In this portion, legislation lecturer Sylvester Udemezue opposes the look of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) 1st Vice President Mr John Aikpokpo-Martins, who argued that the President of Nigeria is required by the Constitution to quell secessionist agitations and that self-resolution agitations had been ‘merely unconstitutional.’
I be taught a published commentary credited to Mr Aikpokpo-Martins, 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and National Chairman of NBA’s Human Rights Committee, but who made it obvious he was talking in his deepest (now now not decent) ability.
I feel him that he spoke in his deepest ability and I beg all to be taught to separate the keep of industrial from the particular person, on occasion. As a Nigerian citizen, Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ freedom of expression is assured by share 39 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
George Washington said: “If freedom of speech is taken away, then expressionless and quiet we are succesful of be led, care for sheep to the slaughter”.
In his work, as expressed within the “Silence Dogood” Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Whoever would overthrow the freedom of a nation must birth by subduing the freeness of speech.” I would possibly maybe additionally disagree with what Mr Aikpokpo-Martins has said, but I will defend to demise his ethical to claim it.
Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ commentary as published on June 2, 2021, on June 3, 2021 in TheNation Newspaper, is titled, “Constitution Requires Buhari To Crush Kanu, Igboho, says NBA 1st Vice President, Aikpokpo-Martins”._
Within the article, Mr. Aikpokpo-Martins argued, amongst other things, that (1). There is now not a room below Nigerian legislation for agitations for self-resolution, and that (2). the Nigerian President who swore to defend the Nigerian Constitution is required by the same Constitution to “crush” all and any such agitations for Self-Decision.
With due admire, Mr. Aikpokpo-Martins’ said belief has no make stronger within the extant legislation, each of Nigeria and Internationally.
First, agitations for Self-Decision are allowed below Nigerian legislation (look article 20, African Charter on Human and Folk’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Cap A9, LFN, 2004, and even the Constitution (as I shall clarify shorty in my riposte to my Realized pal)
Additional, opposite to Mr. Aikpokpo-Martins’ counterfeit look, the Nigerian constitution would now not serve Presidential “crushing” of agitations for self-resolution.
For the avoidance of doubts, my space recognises a clear incompatibility between accurate agitations for self-resolution and perpetration of criminality below the guise of such agitation. It befuddles reasonably priced creativeness, benumbs civilised senses and beclouds sound ethical tips and reasoning, for my brother and astronomical learned pal, Mr Aikpokpo-Martins, to overtly serve the “crushing” of all promoters of agitations for self-d etermination, with out making efforts to distinguish the latter from the aged.
Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ published belief deserves a effectively-reasoned rejoinder to keep things in ethical perspectives; yet, it’s obligatory to remind my pal that his use of “crush” which is itself unconstitutional, encourages criminality and lawlessness in a constitutional democratic experimentation said to be basically based on rule of legislation; any action, whether or now now not by the president or by such agitators, that is now now not licensed by the constitution is both lawless or criminal. There’s no side of the Constitution that affords a blanket designate of make stronger to any Presidential “crushing” of such agitators.
Deployment of lawlessness (which “crush” implies) to take care of agitations for self-resolution is itself criminal, now now not being legally justifiable, unless the agitators are waging a warfare against the tell or are making an are trying to fall present tell institutions by lawless intention. My brother’s belief loses its logical flavour when he gave a blanket endorsement to presidential “crushing” of all agitations for Self-Decision, with none distinction.
Anyway, I’m succesful of seem why the revered learned pal with out wretchedness fell into such error; he believes, rather erroneously, that the mere fact of agitating for self-resolution is inherently unconstitutional, being, as he said (also erroneously), inconsistent with the side of the constitution that describes Nigeria as an “indivisible country”.
I wholeheartedly make stronger the unity of Nigeria; this has been my space. But, talking legislation, with due admire, who informed Mr Aikpokpo-Martins that Nigeria can’t be legally divided if it chooses to so elevate out? Such an argument (as stepped forward by Mr Aikpokpo-Martins) shouldn’t come from a attorney due to there’s within the constitution, a share 9 that spells out processes and procedures for constitution modification. An modification would possibly per chance be for one thing else — including to divide Nigeria, if the constituents resolve on that. What’s unconstitutional in attaining a division through such constitutional intention? What’s unconstitutional if this sort of constitution modification course of is informed by agitations for self-resolution? How then does it get grasp of any sense for anybody to argue that agitations (all agitations with none exception) for self-resolution are unconstitutional and accordingly deserving of presidential “crushing”?
If all system of agitations for self-resolution are unconstitutional, and deserving of the “crush” angle, then, likewise, I respectfully put up, all calls, suggestions, and propositions for an modification to the constitution to contain within the constitution, one thing else now now not beforehand therein-contained, is illegal, unconstitutional and no much less eligible to be beaten.
Lastly, I accept questions for my pal: Presidents direct to defend the constitution, no question!
Other than preventing any deviation from the constitution, a second side of “defending the constitution” is (and Mr Aikpokpo-Martins did now not tackle this side) for presidents to be particular their very have (Presidential) actions are strictly in tune with provisions of the constitution. Now, a search recordsdata from, how does a president get grasp of beaten, or, can accept to smooth a president get grasp of beaten, the keep his actions trip against the constitution? Every other search recordsdata from, would possibly maybe additionally these presidents (by all their actions that we glance) be said to be if truth be told defending the constitution? Or, keep otherwise, elevate out they defend the constitution within the ardour of all Nigerians with none discrimination or segregation? Why didn’t Mr Aikpokpo-Martins explore at this side of defending the constitution? Or are Presidents above the legislation?
In summary, Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ commentary did now not search recordsdata from self-discipline matter points; this, I suggest, accounts for the elemental error into which his belief fell. An actual agitation for self-resolution (unless it engages in criminality) is within the same class as calls to amend the constitution. If my learned pal had regarded deeper, and investigated further (he have to accept engaged in diligent analysis which is the hallmark of lawyering), he would accept seen there’s no incompatibility at all, between the 2.
A attorney, in advancing public ethical analytical opinions, ought to be holistic, huge-basically basically based and disinterested, and now now not advancing ethical arguments as if (s)he’s issuing/making political statements calculated to back or nourish vested interests or targeted at promoting difference, illegality and unconstitutionality, or to duvet up or clarify victimisation, oppression and suppression in a country the keep equity, equity, equality, freedom and oneness ought to be on the front seat. A attorney’s argument ought to be basically basically based on legislation, now now not basically based upon prejudicial predilections.
With due admire, Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ belief is an expression of prejudices, merely dressed up to parade itself as an ethical belief. There is accept to answer to Mr Aikpokpo-Martins, in portray to set aside the legislation straight and merely Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ gravely incorrect, basically false and clearly unconstitutional ‘ethical’ belief. Arguments care for such stepped forward by my learned pal are amongst the reason why many a up to the moment-era thinkers classify Nigeria as backward-looking, retrogressive-pondering, which shouldn’t be!
My reaction to Mr Aikpokpo-Martins which comes in four aspects, is titled, ‘Which intention and Legality and Technique to Agitations For Self-Decision In Nigeria Amid Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ ‘Crush’ Advocacy”.
(1) Share 1 (introduction) discusses which intention of Self-Decision and Foundation of Self-Decision in Nigerian and World Law. (2) Share 2 discusses constitutionality or otherwise, and dimensions of Self-Decision in Nigeria, to boot to causes, symptoms and effects/implications of such agitations on the Nigerian Federation and it’s unity, balance and growth. (3) Share 3, while severely analysing Mr Aikpokpo-Martins’ Call on the Nigerian President to “Crush” all agitations/agitators for Self-Decision in Nigeria, discusses and recommends what I feel are reasonably priced, glowing and legally justifiable programs of handling such agitations. (4) Share 4 is expository in nature, merely chronicling the historical dimensions of agitations for self-resolution in Nigeria and why such agitations abet occurring and reoccurring. This final fragment suggests what Nigeria must elevate out to completely forestall or decrease such agitations and abet Nigeria united, valid and prospering.
Watch out for fragment 1 which is introductory.