President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Alfa Belgore, on his 80th birthday.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, the President recalled the octogenarian’s versatility in issues of culture, language and history, as well as his penchant for research.
He believes that the former Chief Justice, who was also Chairman of the Federal Judicial Service Commission, had already booked an honourable place in the history of Nigeria.
President Buhari prayed that the almighty God would grant Justice Belgore longer life, good health and more prosperous years to continue in the service of his country.
“The President joins all professional colleagues, family and friends of the legal luminary in commemorating the unique milestone, which by all standards, has been preceded with years of service to the fatherland and humanity, culminating in the prestigious national awards of the Commander Order of the Niger and Grand Commander Order of the Niger.
“As a public servant, who variously served as a judge, chief judge (and) justice of the Court of Appeal, before being elevated to the Supreme Court Bench in 1986 from where he reached the pinnacle of his career as Chief Justice of Nigeria, President Buhari believes Justice Belgore’s passion for jurisprudence should continue to inspire the younger generation of lawyers in making the right choices for nation building,” Adesina stated.
Chief Justice of the Federation, Mariam Aloma Muktar today advocated for the quick passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill.
Justice Muktar who made the appeal at a gathering to forge a relationship between the Nigerian judiciary and the oil and gas industry, said “the passage of the bill will eliminate various legislative hiccups and open new frontiers for a more robust oil and gas sector that will be both private sector led and commercially driven”.
She said the judiciary must remain steady and current in developing capacity to keep pace with the trend of development in the oil and gas sector particularly in view of its pivotal role in Nigeria’s economy and the plethora of oil and gas cases in Nigerian courts.
She recalled that the International Monetary Fund statistics indicate that oil and gas accounts for more than 95% of Nigeria’s export and about 83% of government revenue leading up to more than 40% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Former Chief Justice and the Chairman Governing Board of the International Institute Of Petroleum, Energy Law and Policy, Justice Alfa Belgore shared the same sentiments with the Mukhtar saying he believes the oil and gas law of the country is like a toothless dog and except there is a genuine commitment to amend the laws the full potentials of the sector will never be realized.
Other however advocated the improvement of capacity and knowledge of the ever changing oil and gas laws by judicial officers.
Issues to be considered include International Legal Framework relating to Oil and Gas, Legal Aspects of Exploration and Production Activities in Nigeria and the settlement of disputes arising from oil and gas operations in Nigeria.
The presidential committee on the review of constitutional conferences on the amendment of the nation’s Constitution on Tuesday, submitted its report to President Goodluck Jonathan, calling for an independent, incorruptible and stabilizing local government system.
Chairman of the committee, retired Justice Alfa Belgore says a sound local government is necessary in order to deepen the principles of democracy and sound management at the grass roots.
While presenting the committee’s report, Justice Belgore stated that the procedures Nigeria inherited from the colonial times originally meant for jury “has not helped the speedy dispensation of justice”.
He observed that even the British have done away with the procedures while Nigeria still insists on them as sacrosanct, which is “unfortunate”.
The committee recommend that the Chief Justice of Nigeria must be empowered to set up a council to, from time to time, set up rules of court both civil and criminal and that such councils should be representative of the judiciary, the bar, the private sector and government.
President Jonathan, while receiving the report, commended the committee for paying justified attention to the local government administration.
He said that he is convinced that the greatest asset of democracy is the commitment of people at the grass root to the ideals of transparency, accountability and good governance.