Obasanjo: Our Last hope is the Judiciary
Nicholas Uwerunonye reports that Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President, has said that the judiciary and the law must clear the political and economic mess ravaging the country if Nigeria must make meaningful progress.
Chief Obasanjo said that the judiciary and then the law profession have a lot to contribute in rescuing the country from the claws of social vices that have been hampering the development of the nation. Obasanjo’s comment at a book launch in Abuja Tuesday may have spoken against the backdrop of the the spate of conflicting and contradictory judgments emanating from the courts in recent times.
He spoke at the official presentation and unveiling of a book entitled, “S.T. Hon’s Constitutional and Migration Law in Nigeria,” held in Abuja.
The book written by Mr. Sebastine Tar Hon (SAN), an eminent legal luminary addresses serious constitutional and legal issues of contemporary times.
Obasanjo who was the father of the day at the book launch aligned himself with the position of Prof. Dakas Dakas, the book reviewer, who had lamented a situation where courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction now lord it over each other.
He said, “With all the criticisms that have been said about the practitioners, I concur with the book reviewer that if our country must make progress, the judiciary and the law profession must have a lot to do.”
The former president, who prayed that Nigeria would continue to make progress, commended the author for producing a book he claimed would be useful not only to legal practitioners and lawmakers but to the entire citizens of this country.
Vice President Yemi Osibanjo in his remark commended the author for being clear and unequivocal in addressing controversial legal issue of law, especially the law of evidence and recommended the book to all Nigerians.
Osibanjo also commended Hon for delving into issues such as surrogate pregnancy, law of anesthesia (mercy killing), rights of privacy of public figures, among others, noting that the book would help to resolve such issues if and when they arise.
The book which consists of nine chapters and 1,229 pages excluding the preliminary pages according to the book reviewer, Professor Dakas Dakas (SAN) and Dean of Faculty of Law, University of Jos, is not only apt but relevant in throwing light on controversial issues of present times, particularly the crisis associated with migration in the country.
“We live at a time when we grapple with conflicting judgment of courts. Courts of co-ordinate jurisdiction acting as lord over others, high level of impunity and high cost of governance,”he said.
Other pertinent questions Dakas disclosed the book addresses include the need to separate the state from religion, immunity as well as same sex marriage.
He, however, advised that the author should write a separate book on migration law, noting that it is high time Nigerians began to ask whether our problems was a constitutional one or a political one or even both.
Responding, author of the book, Sebastine Hon, who claimed to have got inspiration from God, however, disclosed that he wanted to use the book to showcase Nigeria’s migration law.
Hon, while noting that his book would help address future legal problems, disclosed that it was the book he wrote in 2004 that the National Assembly used in adopting the doctrine of necessity in 2010 following the incapacitation of former President Umaru Yar’ Adua and which prompted the inauguration of the then Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan into the position of the Acting President.