A distinguished member of the legal profession and a member of NBA Lagos, Chief Babafemi Badejo (Ph.D) has endorsed Joyce Oduah, FICMC as his sole candidate for the Office of the NBA General Secretary, following her recent post wherein she called for zero tolerance for corruption in Nigeria. His endorsement is predicated on the undisputed fact that Joyce Oduah, FICMC remains the only candidate that has consistently been speaking out on matters involving the rule of law and corruption in Nigeria. In his words, the distinguished legal practitioner stated as follows:
“Corruption, flowing from leadership failure, remains the bane of underdelopment of all aspects of life in Nigeria. There was a time when many associational organizations stood stoutly against corruption in Nigeria. The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and many more collaborated towards the promise of a better Nigeria. Then General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, dubbing himself President of Nigeria went to war to destroy organized resistance to corruption. Corruption started becoming a norm in Nigeria. Oil wells were farmed out to individuals as a continuing rot that started well before independence became aggravated. Corruption was no longer under the table.
IBB’s success continues to reverberate in this country that remains a liliputian when it should have become a giant that every African can be proud of. The Nigerian Bar Association has, overtime become a shadow of itself. Gone were the days when I used to accompany late Prof. Funsho Akingbade as leaders of ASUU Unilag branch, to meetings with late Alao Aka-Bashorun, President of the Nigerian Bar Association and NLC leaders to strategise on resisting the military repressive policies that stiffled growth and development but promoted corruption. Today, allegations of corruption are widespread. The Nigerian Bar Association no longer has the lone ranger Gani Fawehinmi who stood stoutly and challenged the downward descent to the morass we continue to wallow in today.
Corruption has ensured the emasculation of the rule of law. There are so many accounts, including studies, on lawyers and judges operating as if we have no laws against corruption.
To the best of my knowledge, the candidates, including presidential candidates, in this month’s contest for the NBA leadership all want to advance the rule of law, but they are silent on corruption. A candidate for one of the crucial posts: General Secretary, comes out boldly to show the rule of law and corruption relationship. And not only that, she clearly calls for zero tolerance for corruption. Maybe with Mrs. Joyce Oduah, we may re-start having lawyers support genuine anti-corruption drives that could foster justice in Nigeria. For her vision in seeing the link between corruption and the rule of law, I endorse and support the candidacy of Mrs. Joyce Oduah as General Secretary of the NBA and call on all lawyers to support her and push for an NBA that is against corruption”
Chief Babafemi A. Badejo (Ph.D), member NBA Lagos.