrary to assertions that the Nigerian Law School produces too many first-class graduates, he said the “standard of legal education has greatly increased and thereby, enhancing the quality of the students produced in the Law School.”

Furthermore, reacting to whether the 72 Senior Advocates of Nigeria designates recently announced are too much to be conferred the exalted rank, he noted that there “is no legal or equitable basis, to deny a person who has met the requirements, the right to be conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria”.

In addition, the learned silk also expressed his thought on the notion that there should be established, divisions of the Supreme Court in some regions.

He said, “The issue of creating divisions in the three geo-political regions to reduce the heavy dockets at the Supreme Court, begs the issue from where will the Justices of the various division come? America, a Federation like Nigeria, comprising fifty States has one Federal Supreme Court with nine Justices only of that court; but each of the fifty States has its Court of Appeal and Supreme Court leaving only Federal and strictly constitutional issues, to the Federal Supreme Court.”

However, to reduce the present workload of the Supreme Court, he suggested that the Chief Justice of Nigeria should liaise with the Executive and Legislature “to seek the best way forward on this matter.”

Meanwhile, he encouraged members of the Legal Profession to explore alternative dispute resolutions so that cases will be reduced in Court.

In addition, the learned silk said the Buhari led administration has faired well in the fight against corruption.

“As to corruption, I believe that the President has maintained his genuine interest of fighting corruption, if not eliminating it completely, irrespective of who, as you have seen, is involved.

“I acknowledge that some critics, including some highly placed Nigerians, had expressed some concerns over his failure to acknowledge in the course of his appointment, that nepotism is an integral part of corruption, having regard to the provision of Federal Character in our Constitution. I advice that such criticisms should be taken seriously, and there is still time to address those areas of concern”, he said.

Meanwhile, he said “all hands must be on deck” in a bid to tackle the current security challenges ravaging the Northern part of Nigeria, adding that “The same affects the revamping economy”.

In Buhari’s rule of law scorecard, he said there is a need for him to work closely with “his Ministers and Advis-ers, particularly the AttorneyGeneral of the Federation, over the areas in which people have raised such concerns.”

“I pray that his final legacy shall be his transfer of power to his successor through the same process, as was done by Jonathan”, he added.

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