From Osakhare Erese, Asaba
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Delta State Branch, has sought the 1999 constitution amendment to check corrupt activities in government saying it is the only way to effective leadership, even as it called for collective efforts to tackle corruption in the judiciary.
Bar. Chuks Ebu, who is the Asaba Branch Chairman, told journalists yesterday in Asaba that it was an urgent call to duty on all Nigerians to fight corruption apart from the leadership of the All Progressive Congress (APC) initiative in its outset as the ruling party, noting that by virtue of lawyers’ training and skills, legal practitioners are better positioned to fight the chronic malaise which had bedeviled the country over the years.
He said: “it is therefore a national call to duty on all Nigerians, especially on the legal practitioner who exists for the guidance of his people to empty the instrument to deal moral blows on social systemic cancer”.
Defining corruption as a malady, Barrister Ebu lamented that a befitting definition of the concept has eluded statutory efforts, adding that the need for the amendment of the 1999 constitution has become imperative as corrupt officers exploit certain “lacunas” to escape justice.
He warned that due process must be observed in the fight against corruption, adding that for over ten years Nigeria had been ranked among ten most corrupt countries in the world.
Quoting Sapara Williams whom he described as the first indigenous Nigerian lawyer, Barrister Ebu said that lawyers exist for the guidance of the people and the advancement of the cause in Nigeria.
He stated that a counsel must ensure that no loophole was left for a person accused of corruption to escape justice unjustly and the defense counsel, must as well ensure that the defense of corruption cases do not permit himself/herself to be used by an accused to prevent, or delay the cause of justice.
“Corruption can be a thing of the past if all hands are on deck, especially among our leader, the society stinks of corrupt practices because of our nonchalant attitudes towards the act we must stand against it and fight it at all times” he added.
Meanwhile, the Iyase of Asaba, Chief Patrick Onyeobi has called on Nigerians, particularly Deltans to maintain peace and always engage in activities that will promote the unity of Nigerian as well as peaceful co-existence among one another.
The Traditional Prime Minister of Asaba who spoke to journalists yesterday in Asaba, while reaction on those calling for the disunity of Nigeria, maintained that there was no alternative to peace.