The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has placed a demand on the federal government to overhaul its security apparatus in order to combat the menace of terrorist attacks carried out by the notorious Boko Haram sect and other blood-thirsty gangs.
In a five-point communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Committee meeting on Thursday, and signed by the NBA president, Mr. Joseph Daudu the association maintained that the terrorist act of Boko Haram was telling on the economic growth because it scares away internal and external investors.
Daudu said terrorist acts were thriving in various parts of the country as a result of security lapses.
“This overhaul should include seeking expert assistance from our foreign allies who have had positive and encouraging results in their own fight against terrorism,” NBA suggested.
NBA also said it was unacceptable that the Borno State governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima wants to accede to one of the demands of Boko Haram which is to implement the Sharia legal system in Borno State.
“It is a standard worldwide practice not to give in to demands made by kidnappers or terrorists as that will only encourage and validate the use of violence, force and or other illegal means to achieve illegitimate goals “Whether or not Borno State adopts any legal system that is approved by the constitution of Nigeria is within the exclusive preserve of the people of Borno State acting through their representatives in the Borno State House of Assembly.”
Besides, NBA asked those behind Boko Haram to denounce violence in the overall interest of the people of Borno State and Nigeria.
The association also condemned the recent clashes between the Nigeria police force and Nigeria Army in Lagos which led to the deaths of Police personnel.
It urged the Federal Government to bring to book those involved in the resort to self-help which it said had caused so many deaths.
“It is noted that the recourse to force and violence is becoming a standard reaction pattern of service personnel in the event of crisis or altercation between personnel or these services or between them and civilians.”
“The leadership of these organizations should as a matter of necessity engage their officers and men in intensive education so as to engender a new culture of due process, respect for constitutional institutions and measures for due process and the rule of laws,” Daudu said.
The association also called for a reform of the Nation’s Electoral Laws to forestall all forms of election riggings.
NBA said it had set up an Electoral Laws Reforms Panel co-chaired by OLisa Agboakoba(SAN) and the former NBA president, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN) with 10 other members.
They are mandated to look into the flaws associated with the state of our laws leading to the 2011 elections. The panel would also examine the causes of pre and post election violence, as well as why those involved in the crisis were not brought to book.
It was also held in the NBA’s communiqué that the criminal justice system in the country is regrettably witnessing a decline in quality and timely delivery.
The association however wish to commence an aggressive process of seeking to overhaul the criminal justice system in the country.
It hinted that a Criminal Justice Reform Conference will be held in Abuja by July 17 – 20 this year.
The report of the conference the association said would be given to its Judiciary Committee for more comprehensive action.