Falana, Sagay, Osinbajo, Others, Fighting Constitutionalism in Nigeria, Says Rights Group

By Ikeugonna Eleke

A rights group, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law(Intersociety), has accused some senior lawyers in the country of fighting the operations of the constitution in Nigeria.

The group in a press statement signed by its board of trustees chairman, Mr Emeka Umeagbalasi, said since the embattled ex CJN, Walter Onnoghen’s saga started, some lawyers had taken over the operations and functions of the Constitution and constitutionalism in Nigeria.

The group listed some of the lawyers involved in the act to include, the chairman of the presidential advisory council, Prof Itse Sagay, known human rights lawyer, Femi Falana and the vice president, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, among others.

It said, ‘This is to the extent that the Constitution and its provisions are brutally relegated and personal legal opinions and biases elevated in place of the Constitution and constitutionalism as the new laws of Nigeria.

‘We had in the past warned and specifically called on the likes of Femi Falana, Itse Sagay and Yemi Osinbajo and foremost criminologists like Femi Odekunle and Abdulrahman Dambazzau, to always relegate and quarantine their personal “learned” opinions and biases to their private intellectual orchards and allow the Constitution and constitutionalism to operate and function.’

The group maintained until the 1999 Constitution was impeached by the Peoples of Nigeria, it remained the “country’s grand norm or primus inter pares of the country’s body of laws.

‘Intersociety is deeply concerned and alarmed and had empirically observed that almost all the blunders and governance misdeeds, including state butchery perpetrated and perpetuated in the present central Government of Nigeria, are linked to elevation of personal legal opinions and biases and brutal relegation of the country’s Constitution and constitutionalism.

‘The architects of these constitutional impeachments are also the intellectual brains behind the skewed or selective application or enforcement of the Constitution, especially where and when it suits the whims and caprices of the ruling Government and its cabal brigade,’ the group lamented.

The group accused the senior lawyers of always standing law on its head when it did not suit their clients, saying, ‘This they did and still do with reckless abandon, using saintly and compromised private electronic media houses and others though their various personality participatory programmes.’

It condemned the contributions of the lawyers since the problem of the former Chief Justice of Nigeria began.

It said, ‘We join other millions of Nigeria to demand that Falana, Sagay, Osinbajo, Odekunle, Dambazzau and others allow the Constitution and constitutionalism to operate and function above personal legal opinions and biases in Nigeria.’