STOP MISLEADING NIGERIANS, LAWYER TASKS FALANA
An Uyo based Lawyer, Ekokoi Solomon has chastised a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana for misleading Nigerians with his defense of President Buhari declaration of June 12 as Democracy Day.
Ekokoi said that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) shouldn’t be mischievous by saying that President Buhari has the power by virtue of section 2 of Public Holidays Act to declare June 12 as Democracy Day, saying such declaration should be forwarded as an Act to the National Assembly for approval.
He therefore advised Femi Falana, SAN to serve as a role model to young lawyers and Nigerians rather than allow his disposition to determine his position on the law. He also cautioned the electorates to hold politicians to live up to the dictates of the law and not dictates of men.
According to Ekokoi, “Femi Falana, SAN was on today’s Sunday Politics, a Channels Television show, wherein he said that President Buhari has the power to declare 12 June as Democracy Day by virtue of section 2 of the Public Holidays Act.”
He went further to say that, “It is unfortunate that the Senior Advocate of Nigeria allows his disposition to determine his position on the law. This is unacceptable. I strongly believe that the SAN is just being mischievous. He is aware that the Schedule to the Act specifically lists 29 May as Democracy Day, but went ahead to say that former president Obasanjo declared Democracy Day by executive order. Mr Falana’s comments are shameful and a disservice to many young lawyers who look up to him.
“Once again I wish to state that former president Obasanjo did not declare 29 May (Democracy Day) by executive order. An amendment to the Public Holidays Act was passed by the National Assembly and signed by the President in 2000.
“Lawyers like Mr. Falana should advice President Buhari to do the right thing and send a Bill seeking to amend that law, to replace 29 May with 12 June, to the National Assembly to decide whether it agrees with him on the matter or not. Our political leaders must learn to observe the rule of law. The followers must also hold the politicians to live up to the dictates of the law and not the dictates of men. Nigerians must remember that we are in a democracy and not dictatorship. And lawyers in the ilk of Falana SAN should stop misleading the Nigerian people who do not know the position of the law.
“If they feel the President should not send a Bill to the National Assembly because they believe he will fail to secure its approval, they should advice the President to be content with just declaring June 12 a public holiday, starting with this year, without adding Democracy Day to it.