Held at Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, 13th October 2015.
The late Dr. Felix Memorial Public Lecture of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS) affords us the opportunity of drawing attention to contemporary legal developments of public concern. Dr. Felix Okoye was a distinguished lawyer; he was committed to public service; upheld the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, justice in his life time.
The 2015 edition of NIALS Dr. Felix Okoye’s public lecture which was delivered by Mrs Faith Pansy Tlakula, member of African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) and Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information was no doubt a fitting tribute to the ideals and virtues which the consummate teacher of law Dr. Felix Okoye stood for as well as the vision and mandate of NIALS.
In the lecture titled: “Open Government, Democracy and Human Rights: Best Practices for African Governments”. The lecture begins with historical antecedence of democracy and human rights and the role of open government in fostering democracy and the realization of human rights. The lecturer advocates for the decriminalisation of laws limiting freedom of expression in Africa and highlight best practices in this regard as the existence and use of these laws creates an unfavourable climate for the promotion and protection of all human rights, limits the accountability of elected officials, hinders the effectiveness of democratic institutions and ultimately stunts democratic governance. The lecturer concludes by urging the government of the federal republic of Nigeria to take concrete steps to improve its compliance with open government principles, especially with regard to fiscal transparency and public officials’ asset disclosure.
The public lecture was well attended by government officials, learned silks, private legal practitioners, media practitioners, the academia and friends and family of late Dr Felix Okoye. The chairman of the event was the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Mahmud Mohammed, GCON FNIALS, who was ably represented by the Hon. Justice Kudirat Motonmori Olatokunbo Kekere-Ekun JSC.