Appeal Court Judge Preaches Ethical Values, Good Governance

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Funmi Ogundare

A judge of the Court of Appeal in Enugu Division, Justice Olubunmi Oyewole, yesterday called for ethical values and good governance in Nigeria, saying this would allow nation building efforts to come into fruition.

Delivering the 33rd Convocation Lecture of Yaba College of Technology entitled: “Ethical Values, Good Governance and Nation Building,” Oyewole said in order for the country to achieve good governance, there’s need to demonstrate a sincere will, while expressing concern that the society tend to castigate only the ruling political elites without examining themselves.

According to him, “Each time we discuss the problems of this nation, we discuss nothing else. Be it among the elites on flights or the masses in buses or Keke NAPEP. We always discuss our problems. We are never tired of doing so, but invariably ends in the usual way, God will help us or its only God that can help us. Heaven helps only those who help themselves!”

He recalled the survey and gap analysis of the ethics framework in Nigeria released in 2018 by the Technical Unit on Governance and Anti-corruption Reforms (TUGAR) which covered private business associations, informal associations, professional bodies, public agencies, among others, saying they discovered weak ethics management framework and poor control of such framework, poor linkages between policy creation, implementation, monitoring and reporting.

“It was observed that a lot of organisations had poor implementation mechanisms. Even where policies have been put in place, or codes mandated, the implementation of the codes, applicable sanction and/or disciplinary processes for managing violations are either absent or remain poorly institutionalised or implemented.

“More specifically, a perusal of the said report reveals that a body as important as the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Council was in comatose form for years simply because government failed to make some vital appointments.”

Even when in session, the adopted mode and methodology of the said body is skewed against the complainant. Medical negligence with its grave danger and grievous consequences keeps going on unchecked, leaving patients and families helpless. Little wonder the quality of medical practice keeps sinking thereby validating medical tourism,” he said.

The judge expressed concern that despite existing regulations, the society only work round and break them with impunity and would rather blame everyone but ourselves.

Oyewole, however, stressed the need for Nigerians to demonstrate a recognition and appreciation for service which should go beyond the symbolic recognition dished out to the political and business elites, as well as ennoble the society to make it a much better place than we met it.

In his remarks, the institution’s Rector, Mr. Obafemi Omokungbe, said the topic was timely and apt, saying “it is the desire of all Nigerians that we have a nation that will be our pride. We therefore consider this topic very important, which is the basis on which our nation can thrive in all fields of endeavour. It is the basis for genuine national development through good governance and nation building.”