Goodwill Message Delivered By Y.C Maikyau SAN At The Town Hall Meeting Organised By NBA – SPIDEL On The 28th Of February 2022
I am indeed humbled by the invitation extended to me by the NBA Section on Public interest and development law to deliver a goodwill message at this very important Town Hall meeting, taking place today at the heart of the capital city of lagos state. It is my view that meetings like this showcase the importance of NBA SPIDEL, as a section of our esteemed bar association, in providing an avenue for cross-fertilization of ideas with regards to salient public interest issues affecting the polity.
In the immortal words of the eminent philosopher Roscoe Pound, “Law is indeed a medium of social engineering which has the propensity to shape and balance competing interests in the society”.
NBA-SPIDEL, I say without equivocation, must continue to see itself as that medium through which our great association continues to impart sustainable change for the betterment of the general populace. This particular town hall meeting with the theme “justiciability of chapter two of the 1999 Constitution: Pragmatic Measures for Government’s Accountability ” is indeed an opportunity for all resource persons invited to shed light on the vexed and controversial issues of the justiciability of the socio-economic rights and the mechanisms for accountability of government in the protection of the said rights.
This Town Hall meeting could not have come at a bettor time, as the socio-economic rights are necessary instruments for accountable government and good governance while the non-justiciability of those rights as enshrined in Chapter 2 of the 1999 Constitution has continued foist hardship on ordinary Nigerian Citizens by limiting their rights of redress in the court of law.
It is indeed the view of many public interest commentators that the current regime of non-justiciability of socioeconomic rights is being used as a constitutional shield by the Government and its and its agencies for bad leadership and corruption. Hence, the time is ripe for a debate socio economic and political rights in Nigeria and whether there is need to expunge from the Constitution clauses which oust the courts to inquire into certain matters such as those predicated on Chapter 2, so as to promote accountability in government, strengthen the judiciary and enforce citizens rights to redress.
We must continue to explore possible change in the current structure and/or, leverage on the windows within the present constitutional framework to advocate and ensure the enforceability of the matters under Chapter 2 of our Constitution.
Fortunately, I have had the privilege of studying the programme released for this Town Hall Meeting and I am elated to observe the rich quality of the same both in terms of subject matter and of resource persons.
I only urge that the recommendations and observations arising from our discussions be reduced into actionable steps to be implemented as a policy document.
Once more I am grateful for the opportunity to deliver this goodwill message and wish us all fruitful deliberations.
Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, FCIArb (UK), FCIMC
Principal Partner, YC Maikyau & Co.
Chairman, NBA Welfare Committee