Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike has charged Nigerian lawyers to do more in promoting judicial activism” as a way of addressing the slow pace of justice dispensation in the country.
He also encouraged lawyers to stand against attempts to stifle the rights of citizens.
The Governor gave the charge on Monday at the 61st Annual General Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference at the Yakubu Gowon stadium in Port Harcourt.
He said the judicial system can never thrive if judges lacked the courage to enforce the law because they were under constant pressure to satisfy some people.
According to Governor Wike, the NBA has continued to focus less on promoting and fighting for the values of good governance, democracy, judicial independence, human rights and the rule of law when there is urgent need for them to do so.
Wike said “Never in our political history has Nigeria been so badly governed and denied of good governance with the federal government woefully failing in its basic duties to provide for the wellbeing and security of its own citizens as we have experienced in the last six years.
“On a daily basis, the economic, social and political rights, including the rights to personal security, freedom of speech, association, dissent and peaceful protests, as well as the right to personal liberty are being violated with impunity by the present central administration and its security apparatus.
“The invasion on personal liberty has been brazen and indiscriminate, such that even judges of the superior courts, including Supreme Court justices, have in the recent past been victims of midnight assaults on their premises and subjection to unlawful arrests and imprisonments.
“Lately, the new devious trend is to tag security risks to innocent Nigerians and opposition elements and use the Immigration Authority to seize their international passports without a prior court order.”
Also speaking at the conference, the Chief Justice Of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad in his speech encouraged the NBA and its members to lead the crusade to address the poor condition of service of national judicial officers.
Justice Muhammad, who was represented by Justice Mary Odili, also noted that administration of justice was being hindered by assault that litigants, especially politicians and some lawyers, launch on the judiciary when their ends were not met.
The NBA conference is expected to witness 25 technical session where experts will lead conversations on topics in relation to the legal profession.