Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mazi Afam Osigwe SAN has emphasized the need for an independent and virile judiciary in the country.

Osigwe, who was the Keynote Speaker at the 2023 Gabriel Adikwu & Co. Annual Lecture in Yola, said that this has become urgent in view of the experiences garnered over Nigeria’s general elections since 1999.

Speaking on the topic, “Lawyers and the law in a democratic dispensation: Nigeria’s experience from 1999 to 2023 – lessons learned, challenges, and opportunities,” the Bar Leader noted that lawyers play a crucial role in consolidating democratic gains.

Osigwe, who is also the Chairman of the 2023 NBA Annual General Conference Planning Committee, posited that the experience of lawyers and the law since Nigeria’s democratic dispensation from 1999 to 2023 “has been both challenging and enlightening.”

He said that the lessons learned underscore the importance of an independent judiciary and the role of lawyers in advancing human rights, adding that significant challenges such as corruption and limited access to justice persist.

“Despite all these, there are opportunities for lawyers to contribute to positive change through active engagement in the ongoing constitutional reform process and in embracing technological advancements,” he said, adding that “By addressing these challenges and seizing these opportunities, Nigerian lawyers can continue to play a crucial role in fostering a just and democratic society.”

He thanked Mr. Gabriel Adikwu and members of his team for finding him worthy to be the Keynote Speaker “on this very essential topic that provided us an opportunity to discuss issues around the growth and development of Nigeria and the critical role Lawyers play in that regard.”

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