The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Tuesday cautioned Bola Tinubu, the president, that the decision of what “constitutes illegal orders” still remains a matter within the exclusive preserve of the courts of law” and not the executive branch.
The NBA clarified the matter in a letter issued by its president, Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, in response to a statement made by the President during his address on Democracy Day, “that the unnecessary illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.”
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On the issue of the administration of justice, the NBA says it looks forward to President Tinubu’s demonstration of high regard for the rule of law and the orders of the courts of the land.
The association also urged the government to invest heavily. as a matter of urgency, if not emergency, in the justice sector.
It is important to note that the determination of what constitutes ‘illegal orders’ still remains a matter within the exclusive preserve of the courts of law.
The welfare of Judges and Justices will appear to have been deliberately ignored by successive administrations. The last time the salaries and allowances of judicial officers were reviewed was in 2008 despite inflation and our concrete economic realities.
The conditions under which Judges and Justices work is pitiable and shameful for a country that has exported legal knowledge and service to other parts of the continent and across the world. A complete overhaul in the justice sector is necessary.
Maikyau further described the removal of fuel subsidy as a right step in the right direction.
The NBA, however, noted that with the level of infrastructural deficits in many respects and the reliance on petroleum products as the primary source of power for most businesses, entrepreneurs, and private users, there is a need for the government to cushion the impact of the removal.
There is the urgent need to put in place policies that will help cushion the effect of this otherwise laudable decision before its positive impact will begin to be felt or noticed within our socio-economic space.