The EXCO of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja branch on Wednesday, 15 July 2020, paid a courtesy visit to the Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Dr. B. O. Oyeyemi MFR, mni, NPoM.
The Chairman of the branch, Ms. Hauwa Shekarau in her address, commended Corps Marshal for his efforts in coordinating the affairs of the FRSC across the 36 states of Nigeria and she is really impressed that they have taken great steps to be driven by technology. She added that the one purpose of the visit is to meet with critical heads of agencies that are very relevant regarding the work that the Nigerian Bar Association does. The aim of that is to familiarize with the work the FRSC is doing and then seek areas of collaboration with Corps.
Ms. Shekarau further stated that from years past she has seen how the NBA has collaborated with the Road Safety Corps at different times through rallies and events such as the law week where the branch organizes activities that necessitate engaging the FRSC to be a part of it. She added that it is important that the FRSC is one of the allies of the branch and that was why the branch prioritized the courtesy visit to explore more areas of collaboration and partnership.
The Chairman added that there are members of the branch who are special marshals in affiliation with the FRSC and there are others who are interested in joining and becoming special marshals and she requested that the Corp Marshal makes more in the NBA.
She also stated that the branch will like to collaborate more in that whenever the FRSC has the need for lawyers to make input in terms of policy formulation or legal framework development, the branch is ready to support without unnecessary complications as its contribution to the work that the FRSC is doing.
Ms. Hauwa Shekarau also solicited the support of the FRSC in the building of the Abuja bar center. She requested that within the limits of its resources, the FRSC identify with this bar center and support it particularly because the bar center will serve the interest of lawyers as well as the interest of people that we represent in terms of providing access to justice for vulnerable people who cannot afford the services of lawyers. She added that the FRSC can actually provide some support which will benefit the Nigerians.
The Corps Marshal in response to the the Chairman’s address, congratulated the EXCO on their election and swearing-in and stated that the FRSC has a strong with the NBA as there have been several collaborations in the past. The NBA is also represented in the Technical working group of the Nigerian Road Safety Strategy that reports to the National Road Safety Advisory Council. He added that the FRSC has almost a hundred lawyers and eighty-five are practicing and working closely with external solicitors to the FRSC.
Dr. Oyeyemi stated the challenges the FRSC encounters with some lawyers who continuously institute legal actions against the FRSC. He added that some of the cases are frivolous and need not be taken to court as they are traffic offences and there are fundamentals procedures on such issues. He further stated that the visit of the EXCO is timely and he believes that the FRSC and the branch can have a very strong collaboration in respect of these issues whereby the lawyers from the Corps can attend meetings of the branch to interface and explaiin the modus operandi.
He also said that if there are any infractions that a member of the branch is not satisfied, the Corps Legal adviser can be contacted. In his words “If lawyers have challenges with FRSC personnel, rushing to court should not be the next step. Let there be consultation on ways to resolve the issues.” He urged Ms. Shekarau to appeal to members of the branch to show restraint before instituting actions against the FRSC. The Corp marshal stated that all lawyers in the Corps will be mandated to be members of the various branches of the NBA and effectively participate.
On the issue of special marshals, he mandated the corps legal adviser to set up a unity bar special marshal unit before the end of August 2020 which the Corps Marshal will inaugurate.
The Corps Marshal also stated that the branch will be invited to all the activities of the FRSC and that all protocols surrounding the Covid-19 will be observed.
He assured Ms. Shekarau that the FRSC will give maximum support to the NBA Abuja branch in areas that it can be of support.