The Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN) has inaugurated its 13 state chapters and environmental club at Rivers State University.
The groundbreaking ceremony, which attracted environmental lawyers and prominent figures from across the country, was held last Thursday at the Auditorium of the Faculty of Law at Rivers State University in Port Harcourt.
While the national chapters of the association, represented by the presidents of the states, were inaugurated by the chairman of the advisory board, Chief JK Gadzama, SAN, the members of the RSU Environmental Club were inaugurated by the vice-chancellor of the university, Professor Nlerum Okogbule.
The national president of the association, Dr Samuel Chisa Dike, said in a welcome speech that the association was established in 2019 with the aim of “restoring and improving our environmental quality and our conscience for the growth of our company “, adding that the body’s primary focus is to push the frontier of environmental awareness at all levels with members of the legal profession in the lead, in line with the theme of the NBA’s annual general conference in 2021.
According to him, the organization is purely a charitable and non-governmental organization.
Dike further noted that AELN strongly believes that environmental issues are everyone’s business and therefore advocates the idea of attracting future environmental practitioners to the grassroots levels of institutions. of primary, secondary and higher education, noting that the organization has visited and established environmental clubs. at over 10 universities nationwide and many high schools in Rivers State.
“For those of us in the Niger Delta region, and close to the major oil and gas mining industries, the level of environmental degradation, particularly soot, due to incomplete combustion of hydrocarbons has exceeded national and international tolerable levels, ”he said, and urged all hands on deck to meet the challenges of environmental degradation.
For his part, the Vice-Chancellor of Rivers State University, Professor Nlerum Okogbule, said he was delighted that the institution is now offering environmental law as a study program and thanked the members of the AELN for the bold initiative to defend the cause of environmental awareness in the institution. and beyond.
He stressed that raising awareness was the key to championing a clean environment, adding that since taking office as vice-chancellor, his administration has demonstrated its commitment to keeping the university campus clean and green.
The Chairman of the AELN Advisory Board, Chief JK Gadzama, SAN, said there have been growing global trends in favor of environmental awareness and protection, noting that over the years , the association had provided lawyers with the opportunity to contribute to the analysis of relevant issues affecting the environmental sector in Nigeria as well as globally with the aim of raising the standard of industry practice to its peak.
Gadzama stressed the need to decentralize the functions of the association by creating chapters and clubs, saying it is always the best thing to do when an association grows, and expressed hope that the new chapters of the association would advance the interests of the body and bring it closer to people.
The event also featured tree planting by the Chairman of the Advisory Board, the Vice Chancellor of Rivers State University and the National President of AELN.
Certificates of recognition and awards were presented to some personalities, including the Vice-Chancellor of RSU, Professor Nlerum Okogbule, lecturer at the institution, Chief (Dr) Promise Onugbo Onuoha; the Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly, the Honorable Evans Bipi; a prominent state politician, Chief Isaac Wonwu, Dean of Rivers State University Law School, Professor OVC Okene; among others for their support to the association.
The association also took the opportunity to launch its waste collection bins, aimed at keeping the environment clean.
By: Donatus Ebi