Constitutional lawyer and human rights activist, Barr. Mike Ozekhome, has faulted the call by 17 southern governors for a constitutional conference to resolve issues in Nigeria, saying it is unnecessary.
Ozekhome said this in Awka, the Anambra State capital, as a keynote speaker at the 25th Law Week of the Awka branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Speaking on the topic: ‘Legal profession in a lawless society’, Ozekhome said the call for a new conference is unnecessary, especially considering that the recommendation of the one held in 2014 has not been implemented.
He said, “I was at the 2014 national conference headed by late Justice Idris Kutigi, and the over 200 recommendation we made at that conference is yet to be touched.
“The conference, which 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 know they mean 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 member 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 99 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,” Ozekhome said.
Earlier, the chairman of the NBA, Awka branch, Barr. 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.
“The theme is ocassioned by the lawlessness in the society recently and the killing of security operatives, which has assumed unenviable and frightening dimension.
“We all know of the unfortunate happening in Nigeria and no one can boldly beat his chest and say he is a Nigerian any longer. Through this event, we are proffering suggestions to the solution of the current state of Nigeria,” he stated.