Nigeria – The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Awka Branch has concluded activities marking its twenty-fifth Biennial Law Week, with the vast social issues confronting the country as the central discourse.
The weeklong event, which kicked off at Ozo Amanke Okafor Bar Centre, Awka, and ended with a dinner and award night tagged “Legal Profession in a Lawless Society: Rediscovering Law as a tool for social change”, was attended by top members of the association from within and outside the state, including the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Dr. Uju Nwogu among others.
Correspondent, Blessing Uchendu reports that Year 2021 has been full of activities for lawyers in their bid to navigate through the different constitutional crises challenging the country.
As participants deliberated on issues challenging the profession, it became clear that to rediscover law as a tool for social change, practitioners quickly need to make revolutionary reforms that would brand them as the voice of the voiceless.
Declaring the event open, the state Chief Judge, Justice Onochie Anyachebelu, while describing the theme of the event as apt, called on legal practitioners to always be the change between the law and the ordinary man.
The keynote speaker, a constitutional lawyer and famous Nigerian human rights activist, Chief Mike Ozekhome, whose topic centered on the theme of the event, bemoaned the porous security situation in the country, adding that the operation of the law has also been grossly undermined by the ongoing strike action, which has placed the Nigerian Courts under locks and key for over six weeks.
A guest speaker and a Professor of law, Omari Omaka, who spoke on the need for a new wave of judicial activism in Nigeria, called on the judiciary to repel unlawful interferences by the executive and the legislature, which could harm judicial procedures.
On his part, the chairman on the occasion, Justice Ike Ogu and the chairman of the Award Night, Sir Ubah Anene, commended the zeal and synergy that exist in Awka Branch of NBA, affirming that Anambra lawyers are making waves in the country.
In their separate addresses, the chairman NBA, Awka Branch, Mr. Ekene Okonkwo and the chairman 25th Bar Week Planning Committee, Mr. Ken Nwanna pointed out that infiltration of quacks into the profession and incessant harassment faced by members pose great danger to the profession.
On his part, the Head of Service, Barrister Harry Udu, who was among the awardees, while thanking NBA Awka Branch for the recognition, pledged his continuous support to achieving the set objectives.
The law week featured presentation of awards to some members, who distinguished selves in their different life endeavours and launching of Awka Capital Bar Journal Volume Two among others.