Christian lawyers take position on hate speech bill, activities of Nigerian army, customs, others
Tiamiyu Saheed Oluwatosin
The Christian Lawyers Fellowship OF Nigeria, CLASFON, has expressed grave displeasure on the attempt by the federal government to muzzle freedom of speech by its attempt to regulate activities on social media in the country.
CLASFON noted that there are enough legislations to check the abuse of free speech through legal processes such as libel and defamation suit.
The group called on the federal government to immediately desist from what it called draconian approach against the Nigerian people.
A communique issued at the end of its quarterly meeting of the President-in-Council at Abeokuta by Arome Okowori and Tunji Omole, National President and National Secretary respectively, said, “CLASFON observes with grave displeasure the attempt by the Federal Government to muzzle freedom of speech by its purported attempt to regulate the activities on the social media given the fact that we have enough legislation to check the abuse of free speech through legal processes such as libel and defamation suit.
“We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to desist from this draconian approach against the Nigerian people.”
CLASFON frowns at the purported positive identification program proposed to be embarked upon by the Nigerian Army and the likelihood of gross violations of the fundamental rights of Nigerian People as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).
“Furthermore, CLASFON views this act as a usurpation of the primary duty of the Nigerian Immigration Service.”
CLASFON viewed with disdain, the new policy of the Ministry of Interior approving only twelve (12) marriage registries in Nigeria as well as the fees imposed on Churches and prospective couples as discriminatory and an attempt to impose unnecessary restrictions and bottlenecks on statutory marriages in Nigeria.
It called on the federal government to reverse what it called discriminatory and oppressive policy targeted at discouraging statutory/Christian marriages.
CLASFON expressed dismay at the high-handedness and illegal activities of Nigerian Customs Service officials on Nigerian roads and their illegal raids of some premises, saying that it portrays Nigeria as a lawless nation.
“We call on the federal government of Nigeria to call them to order and demand that they discharge their duty professionally and in line with the statutes establishing the organization,” the communique observed.
CLASFON also expressed dismay with the daily rising tide of insecurity in the country. “It is glaring that Judges, lawyers and other law enforcement officers are now endangered species and have become easy prey to kidnappers.
“CLASFON, therefore, calls on the federal government to take seriously the issue of security and ensure the safety and security of all Nigerian People particularly the Judges as it is the primary duty of any responsible government,” the communique explained.
It noted with dismay at the way and manner multiple taxes, rates and charges are being imposed on the already impoverished citizens of Nigeria and hereby call on the federal government to reverse the trend and mitigate the hardship on Nigerian People.
The communique reads, “CLASFON commends, in particular, the government of Ogun state and other states of the Federation who have created an enabling environment for the Judiciary in terms of infrastructure and personal welfare of the judicial officers, thereby enhancing justice delivery.
“CLASFON encourages other states of the Federation to emulate this gesture, as most of the court buildings throughout the Nation are in a pitiable and sorry state and the welfare of Magistrates and Judges is very deplorable.
“CLASFON, therefore, calls on the Federal and State governments to declare a State of Emergency on the welfare of the judicial officers, funding for State Judiciaries and working environment for the administration of justice nationwide.”
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