By Tony Okafor – Awka, Punch Newspaper
Human rights lawyer, Mike Ozekhome, SAN has faulted the call by 17 Southern Governors for a constitutional conference.
The Governors had said such a conference would straighten knotty problems confronting the country.
But Ozekhome who spoke in Anambra State on Thursday, as a keynote speaker at the 25th Law week of the Awka branch of Nigerian Bar Association, described the Governors’ suggestion as unnecessary.
Speaking on the topic ‘Legal profession in a lawless society,’ Ozekhome said the call for a new conference was not necessary, especially considering that the recommendations of the one held in 2014 had not been implemented.
He said, “I was at the 2014 national conference headed by late Justice Idris Kutigi. The over 200 recommendation we made at that conference was yet to be touched.
“The recommendations of the conference that consisted of 492 Nigerians, drawn from all strata, has never been touched by this Government, even with a 10-foot pole. So, when I heard the 17 Southern Governors talking about another conference, I knew they meant well for the country, but we do not need another dialogue.
“Let them go to the 2014 recommendations, they will see that we recommended State Police, we recommended part-time legislature. The constitution made the sitting of members of the National Assembly six months, but they are receiving fat salaries.
“What are we doing with 306 House of Representatives members? What are we doing with 109 Senators, what are we doing with them? Why not make it a unicameral legislature or part-time so that those who are genuinely interested can come and serve the nation, sit and go. We can’t grow like this”.
The Chairman of NBA, Awka Branch, Ekene Okonkwo, in his opening address stated that the branch settled for the theme ‘Legal profession in a lawless society’ because of the current state of the country.