Former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Ikeja Branch Mr. Adesina Ogunlana is recalling with pride the achievements of his administration and daring the present administration to match his.
In a post he shared on his Facebook page, Mr. Ogunlana recalled how he was able to ensure that filing fundamental right actions are not cut up in the exorbitant fee hike of the newly introduced filing fee regime in Lagos Courts.
Mr. Ogunlana who is facing criminal charges over alleged fund misappropriation in shades his successors in the post.
Read Mr. Adesina’s post below:
When I left office as chairman NBA IKEJA and heading straight on to a stiff political battle that peaked into an on going criminal prosecution , one of the common lines of my traducers was that my administration did nothing, virtually nothing in office except ‘ perhaps engaging in the Land Use Charge Protests’ . Even that effort was poohpoohed by the revisionists who said my time was nothing to write home about . In July 2018, these accusers cited the incompleted Branch Secretariat as a key indicator of my administration’s failure , exuberantly declaring that they would complete the building of the Secretariat within 6 months . Incidentally we are now in September 2019 and’ true, true’ the Secretariat has been COMPLETED , even Gov Ambode came to commission it on May 28 2019! Of course nothing of such has happened .But I digress.
Today 19/92019 my Chambers filed two fundamental rights suit at the IKEJA HIGH COURT asking for among other things , 1 billion naira compensation each for the two men murdered by policemen in August at Iba , Lagos. The total assessment for the two suits including service charges on the 7 respondents came to N6.2k or #3.1 a piece . It is with utmost gratitude to God and pride in my team that l say that my administration fought for this . Before my time as Leader of the Tiger Bar , the Lagos state Judiciary used the standards of the Courts Civil Procedure Rules to assess claims in FHR suits , frustrating litigants and counsel alike with humongous amounts to file the processes. This problem was brought up at our monthly meetings , like similar problems of extortionate tax payments as bail conditions and we went to war literally over all these things that negatively affect litigation practice in Lagos state courts .
Of course tackling such problems , was very much in line with the central thrust of my administrations focus and policy encapsulated thus ‘ OUR ADMINISTRATION HAS COME SO THAT WE MAY HAVE PRACTICE AND PRACTICE MORE ABUNDANTLY ”. That vision did not cover completing the Bar Centre and I said right from the on set , way back as a candidate.
But for the aforesaid struggle , the assessment of the two suits would have been in millions of Naira , effectively forcing the families of the slain men to drop the suit, with nary a hope of obtaining justice due to impecuniousity
I must not end this piece without paying special tribute to IDRIS LEGBO KUTIGI , the then Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria who in 2009 by his very radical overhaul of the the Fundamenral Human Rights Rules, significantly upgraded the law and practice of human rights in the country . God bless the Baba !