Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has accused members of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, of aiding and abating the abuse of the Rule of Law and violation of human rights in the country.
Mr Falana made the allegation on Wednesday while featuring on Channels TV’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily.
According to him, the NBA members are only interested in organizing annual seminars and dinners, relegating issues of human rights to the background.
“We have had a history of struggle in the past. Under the previous military regimes in Nigeria, the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, stood its ground.
“Our judiciary, too, stood its ground in protecting and defending human rights. That is no longer the case.
“I am talking of when human rights were put in abeyance by military dictators. Our judges insisted that the Rule of Law will have to be fully complied with.
“Nobody, no regime was allowed to treat court orders with contempt or disdain without recourse.
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“I do recall in 1987 when the late Alao was the NBA president and, by coincidence, the current Secretary to the Federal Government, Mustapha Boss, was the chairman of NBA in Yola, the old Gongola State.
“The Babangida junta disobeyed court order and the then NBA president summoned the NEC of the NBA and went on boycott of court,” Mr Falana recalled.
While accusing the lawyers of succumbing to oppression, Mr Falana berated them for showing interest only in cases that involves rich people.
The human rights lawyer lamented that many Nigerians are languishing in detention even for laws against wandering which, according to him, had been abolished since 1989.
Mr Falana, therefore, called on the human right committees of the 125 branches of NBA across the country to ensure that people are not illegally detained.