Performance in Office: Adegboruwa, SAN carpets Tinubu

  • Bags award of excellence for his outstanding contributions to legal practice, media freedom and human rights

Human rights activist, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), has carpeted President Bola Tinubu for abandoning in the last one year, the yearning of Nigerians which he once championed during his days as the opposition leader.

Adegboruwa said President Tinubu, as the arrowhead of opposition in Nigeria, advocated true federalism and resource control, regretting that he seems to show no interest in those anymore.

The lawyer, who spoke during the annual lecture of the National Association of Judiciary Correspondents (NAJUC), Lagos chapter, also challenged the media to continue to fight for justice by holding government accountable, adding that his office and few others are prepared to defend any journalist who is being harassed for publishing the truth.

According to him, Nigerians are suffering so much that most messages on his phone daily are requests for assistance from citizens bothering on money for rent, feeding or health care.

The theme of the lecture was, “Navigating the Delicate Balance Between Politics, Law, Media Pressure and Public Perception; The Burden of a Nigerian Technocrat in Public Office.”

Former chairman of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), who was the keynote speaker, called on technocrats in the public service to persistently interact with the legal community if they are to survive the muddy water of politics in the country.

He also urged technocrats to work and collaborate with the legal community and be above board to ensure that their dealings in office are ethical and transparent.

Banire, who explained several factors that constitute a burden on technocrats in public offices and inhibit their performances, advised them to be conscious of the environmental and legal restrictions imposed on them while in office.

Some of these, he pointed out, are due process, red-tapism, administrative bottleneck, cultural and religious considerations, public perception, legislative interference and media pressure.

The former Commissioner of Environment and Transport in Lagos emphasised all these factors place a great burden on technocrats in public office in Nigeria.

He declared that in-house technocrats (civil servants) are now in a more precarious situation.

According to him, they are not only demoralised by the insecurity of tenure, but terminal growth for them is becoming an illusion.

“They, therefore, hardly have much to look up to again. Worse still is their remuneration package that has pushed them into penury. Politicians treat them as dregs, affording them no serious recognition.

“Consequently, not the best in recent times is derivable from the in-house technocrats who now have joined the bandwagons of politicians to scoop whatever they can access while in office,” he stated.

To overcome these challenges, Banire stressed that technocrats in public offices must be vigilant and make sure that they make inputs when laws concerning their areas/offices are being enacted.

“In doing this, technocrats must work and collaborate with the legal community, be above board and ensure that their dealings in office are ethical and transparent,” he advised.

Earlier in his remarks, the chairman of the occasion, George Etomi said for democracy to thrive, the country needs strong and vibrant media as well as the judiciary.

Etomi, who is an outstanding business lawyer, said the level of patriotism in Nigeria is very low.

He added that hardly will an American/European run down their countries in social media as being done by Nigerians.

“It is we Nigerians that can build the country, and we can’t do so by running it down in the media,” he noted.

He said media, politics and the judiciary are interwoven in the building of a strong democracy.

Earlier in his welcome address, NAJUC chairman, Mr Olugbenga Soyele, said the topic aimed to address the challenges faced by professionals in government and explore why they often leave with their reputation tarnished.

“It is widely acknowledged that a successful administration requires a blend of political acumen and technocratic expertise to address the country’s accumulated challenges and prepare for future uncertainties,” stated.

The highlight of the event was the presentation of the Award of Excellence to Adegboruwa for his outstanding contributions and dedication to legal practice, media freedom and human rights in Nigeria.

Also, two senior journalists, The Guardian’s Deputy Editor in charge of Law and Foreign Affairs, Joseph Onyekwere and The Nation’s Deputy News Editor, Joseph Jibueze, who have since become editors in their respective organisations, were honoured for their outstanding contributions to the media profession and the association.

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