A Federal High Court Lagos, has dismissed the suit filed by a physically challenged Lawyer, Mr. Onwe Daniel seeking the order of court directing the Enactment of Disability Law in Nigeria.
Onwe, had commenced the suit against the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and the National Assembly in 2014, over alleged failure to enact a law protecting the rights of persons living with disabilities in the country.
He also demanded a broad interpretation of the constitutional rights to dignity of human person, freedom of expression, Association, and freedom of movement, to accommodate the peculiarities of persons with disabilities.
The judgment which had suffered several adjournment was eventually delivered on 29th March, 2018. In his judgment dismissing the suit, the Honourable Court upheld the preliminary objection of the Respondents’ counsel and held that the Applicant had no cause of action against the Respondents.
Reacting to the judgment, Mr. Onwe noted;
“From my colleague’s report, the Court upheld the competence of our suit, but held that I have no cause of action against the Respondent’s. Consequently the suit was dismissed.”
“For me, that is a very good news. It has given me the much desired opportunity to carry my message of the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Nigerians with disabilities to the Court of Appeal; I desire, and I am prepared, to go as far as the Supreme Court.”
“ I am glad that disability issue is no more an issue for the road sides and hidden corners, but now an issue for deliberation by the Court of Appeal, and hopefully, the Supreme Court.”
“My biggest weakness is that I do not know how to give up on a cause I believe in.”
“We have not received a copy the judgment, and as soon as we do, we shall finalize the drafting of the Notice of Appeal, which has already commenced. And in no time from now, the appeal will be filed.”
He had a word of appreciation for those who stood by him on the legal battle; “I thank you all for your prayers and words of encouragement. Never did I make the mistake of thinking that this cause is an easy one.”
“As a matter of fact, on the very first day the matter came up before this Court, it was obvious to the discerning what the judgment will be. But the gracious Hands of the Almighty will continue to strengthen and guide me all the way. And all things are working, and will continue to work, together for good.”