The founder of Equal Rights for Persons with Disability International (ERPDI), Chief Eric Ndubuaeze Ufom, has faulted the litigation method of disability lawyer, Barr. Daniel Onwe, who is using the Nigerians with Disability decree of 1993 to pursue court case, INN reports
Ufom said this while reacting to Barr. Daniel Onwe’s suit against federal government and the National Assembly which was thrown out by the federal high court situated at ikeja.
Ufom admonished Daniel Onwe that using the UN convention on the rights of persons with disabilities is the answer and sure bet to winning disability rights lawsuit in Nigeria, not the Nigerians with Disability degree.
“Using an antic nonexistent, “Nigerians with Disability Decree 1993,” which was never a law, to file lawsuit in the year 2017, instead of using or invoking the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which Nigeria signed and ratified with its Optional Protocol, especially, its Article 4, is the valid, debatable and verifiable,reason why you failed and the Court denied your case” Ufom said concerning Daniel Onwe’s suit.
Ufom quoted a terse statement credited to Daniel Onwe in view of the high court’s Judgment on his suit. Bar Daniel had said, “Judgment on the said matter for the third time was adjourned on the 28th March till the 29th March. On the 29th March, I was unavoidably absent from Court, but my colleague was there to take the judgment. From my said colleague’s report, the Court upheld the competence of our suit, but held that I have no cause of action against the Respondent’s. Consequently the suit was dismissed.”
Ufom reminded Barr. Daniel Onwe that “that is the price you pay, when you knowingly or deliberately and intelligently, conspired with each other and refused, invoking the UN CRPD and its Article 4, in your court case, advocacy and negotiations with the Nigerian Government to sign into law, Nigerians with disabilities rights Bill, just because Chief Eric Ndubueze Ufom and his coalition of Nigerian-Americans with Disabilities and the American Taxpayers, were the ONLY people who successfully, advocated and negotiated with the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo, Late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua, and President Goodluck Jonathan to sign and ratify the CRPD.”
He reminded Barr Daniel that “there is nothing wrong in trying and failing. But what is wrong is when we fail trying, for us to get up again, and succeed in continuing to try, we MUST first tell ourselves the truth, by going back to where we first started, honestly, prosecute and judge ourselves, to determine why we failed in the first place, then we will be ready for a landslide win, the next time we try.”
“Trying to manufacture a flimsy excuse that has nothing to do with losing worsens issues. It contaminates the historic legacy you intended to set for the Next Generations of Nigerians with Disabilities.”, Ufom said
“No wonder Nigeria, one of the World’s richest crude oil and gas producing and sales nations, but with huge pockets of poverty, among her 25.5 million Nigerians with Disabilities throughout those oil boom period, today, has failed woefully.”
He said it was no wonder that Nigeria, the World’s most Populous Educated/Lawyers Black Nation of Persons with Disabilities, since the year 2000, has failed, to successfully, advocate and negotiated with the Federal Republic of Nigeria to sign into law, Nigerians with Disabilities Rights Bill, with an essential Independent Implementation Commission.
No wonder, “Bill Gates tells Nigerian leaders to ‘face facts’ so they can make progress”
INN also gathered that Ufom punctured Barr Daniel Onwe’s statement where he said that the court Judgment had given him the much desired opportunity to carry his message of the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Nigerians with disabilities to the Court of Appeal. One was quoted as saying he desired, and was prepared, to go as far as the Supreme Court.”.
Ufom further reminded Barr Daniel that he must tell himself the truth, accept the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and invoke the relevant articles.
Concluding, Ufom outlined the contents of the related CRPD obligations as contained in article 4 as thus:
Article 4 – General obligations
1. States Parties undertake to ensure and promote the full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities without discrimination of any kind on the basis of disability. To this end, States Parties undertake:
a) To adopt all appropriate legislative, administrative and other measures for the implementation of the rights recognized in the present Convention;
b) To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities;
c) To take into account the protection and promotion of the human rights of persons with disabilities in all policies and programmes;
d) To refrain from engaging in any act or practice that is inconsistent with the present Convention and to ensure that public authorities and institutions act in conformity with the present Convention;
e) To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination on the basis of disability by any person, organization or private enterprise;
f) To undertake or promote research and development of universally designed goods, services, equipment and facilities, as defined in article 2 of the present Convention, which should require the minimum possible adaptation and the least cost to meet the specific needs of a person with disabilities, to promote their availability and use, and to promote universal design in the development of standards and guidelines;
g) To undertake or promote research and development of, and to promote the availability and use of new technologies, including information and communications technologies, mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, suitable for persons with disabilities, giving priority to technologies at an affordable cost;
h) To provide accessible information to persons with disabilities about mobility aids, devices and assistive technologies, including new technologies, as well as other forms of assistance, support services and facilities;
i) To promote the training of professionals and staff working with persons with disabilities in the rights recognized in the present Convention so as to better provide the assistance and services guaranteed by those rights.
2. With regard to economic, social and cultural rights, each State Party undertakes to take measures to the maximum of its available resources and, where needed, within the framework of international cooperation, with a view to achieving progressively the full realization of these rights, without prejudice to those obligations contained in the present Convention that are immediately applicable according to international law.
3. In the development and implementation of legislation and policies to implement the present Convention, and in other decision-making processes concerning issues relating to persons with disabilities, States Parties shall closely consult with and actively involve persons with disabilities, including children with disabilities, through their representative organizations.
4. Nothing in the present Convention shall affect any provisions which are more conducive to the realization of the rights of persons with disabilities and which may be contained in the law of a State Party or international law in force for that State. There shall be no restriction upon or derogation from any of the human rights and fundamental freedoms recognized or existing in any State Party to the present Convention pursuant to law, conventions, regulation or custom on the pretext that the present Convention does not recognize such rights or freedoms or that it recognizes them to a lesser extent.
5. The provisions of the present Convention shall extend to all parts of federal States without any limitations or exceptions.
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