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National Tribune

Flagging The Conscience Of Truth

Former NBA President Advocates Constitutional Restructuring and New Constitution Amid Security Crisis

ByWeb Manager

Jan 18, 2024

Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), asserted yesterday that Nigeria’s survival through the ongoing security crisis hinges on constitutional restructuring and the enactment of a new constitution.

Addressing reporters at a press conference in his Lagos office, Agbakoba emphasized the frailty of Nigeria’s current governance structures, stressing the necessity for strengthened laws and policies. He questioned the assumption that the country’s component units automatically desire unity without posing critical questions about the nature of their unity.

Agbakoba called for extensive legislative and executive action to formulate a new constitution, particularly if President Bola Tinubu aims to achieve his ambitious goal of growing Nigeria’s GDP to $1 trillion in seven years. He urged the National Assembly to adopt the recommendation of late Constitutional lawyer Prof. Ben Nwabueze and invoke constitutional sections 41 and 44 to provide the nation with a new constitution.

Advocating for detachment of the schedule from existing legislation and its replacement with a new constitution, Agbakoba argued that this approach would resolve the recurring discussions on the matter and avoid delaying economic and political progress.

Drawing parallels between President Tinubu and Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf’s leadership styles, Agbakoba commended their decisive actions in addressing corruption and emphasized the need for specificity and time-bound implementation plans to ensure progress.

Agbakoba emphasized the critical role of the National Assembly in addressing Nigeria’s survival challenges, urging the 10th Assembly to tackle the foundational questions of the nation’s unity and the type of country Nigerians aspire to build.

Expressing skepticism about the sacrosanct nature of Nigeria’s unity, Agbakoba contended that if unity leads to persistent killings and insecurity, questioning the point of maintaining a single country is valid. He highlighted the importance of a strong governance foundation, citing examples of governance fragility in Nigeria.

Regarding the insecurity crisis, Agbakoba asserted that a military solution would not resolve Nigeria’s problems and called for an alternative approach. He predicted that continuing on the current military path would not bring peace, drawing lessons from historical conflicts.

Agbakoba proposed the involvement of traditional rulers in drafting a new constitution, asserting that they could contribute to shifting Nigeria and fostering political peace for development. Additionally, he lamented the current state of the judiciary and called for legislative intervention to break what he referred to as ‘the mafia’ in the Supreme Court.

Concluding his recommendations, Agbakoba advocated for the unbundling of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and urged the 10th National Assembly, led by Senate President Akpabio, to enact the recommendations of the Uwais Panel.

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