Judge Advocates Review Of FCT, Land Use Acts

by Leadership Newspaper

A judge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) high court, Justice Yusuf Halilu has advocated a review of the FCT Act as well as the Land Use Act of 1978, as a way of ensuring sustainable peace, justice and fair play in the administration of justice in the territory.

He made the call in a presentation at the 2013 Law Week organised by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Bwari Branch, with the theme “Rule of Law and Social Justice” held at the Nigerian Law School, Bwari, Abuja.

In his presentation titled ‘A Just and Equitable Land Administration, a Panacea for Peace and Sustainability in FCT’, Halilu noted that the Land Use Act as a military decree did not take the rights of original owners of land into consideration, hence, the need for a review.

“The law, I must say, must not be used as an instrument of oppression. The Land Use Act, 1978, is a product of military rule. As harsh and most unconsulting as decrees were, the then military government made sure provisions for deem and right grants were under section 34 (1) (2) and (3) of the Land Use Act (1978)”, the paper said in part.

Speaking further, he said “the FCT Act and the Land Use Act ought to be revisited with a view to reviewing specific provisions therein
in order to assuage the lingering economic, social, political and cultural difficulties of the initial inhabitants of the FCT. This must be done in the overriding interest of justice and fair play”.

Saying that series of communal conflicts have been generated by the imbalance in the formulation and implementation of the Acts since the advent of democratic rule, Halilu said “it is the duty of our government to fashion out the boundaries between truth and lies, light and darkness, justice and injustice.”

Another high court judge, Justice Peter Kekemeke, called for respect for the rule of law as a way of creating political and economic development.

“I wish to observe that our country cannot develop politically and economically unless we respect the rule of law. Where constitution is torn by the action or inaction of those who are charged with the responsibility of upholding it, the net result is that a culture of lawlessness is sowed into the psyche of the people. The end does not always justify the means”, he said.

In his address, the NBA chairman, Bwari branch, Elder Dickson Ibe, called the attention of relevant authorities on the need to ban the use of commercial motorcycles popularly called okada in Kubwa and Bwari areas of the FCT, noting that they constituted a nuisance on the road.

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