Sunday, 27 January 2013

Falana faults government’s promise to rebuild Alaafin’s palace

Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, has faulted the promise by the Federal Government and some state governments to rebuild the ancient palace of the Alaafin of Oyo gutted by fire on January 9.
Falana, in a statement on Sunday, said rather than undertaking to rebuild houses of privileged individuals, government should rather ensure that public buildings and monuments were insured.
The lawyer, nevertheless, commended the promised by various governments to rebuild the burnt palace, describing the gesture as “a demonstration of sensitivity”.
“The lessons from the fire incident should not be lost on Nigerians,” he added.
He said, “It is pertinent to state that in a capitalist society the government has no business rebuilding burnt  houses which were not insured due to the carelessness of the owners.
“Instead of  channelling public funds to rebuild the burnt houses of the rich and well connected individuals, governments should  ensure that all public buildings and monuments are insured.”
Falana feared that if the practice of government rebuilding houses for few people was not discontinued, it might force government “to compensate every victim of natural and man-made disasters.”
“After all, all citizens are equal before the law and entitled to the same rights and privileges,” he said.
He also urged Oyo State Government to direct its Ministry of Justice to sue the Power Holding Company as the cause of the fire, which was said to have resulted from power surge, is a sufficient ground for a lawsuit.
“Since the early morning conflagration resulted from a power surge, according to palace sources, the Oyo State Government should direct the Ministry of Justice to sue the Power Holding Company of Nigeria for negligence,” he said

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