Former President Olusegun Obasanjo criticized the Nigerian National Assembly for fixing its members’ salaries, stating that it is a clear violation of the duty of the Revenue Mobilisation and Fiscal Commission. Obasanjo made these remarks during a public lecture in Ado Ekiti, as part of the 60th anniversary celebration of Aare Afe Babalola’s call to the Bar.
Obasanjo highlighted the importance of respecting the laws and emphasized that democracy should prioritize the interests of citizens. He expressed concern that democracy holds no value for individuals who are hungry, in danger, or have their property destroyed.
Afe Babalola, in his speech, emphasized the need for a new constitution in Nigeria, stating that the current 1999 Constitution is flawed and unable to produce good governance. He also advocated for better pay for judges, as poor remuneration discourages Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) from joining the bench.
Bishop Matthew Kukah, in his lecture, called for the appointment of justices with integrity to the Supreme Court and urged the federal government to avoid nepotism. He emphasized the need for Nigeria to grow democratically and develop politically, with federal institutions reflecting the diversity and equality of the country.
Human rights lawyer Femi Falana called on President Bola Tinubu to take a leadership role in fighting corruption, as it has become a major issue in Nigeria. Ekiti State Governor Biodun Oyebanji expressed gratitude to Afe Babalola for his contributions to the creation and governance of Ekiti State, acknowledging him as a gift to the state.
Overall, the speakers at the event highlighted the need for respect for the constitution, integrity in governance, and the fight against corruption in Nigeria.