House of Justice 2017 Summit/Dinner: Organizers Assures Audience Satisfaction
Gloria Mabeiam Ballason is a Kaduna-based legal practitioner. She is the Principal Partners of MIVE LEGALS (Ballason Chambers) and the Chief Executive Officer of House of Justice. Ballason is at the forefront of Litigation and accountability in Medico-Legal Law with their Molluma Yakubu Medico-legal Centre which is the first in Africa and third globally. The quintessential lady has been pushing for justice in many frontiers by playing pivotal roles in changing the narratives in Criminal Justice and Human Rights in the nation and the continent. She has given voice to the voiceless and hope to people trapped in society’s cracks. Aside legal practice, Ballason brings her creative content into play as a radio presenter, newspaper columnist and a Corporate Masters of Ceremony (M.C). In this interview with Bomba Dauda of 24/7ureports, Ballason talks about House of Justice and the Organization’s annual summit and dinner in Kaduna. Excerpts:
In this part of the world women find it difficult to practice as lawyers but you seem to be practicing with so much enthusiasm, why?
Naturally I love to demystify challenges. The field of Law presents a noble opportunity to help humanity. Rarely does anyone go to see a lawyer or doctor smiling. It is often because they are at their lowest ebb or need help to find their ways. Having the sun shine after a cloudy moment is one of the greatest blessings of life and that is where I personally connect with the legal profession. That most women opt not to practice also made it an instant attraction for my curious mind. If it can’t be done, I always want to know why. So yes, the job is tasking and demanding but I am thankful that I get up each morning happy to use the Law to solve human problems and approaching Law from a scientific tangent of not stopping until a solution is found.
Do you believe in the saying “It’s a man’s world?”
No. And don’t blame me for it. My DNA was not configured to believe that the spherical earth was calibrated by gender; my brain certainly has no ability to take that in. I think the length and breadth and the entire dimensions of the earth are wide enough for everyone. There is no need for gender wars.
I learnt the 2016 House of Justice Lecture/Dinner was a huge success, how did you achieve that?
Every year we evaluate the dominant challenge in the country and then we curate a theme around that problem. Last year the theme was combating Economic Crimes within the ambit of the Rule of Law. It was the year where judges were raided in a commando style and not even the Supreme Court was spared of course there were shades of opinions and backlashes. When we thought of a guest speaker, Dr. Obadiah Mailafia, the former Deputy Governor of Nigeria’s Cenral Bank and Chef de Cabinet of the African Carribean Pacific Group of States became an instant option. We were lucky to have him. Dr. Mailafia is an A-rate mind. He is philosophical in his views and cuts through issues with the precision of a surgeon’s scappel. Many people must have turned up just to listen to him and we were glad because he left nothing untouched. There were also Dr. Usman Bugaje, Prof Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, H.E. Prof Onje-Gye Wado, and the crème de la crème as well as the rest of us.
The beautiful thing about the dinner is that there is a seat at the table for everyone regardless of who or what they are and this is in consonance with the House of Justice philosophy of equality of all men and recognizing the intrinsic and inviolable value of all humans.
How do you intend to supersede the 2016 momentum?
First the Keynote speaker is none other than our amiable former head of state and father of One Nigeria, His Excellency General Yakubu Gowon. We also expect Sen. Ben Murray Bruce as Special Guest of Honour. His Royal Highness, the emir of Birnin Gwari, Mallam Zubair Mai Gwari II has accepted to serve as chairman at the event. We have an interesting line up on the goodwill message segment including young, dynamic leaders like Otto Orondaam and Dorothy Kokonmma Ossai. There is an array of noble guests who have confirmed attendance. All year long we have been together with not just the Nigerian or African public but with different spectrum of people around the world. We believe that this year the people will drive the process as they always do. At the moment we have received confirmation from heads of governments, diplomats, legal practitioners, market women, Joint Association of Persons with Disability, rights activists which is pretty much all people of all hues and shades. We are enthusiastic about this year’s event which comes up on Tuesday 19th December, 2017 and look forward to having everyone under one roof in a congenial environment. It’s been a hard year and the summit/dinner promises to be a kind way to pull the curtain on the year.
The previous episode witnessed a large turned out and the carrying capacity of the hall was overwhelmed, any adjustment to contain the crowd in the coming episode?
Yes, last year the venue was overwhelmed; we didn’t see that coming and we apologized for it but this year, the Yar’adua hall at the Murtala Mohammed Square in Kaduna which is as huge as it comes is the venue. Tickets are up on sale already and go for N3,000 (silver), N5,000 (gold) N10, 000 (Platinum) and N100,000 for corporate table. We have also made contingency plan for an overflow.
What is this year’s topic and what informed the choice of the topic?
This year’s Theme is Building a Nation of Justice and Peace. You will note that the Justice precedes the peace. It is no coincidence. Our country is making its way through a trying moment of identity. The clamour for secession is as a result of some section of Nigerians feeling they deserve better and we must admit that things can be better. Nothing kills patriotism like injustice and certainly, justice is a precursor for peace. We hope that in listening to the wisdom of our sage and former Head of State and relishing in the eloquence and grandeur of Senator Bruce and all the great people who will be in attendance, we can all come as nearly as possible to the epicenter of what truly makes us a formidable and united nation.
Last year’s background colour was red. What is this year’s colour and what informed its choice?
This year, the colour code is green which is our national colour. This summit and Dinner is about our country and the call for patriotism. It is always great to have people dressed to the nines on our Red Carpet which is often powered by Afrinet 24 Global. We look forward to seeing the gentle men in their suits and green ties or green native wears and the ladies in their green gowns and attires. The green colour reminds us of growth and yes our country is growing and evolving. Sometimes things may not go as we please but we must as a people continue to give hope a fighting chance.