By Bukola Adama and Kayode Adeoti
The ancient city of Ilorin is already agog following the arrival of legal practitioners from various parts of the country for the National Executive Council Meeting of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA).
Leading a host of personalities in the legal profession that will grace the meeting is NBA President of the NBA, Mahmoud Abubakar, Attorney General and Minister for Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, Senior Advocates of Nigeria(SANs) and other senior members of the bar.
The Chairman of the Ilorin Branch of the NBA, Manzuma Isa in a recent chat with our reporter, disclosed that over 6,000 delegates from the 25 branches in the country will be attending the meeting.
According to him, the choice of Ilorin as venue is strategic giving its easy accessibility.
Similarly, the Chairman Organising Committee of the meeting, Prof. Abdulwahab Egbewole said, all arrangements have been made to make the short stay of the guest a memorable one.
According to him, the ban on campaigns for both local and national elections of the association will be officially lifted by the national executives during meeting.
Speaking further, Egbewole noted that issues bordering on how to improve the justice sector would be discussed as well as sustenance of peace in the nation.
Recall that the first and last time Ilorin hosted the NBA NEC meeting was in 2003.
Meanwhile, Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara State has observed that for democracy to thrive in Nigeria, legal system must be strengthened.
The governor who made the observation in Ilorin while receiving the National President of the NBA, Mallam Abubakar Balarabe Mahmud who paid him a courtesy call, emphasised that unless the government ensure efficiency, justice and equity, the country’s democracy might be heading for perdition.
According to the Governor, “Good governance requires fair legal frameworks that are enforced impartially. It also requires full protection of human rights, particularly those of minorities. Impartial enforcement of laws requires an independent judiciary and an impartial and incorruptible law enforcement agencies”.
On financial autonomy to Judiciary, the governor explained it is a welcomed development.
He explained that financial independent to the judiciary arm of government would further ensure effectiveness and efficient of the legal luminaries.
He further explained that his government is working assiduously to make legal luminaries comfortable, disclosing that arrangement is on top gear to put in place a new complex for them to be comfortable in carrying out their constitutional duties.
Earlier, Mahmud, particularly commended the governor for his support to the NBA, while also appealing to the state government to speed up process of granting financial autonomy to the Judiciary to further enhance social justice among others.
Mahmud who spoke glowingly about the Criminal Justice Administration tasked the state government to champion the cause of promoting smooth operations of Criminal Justice Administration and making dispensation of justice in the state easy.
He advised the state government to speed up the process of domesticating the Criminal justice administration in the state.
He, however, noted with satisfaction that the state government had significantly increased manpower in the state Ministry of Justice with more than 100 lawyers.