COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE PRESIDENT – IN- COUNCIL MEETING OF THE CHRISTIAN LAWYERS FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (CLASFON) HELD ON THE 7TH – 9TH NOVEMBER 2019 AT ABEOKUTA, OGUN STATE

Introduction:
The quarterly meeting of the President-in-Council, a body comprised of the National Executive Officers of CLASFON, Chairmen and Secretaries of all the 45 branches held from the 7th to 9th of November 2019 to deliberate on issues concerning the Nation and CLASFON.
Overview:
The 2-day meeting had the presence of National Officers and the representatives of the Branches. The National President presided over the meeting.
After extensive and exhaustive deliberation on issues, the Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON) came up with the following Resolutions:
ISSUES:
The meeting deliberated on the following issues-
1. Poor working conditions and inadequate infrastructure for the Judiciary in our Nation
2. General and pervasive Insecurity in our Nation
3. Multiple taxation and charges by the Federal Government and its Agencies
4. Illegal activities of the Nigerian Customs Service
5. Activities of the Nigerian Army

Comments and Resolutions:
The Recommendations and resolutions arising from the issues are as follows:
1. CLASFON commends, in particular, the government of Ogun State and other States of the Federation who have created an enabling environment for the Judiciary in terms of infrastructure and personal welfare of the judicial officers, thereby enhancing justice delivery. CLASFON encourages other States of the Federation to emulate this gesture, as most of the court buildings throughout the Nation are in a pitiable and sorry state and the welfare of Magistrates and Judges is very deplorable. CLASFON, therefore, calls on the Federal and State governments to declare a State of Emergency on the welfare of the judicial officers, funding for State Judiciaries and working environment for the administration of justice nationwide.

2. CLASFON views with dismay the daily rising tide of insecurity in the Country. It is glaring that Judges, lawyers and other law enforcement officers are now endangered species and have become easy prey to kidnappers. CLASFON, therefore, calls on the Federal Government to take seriously the issue of security and ensure the safety and security of all Nigerians particularly the Judges as it is the primary duty of any responsible government.

3. CLASFON frowns at the way and manner multiple taxes, rates and charges are being imposed on the already impoverished citizens of Nigeria and hereby call on the Federal Government to reverse this ugly trend and mitigate the hardship on Nigerians.

4. CLASFON views with dismay, the high-handedness and illegal activities of Nigerian Customs Service officials on Nigerian roads and their illegal raids of some premises, thus portraying Nigeria as a lawless nation. We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria to call them to order and demand that they discharge their duty professionally and in line with the statutes establishing the organization.

5. CLASFON views with disdain, the new policy of the Ministry of Interior approving only twelve (12) marriage registries in Nigeria as well as the fees imposed on Churches and prospective couples as discriminatory and an attempt to impose unnecessary restrictions and bottlenecks on statutory marriages in Nigeria; we, therefore, call on the Federal Government to reverse this discriminatory and oppressive policy targeted at discouraging statutory/Christian marriages.

6. CLASFON observes with grave displeasure the attempt by the Federal Government to muzzle freedom of speech by its purported attempt to regulate the activities on the social media given the fact that we have enough legislation to check the abuse of free speech through legal processes such as libel and defamation suit. We, therefore, call on the Federal Government to desist from this draconian approach against the Nigerian people.

7. CLASFON frowns at the purported positive identification program proposed to be embarked upon by the Nigerian Army and the likelihood of gross violations of the fundamental rights of Nigerians as guaranteed in the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended). Furthermore, CLASFON views this act as a usurpation of the primary duty of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

AROME OKWORI                                                                                  TUNJI OMOLE
National President                                                                               National Secretary