NBA MVP Jokic Re-Signs With Denver In Record $264 Mn Deal

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – APRIL 27: Nikola Jokic #15 of the Denver Nuggets handles the ball during Round 1 Game 5 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Golden State Warriors on April 27, 2022 at Chase Center in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Noah Graham / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

 

 

Two-time defending NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic will stay with the Denver Nuggets on a five-year, $264 million supermax contract extension that is the biggest in league history, US media reported Thursday.

The Denver Post was among several outlets reporting Serbian star Jokic’s mammoth deal as the league’s free agency negotiating period got underway.

As the Post noted, the move wasn’t unexpected after Jokic, drafted in the second round by the Nuggets in 2014, indicated after Denver fell to the Golden State Warriors in the playoffs that he wasn’t interested in moving.

If the offer was on the table, he said at the time, “of course I’m going to accept it because I really like the organization, I really like the people who work here.”

He added that he was in a “really good relationship with everybody from owner to equipment manager.”

Such stability wasn’t to be seen everywhere, as reports that Brooklyn superstar Kevin Durant had requested a trade shocked the league on Thursday.

ESPN, citing unnamed sources, said Durant — a two-time NBA champion with the Golden State Warriors — was eyeing a move to either the Phoenix Suns or the Miami Heat, but that the Nets would be aiming to get the best deal possible for the star with four years remaining on his contract.

Durant, 33, re-signed with the Nets in 2021 for four years and $198 million.

He arrived in Brooklyn in 2019, departing Golden State as a free agent to form a superteam alongside point guard Kyrie Irving.

The Nets would later acquire guard James Harden, but the star trio never gelled.

Irving missed much of the 2021-22 season after declining to be vaccinated against coronavirus, a disgruntled Harden was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers in February and the Nets were swept in the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Celtics.

Durant’s trade request shook the league hours before the opening of free agency on Thursday, when teams can officially begin talks to sign players who are not under contract.

A day earlier, Irving exercised his option to remain under contract with the Nets for a $36.9 million in the upcoming season. However, there were widespread predictions that he, too, would seek to depart Brooklyn.

Make Judicial Reform Your First Task, NBA President Urges Acting CJN Ariwoola

A photo taken on June 27, 2022 shows the acting CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at the State House in Abuja.

 

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has called on the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, to reform the nation’s judiciary and restore public confidence in the third arm of government.

Mr Akpata made the call on Monday in a statement while reacting to the resignation of the former CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad.

He reiterated the need for urgent reforms in the judiciary, urging the incoming chief justice to make judicial reform and the restoration of public confidence in the judiciary his first task upon assuming office.

The NBA president pledged the readiness of the Bar to work together with Justice Ariwoola in cleansing “the Augean stable and addressing the ills that have continued to plague not just the judiciary but the entire legal profession”.

He also thanked the outgone chief justice for the cordial working relationship between the bar and the bench during his tenure and wished him a quick recovery and well-deserved peaceful retirement.

Justice Olukayode Ariwoola takes the oath of office as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja on June 27, 2022.

 

“It is, however, impossible to consider his lordship’s retirement in isolation of the recent unprecedented developments at the Supreme Court where 14 justices of the court censured the outgone Chief Justice of Nigeria over his lordship’s handling of their welfare and related issues,” said Akpata.

President Muhammadu Buhari had sworn in Justice Ariwoola to replace Justice Muhammad who resigned as the CJN on Sunday night on grounds of ill-health.

News of Muhammad’s resignation broke barely a week after 14 justices of the Supreme Court wrote to him to lament the dilapidated state of affairs in the apex court.

In a leaked letter, the justices alleged that Justice Muhammad failed to address the issues raised despite drawing his attention to them, among other claims.

But these allegations were denied by an aide to the former CJN.

Nigerians In NBA Draft: Agbaji Picked By Cavaliers, Williams Headed To Charlotte

A photo combination of Mark and Ochai.

 

Ochai Agbaji has been selected with the 14th overall pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2022 NBA draft with Mark Oluwafemi Williams headed to Charlotte.

Born to a Nigerian immigrant father, the 22-year-old Agbaji who plays as a forward was projected to be a lottery in most mock drafts and that is exactly how it panned out with the Cleveland Cavaliers selecting him with the last lottery slot.

According to NBA scouts, Agbaji is ready to contribute immediately in his rookie season because of his prototypical frame; standing at 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan and weighing 215 pounds while being a very good off-the-ball scorer.

READ ALSO: FG Reverses Ban On International Basketball

Ochai Agbaji.

 

 

He played four seasons at the University of Kansas where he improved year on year, culminating in being named the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA final four after leading the Jayhawks to their first Championship since 2008.

Agbaji finished the season averaging 18.8 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 6 assists per game while shooting 41% from beyond from 3-point range. He also received Big XII Player of the Year and Consensus First-Team All-American honours.

Meanwhile, Williams who is born to Nigerian immigrants was selected by the Charlotte Hornets with the 15th overall pick, joining former Duke teammate Paulo Banchero (no. 1 overall pick) as the second Blue Devil to be chosen in the first half of the first round.

Mark Oluwafemi Williams

 

The 20-year-old centre was named the ACC’s Defensive Player of the Year after averaging 11.2 points, 7.4 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game in his 2021-2022 season.

Supreme Court Justices’ Complaint Underscores Need For Fundamental Reforms In Nigerian Judiciary, Says NBA

A file photo of NBA President, Olumide Akpata.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says there is an urgent need for fundamental reforms of the administration and governance of the Nigerian Judiciary.

President of the association, Olumide Akpata, said this in a statement on Wednesday, reacting to a letter written by 14 justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), alleging various improprieties and administrative inefficiencies and the subsequent response of the CJN.

The NBA noted that the situation has not not only affected the judicial responsibilities of the justices but also impacted on the justice administration process.

Read Also: CJN Replies Aggrieved Justices, Says No Hostility In Supreme Court

While advocate for the independence and financial autonomy of the Judiciary, the NBA also noted that it is important that the Judiciary must not only be, but should be seen as being, above board and transparent in the management and allocation of the resources currently available to it.

“The Judiciary must entrench the principles of accountability and probity in the manner in which it expends allocated resources. While the fight for increased budgetary allocations for the Judiciary continues, it is important that the available resources be used for the welfare and wellbeing of our Judicial Officers, as well as for the improvement of the infrastructure and facilities required by our Judges and Justices to effectively discharge their duties.

“There is a clear need for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the Judiciary (with the Supreme Court leading the charge) is providing the necessary template to other arms of government on transparent procurement and budgeting. This will reduce the perception in some quarters that the Judiciary is not accountable to anyone and is also not self-regulating.”

The NBA President also says that with the election season, and the humongous war chests that the politicians and political parties are amassing, the only way to insulate and make our Judges and Justices immune to the temptations of being corrupted by these politicians is to assure them of decent working conditions and adequate compensation both in and out of service.

The judges and Justices, on their part, have a duty to ensure that the honour and respect that is accorded the Judiciary by the public is not lost or dwindled, and that the public continues to hold the Judiciary in the highest esteem.

Read Full Statement Below:

Administration And Governance Of The Nigerian Judiciary – NBA’s

Position On Recent Developments At The Supreme Court Of Nigeria

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has become apprised of a letter written by 14 Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (“CJN”). alleging, among others, various improprieties and administrative inefficiencies that have not only affected their judicial responsibilities, but also impacted on the justice administration process.

The NBA also notes the response issued by the office of the CJN to the complaints.

At the Justice Sector Summit organised, in January 2022, by the NBA in collaboration with other key stakeholders, the related issues of funding, budgeting and administration of the Nigerian Judiciary, constituted the second of the three focus areas identified as being the greatest challenges confronting the Nigerian Judiciary.

At the end of that Summit, the NBA made far reaching proposals on how to tackle these challenges especially as regards the funding, budgeting, and administration of the Nigerian Judiciary.

The current developments at the Supreme Court which culminated in the above referenced letter and the CJN’s response underscore the necessity and urgency of fundamental reform of the administration and governance of the Nigerian Judiciary.

While the NBA notes the CJN’s response and appreciates the economic challenges plaguing the country as a whole, it is nonetheless disheartening to learn that in spite of the high expectations that the society have of the Justices, some of the basic necessities which they require to function properly are currently lacking.

Besides their stagnated income over the years, a situation where there is no formal scheme for the mandatory appointment of judicial assistants for the Justices, no regular training for their improvement, limited or no internet access for their operations, is, to say the least, unfortunate.

For Justices of the Supreme Court, who are generally known to be taciturn in making demands, to resort to penning down their grievances in the unprecedented manner that they have done indicates that they had obviously reached their tolerance peak. Thankfully, as the CJN advised, these issues are now being addressed in the short term.

One of the cardinal responsibilities of the NBA is to advocate for the independence and financial autonomy of the Judiciary as we have been doing over the years. However, as we continue in that advocacy, it is particularly important that the Judiciary must not only be, but should be seen as being, above board and transparent in the management and allocation of the resources currently available to it.

The Judiciary must entrench the principles of accountability and probity in the manner in which it expends allocated resources. While the fight for increased budgetary allocations for the Judiciary continues, it is important that the available resources be used for the welfare and wellbeing of our Judicial Officers, as well as for the improvement of the infrastructure and facilities required by our Judges and Justices to effectively discharge their duties.

There is a clear need for mechanisms to be put in place to ensure that the Judiciary (with the Supreme Court leading the charge) is providing the necessary template to other arms of government on transparent procurement and budgeting. This will reduce the perception in some quarters that the Judiciary is not accountable to anyone and is also not self-regulating.

As I have noted elsewhere, this is election season, and we are all witnesses to the humongous war chests that the politicians and political parties are amassing.

The only way to insulate and make our Judges and Justices immune to the temptations of being corrupted by these politicians is to assure them of decent working conditions and adequate compensation both in and out of service.

Our Judges and Justices, on their part, have a duty to ensure that the honour and respect that is accorded the Judiciary by the public is not lost or dwindled, and that the public continues to hold the Judiciary in the highest esteem.

For us at the NBA, we will continue to do all that we can to defend and support the Judiciary towards achieving these objectives, enthroning probity, and generally living up to expectations.

OLUMIDE AKPATA

PRESIDENT

21 st June 2022

NBA Playoffs: Nnamdi Vincent Leads Miami Heat In Game 1 In Eastern Conference Finals

Boston point guard, Nnamdi Vincent with fellow teammates

 

D’Tigers point guard Nnamdi Vincent scored 17 points to help the Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics in game one of the eastern conference finals of the NBA playoffs.

Vincent started in place of the injured kyle lowry and shot 5 for 10 from the field, including three 3-pointers while making all 4 of his free throw attempts.

The 25-year-old also had 2 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 blocks in 34 minutes of play.

Jimmy Butler led the heat with 41 points including 27 in the second half.

Bam Adebayo scored 10 points while Victor Oladipo added 5.

Both teams will meet again in game 2 on Thursday in Miami.

 

Malami On Electoral Act: Deletion Of Section 84(12) Is Still Work In Progress

File photo of the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami

 

The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the deletion of section 84 Subsection 12 of the Electoral Act 2022 is still a work in progress and is being considered as such.

He said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting on Wednesday.

According to him, while the possibility of appeal is not in doubt, government creators and the Law Reform Commission responsible for the codification and gazetting of the laws are collaborating with the Office of the Attorney General to ensure that any addition made to the law is in line with the provisions of the law.

READ ALSOCourt Orders AGF To Remove Section 84(12) From Electoral Act

Malami’s comments come a few days after the Federal High Court in Umuahia, Abia State, declared Section 84 (12) of the amended Electoral Act illegal and ordered the Attorney General of the Federation to delete the section.

President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier sent a letter to the National Assembly asking them to delete the section, arguing that it would deprive political appointees of their right to vote and be voted for.

Justice Evelyn Anyadike, while delivering judgement on the matter said political appointees could only resign 30 days to an election.

The Judge stressed that the section was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal, null, void, and of no effect whatsoever and ought to be struck down.

According to her, the section could not stand when it is in violation of the clear provisions of the Constitution.

In the suit marked FHC/UM/CS/26/2022, the judge held that Sections 66(1)(f), 107(1)(f), 137(1)(f), and 182(1)(f) of the 1999 Constitution already stipulated that appointees of government seeking to contest elections were only to resign at least 30 days to the date of the election. Justice Anyadike said any other law mandating such appointees to resign or leave office at any time before that was unconstitutional, invalid, illegal null, and void to the extent of its inconsistency to the clear provisions of the tenants of the law.

After the judgement, the plaintiff’s counsel, Emeka Ozoani, told newsmen that by this judgement, the National Assembly was not required to further make any amendments to the section.

He said the finality of the judgement was that Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act was no longer in existence or part of the Electoral Act.

However, the Senate on Wednesday debated the controversial ruling of the Federal High Court, an argument that saw lawmakers pitch their tents on various divides.

This comes barely one day after the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, had warned Nigerians, particularly lawyers, to be wary of making unguarded comments over judgments of courts.

The NBA in a statement issued by the president, Olumide Akpata, called on legal practitioners and the public to exercise restraint after the ruling in favour of the removal of Section 84(12) of the Electoral Act with immediate effect.

Mr Akpata reiterated that there are legal and constitutional avenues to challenge unfavorable Judgments, adding that lawyers and the generality of Nigerians are therefore enjoined to explore these avenues rather than resorting to unwarranted and counterproductive attacks on Judges and the Judiciary.

He, however, insisted that the various courts across the nation should follow due process in the execution of their duties to mitigate any form of breakdown of law and order which is certain to occur when the generality of Nigeria ultimately loses confidence in the court system.

‘We Hope Important Lessons Have Been Learnt,’ NBA President Reacts To Umahi’s Apology

A photo combination of NBA President Olumide Akpata and Ebonyi State Governor, Dave Umahi

 

The President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata has reacted to the apology by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the NBA President said his administration will continue to fulfil its mandate by rising to the defence of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and the sanctity of court orders.

“Now that the right thing has been done and the appeal process has been activated, we shall resume our backseat and allow the process to take its course.

“As far as the NBA is concerned, this brings an end to this unfortunate episode but we hope that important lessons have been learnt”.

The NBA had slammed Ebonyi State Governor Dave Umahi for refusing to obey a court order which has asked him to vacate office as governor of the state.

READ ALSO: NBA Slams Umahi, Describes Response To Court Order As Executive Rascality

The Governor recently announced that he is not leaving office, despite the court order which has sacked him from office.

NBA President, Olumide Akpata, in a statement on Wednesday, described Umahi’s response as “impunity of the highest order and executive rascality taken too far.”

He also demanded an apology and a retraction of the comments.

“Following that Statement, H.E. Engr. Umahi made extensive efforts to reach me and in the course of our conversation, I reiterated that the NBA has no interest in the case other than to ensure that the sanctity of the judicial system is protected & the rule of law is respected.

“In line with our demands, H.E. Engr. Umahi addressed a cross-section of Ebonyi State citizens, where he unreservedly apologised for his comments, clarified his intentions and very importantly too, called for calm from his supporters while urging them to refrain from denigrating the Judiciary.

“I will immediately transmit this apology to His Lordship, Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo and My Lord the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, who is the head of the Judiciary in Nigeria, urge them to also accept the same.

“I must restate for the sake of emphasis that there is a well-established procedure for challenging unfavourable decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction and the NBA under”, he added.

 

Court Dismisses NBA’s Suit Seeking To Reinstate Sacked Pregnant Police Officer

Logo of a court gavel

 

Justice Inyang Ekwo of the Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit by the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) seeking to reverse the sack of a female police lady who got pregnant while being single.

The NBA had asked the court to void the provision that policewomen who get pregnant out of wedlock be fired.

It said some of the provisions of the Nigeria Police Regulations (NPR) conflict with section 37 of the Constitution and discriminate against unmarried female police officers.

In the judgment, Justice Ekwo said provisions of Sections 126 and 127 of the NPR were clear to the said female officers before enlistment on the Force.

Section 126 provides for maternity leave for a married woman police officer who is pregnant, while Section 127 of the NPR provides for the sack of an unmarried woman police officer who gets pregnant.

On 26 January 2021 one Omolola Olajide, a police officer in Ekiti State was sacked for getting pregnant while being single.

Gbajabiamila, NBA Strengthen Collaboration With MoU On Law Reform

Gbajabiamila and the NBA leader during the event. Photo: Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has underscored the importance of collaboration between public institutions and the private sector.

Gbajabiamila said partnerships between the public and private institutions are bound to promote good governance and sustainable development. The speaker Gbajabiamila said this on Monday during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Office of the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on law reform.

The leadership of the NBA was led by its National President, Olumide Akpata.

According to Gbajabiamila, the collaboration between the two bodies since the inception of the 9th House has witnessed positive results in the passage of some critical laws in the country.

READ ALSOAlleged N1.4bn Fuel Subsidy Fraud: Court Warns Nadabo Energy Boss’ Counsel Over Absence

He said: “This is basically the formalization of something that’s already working. The signing of the MoU may seem symbolic, but I see it beyond that. I see it as a way of deepening our democracy and developing the country, which we all so passionately love.

“Contrary to what a lot of people think, I always believe that governance is about collaboration; it’s about everybody. It’s not about politicians alone, it’s about everybody, so we’ve got to maximize our efforts and potential to bold, bigger, and better things for this country.

“For me, this is a critical collaboration between two very important sectors. This is a public-private partnership between the legislature and the NBA.

“I’m glad that law reform is a core mandate of the NBA, and for us too, law reform is part of our core mandate. When we repeal laws and amend laws, we are reforming laws. It’s gratifying to know that we actually have a shared mandate, but what we do with that shared mandate is what will determine how far we can take this.”

Photo: Facebook/Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila

 

The speaker commended the leadership of the association and what it has been doing for the profession while emphasizing the commitment, speed, and diligence with which it worked and collaborated with the house on police and electoral law reforms, among others.

“I don’t think there’s been a time that the legislature and NBA have worked so seamlessly together towards making Nigeria a better place,” he noted.

Earlier, the NBA President, Akpata, appreciated the speaker and the House for being most accommodating with regards to collaboration and the potential of making progress together.

He said the pursuit of law reforms is at the heart of the association’s mandate and noted that the NBA is desirous of working with the legislature to bring to bear legislation for good governance.

Akpata stated that law associations are part of the legislative process in some countries, restating that the signing of the MoU was to remedy the past situation where the NBA seemed not to be keen on working with the legislature.

He recalled the signing into law of the Police Service Commission law due to the collaboration between the House and NBA following the 2020 #Endsars protests, saying it showed what collaboration of this nature can achieve.

He informed and solicited the speaker’s assistance about the Legal Practitioners’ Bill that is before the two chambers of the National Assembly.

He also commended the speaker and the House for the office space given to the NBA within the National Assembly complex.

The Special Adviser to the Speaker on Policy and Strategy, Dubem Moghalu, had earlier explained that the MoU was to formalize the ongoing operation between the Office of the Speaker and the NBA particularly on the issue of law reforms.

NBA Faults Buhari’s Refusal To Sign Electoral Bill, Asks NASS To Act Right

The Nigerian Bar Association is the umbrella body of all lawyers admitted to the Bar in the country, and a member of all statutory bodies that regulate the Nigerian Bar and Bench.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has faulted the decision of President Muhammadu Buhari to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021.

In a statement dated December 22, NBA President Olumide Akpata described the President’s action as unfortunate, but unsurprising.

In withholding assent to the bill, he explained that the President merely exercised a prerogative constitutionally available to him within the broader context of the rule of law, which the NBA stands for.

The union, Akpata stated, was not convinced that, in the circumstance, President Buhari demonstrated good faith in the exercise of his veto powers.

According to him, it is expected the Executive will be more directly involved in the legislative process while the bill passes through the various legislative stages at both houses of the National Assembly, considering its significance.

READ ALSO: Buhari’s Critic, Ortom Backs President’s Refusal To Sign Amended Electoral Bill

“But the decision to sit back and watch the National Assembly pass the bill with the supposedly unworkable direct primaries provision did not do justice to the President’s mandate,” the lawyer said.

He stressed that there was no justification for the President to have waited until the final moment before communicating his refusal to assent to the bill, adding that he should have treated the bill with a reasonable measure of urgency, especially in the case where he ultimately withheld his assent.

Akpata, however, asked the National Assembly to rise to the occasion by overriding the President’s veto or immediately effect the necessary changes and return the bill for reconsideration.

Read the full statement below:

The Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA”) has received the unfortunate, but unsurprising, news of the decision of His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR (the “President”) to decline assent to the Electoral Act (Amendment) Bill 2021 (“the Bill”).

For the following reasons, we join other civil society groups and well-meaning Nigerians in expressing our discontent with the manner of the exercise of the President’s veto.

The NBA acknowledges that in withholding assent to the Bill, the President merely exercised a prerogative constitutionally available to him within the broader context of the rule of law, which the NBA stands for.

Nevertheless, we are not convinced that, in the circumstance, the President demonstrated good faith in the exercise of his veto powers.

Two interrelated factors account for our stand.

Firstly, considering the significance of the Bill, one would have expected the Executive Arm of Government to be more directly involved in the legislative process while the Bill passed through the various legislative stages at both houses of the National Assembly.

The decision to sit back and watch the National Assembly pass the Bill with the supposedly unworkable direct primaries provision did not do justice to the President’s mandate.

Secondly, we cannot find any justification for the President to have waited until the final moment before communicating his refusal to assent to the Bill.

We note that the Constitution donates a 30-day period to the President within which to assent or withhold assent to a bill.

However, the fact that time is of the essence should have dictated that the President treat the Bill with a reasonable measure of urgency especially in the case where the President ultimately withheld his assent.

Waiting until after expiration of the 30 days, and even taking advantage of an additional day under the Interpretation Act while the entire nation, waited with bated breath, only to communicate a veto, is not consistent with the conduct of a partner in the quest for the needed reform of the country’s electoral process, which should ordinarily be a cardinal point of the President’s agenda, and more fittingly, legacy.

Further, in view of His Excellency’s personal experiences with the inadequacies of our electoral process, and having repeatedly pledged to strengthen the electoral process, not just in Nigeria, but also across the West African sub-region, the NBA expected more from the President. We fail to see how the above actions contribute to strengthening the electoral process.

In the circumstance, the credibility of the 9th National Assembly is on the line, and the ball is now firmly in their proverbial court to rise to the occasion, and either take the historic decision to override the President’s veto or immediately take the necessary legislative steps to effect any necessary changes and return the Bill to the President for reconsideration.

Otherwise, the National Assembly risks lending credence to the rumours in some corners that the provisions relating to direct primaries were inserted into the Bill to provide a leeway for the eventual rejection of the Bill. With less than 14 months before the next general elections, the NBA calls on the National Assembly to act right and timeously before it is too late.

OLUMIDE AKPATA

President

Nigerian Bar Association

22nd December 2021

Siege On Odili’s Home: NBA Dissociates Self From Disparaging Remarks Against Malami

The Nigerian Bar Association is the umbrella body of all lawyers admitted to the Bar in the country and a member of all statutory bodies that regulate the Nigerian Bar and Bench.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has dissociated itself from some comments on social media credited to the President of the NBA regarding the investigations into the raid of Hon. Justice Mary Odili’s house.

According to a statement on Wednesday, the NBA noted that “in the highly mischievous statement”, the President of the NBA was credited disparaging remarks against the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

READ ALSO: Lagos EndSARS Panel Submits Report One Year After Inauguration

Some of the remarks ascribed to the NBA president include:
“Abubakar Malami is the most incompetent Attorney General of the Federation Nigeria ever had. A Lawyer with no respect nor regard for rule of law. Malami cannot deny being involved in the raid of the house of Hon. Justice Mary Odili. He’s the principal suspect here and the earlier he admits the fact, the better for him.

“No Attorney General of the Federation has divided this country like the way Malami did. Malami is not only tribalistic in nature but equally lacks moral principles and character.

“We urge him to eschew pride and respect the office he’s occupying presently by bringing out those involved in such criminal act or be ready to lose his Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) honour because, from all indications, he doesn’t deserve it. He has proven to be exceptionally incompetent, undeserving of such position, lack of character and integrity.”

The NBA through its spokesman, Dr. Rapulu Nduka, asserted that in setting the records straight, its leadership has since set up a machinery to investigate the invasion of Justice Odili’s home.

According to the NBA, the aim of the said investigation is to provide the legal body with credible information based on empirical data regarding the raid on the home and will not make comments that risk jeopardizing the process.

Furthermore, the NBA said it has its official and dedicated communication channels and does not make statements through proxies or fifth columnists.

The association noted that it sees this “fake and mischievously motivated circulation as the handiwork of mischief makers who clearly are not interested in good order or maintenance of peace in an already overheated polity”.

The NBA stressed that it remains resolute in its determination to fish out and bring to book those who raided and/or authorised the raid on Hon. Justice Mary Odili’s house, in line with its mandate of promoting the rule of law and defending the independence of the judiciary

Justice Odili: Why Malami Cannot Set Up Probe Panel – Ubani

 

The Chairman of Section, Public Interest And Development Law (SPIDEL) of the Nigerian Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has explained why the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, cannot set up an independent panel to probe the siege of Justice Mary Odili’s residence.

Ubani, a former Second Vice-President of the NBA, believes the Attorney General of the Federation has been implicated by one of the suspects arrested in connection with the incident.

“The minimum the NBA will really be happy about is the President setting up an independent panel of inquiry,” he said on Monday during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily.

“It is wrong for probably the AGF to investigate himself because of the fact that he has been implicated sort of, not that he has been found liable but somebody mentioned his name.

“Then the police went there, the soldiers were also involved. Can the police really investigate them and come out with a clean story?”

READ ALSO: Odili Seige: Malami Reiterates Non-Involvement, Denies Knowing Suspect

On October 29, some security operatives, including police officers laid a siege on the Abuja residence of Mrs Odili, a justice of the Supreme Court and wife of former Rivers State Governor, Peter Odili.

NBA SPIDEL Chairman, Monday Ubani, speaks during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on November 15, 2021.

 

Amid criticism sparked by the action of the operatives, some security agencies denied having any connection with the incident.

Mr Malami had also denied ordering any action of such while the Inspector General of Police ordered an investigation into the incident.

This led to the arrest of 14 suspects by the police, including one Lawrence Ajodo who claimed to have worked previously with the AGF.

“The Nigeria Police Force has arrested a total of fourteen (14) suspects including the principal suspect – a fake Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) – for complicity in the failed criminal trespass on the Abuja residence of Justice Mary Odili on Friday, 29th October 2021,” the Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba had said in a statement.

“The suspects were arrested following investigations conducted by detectives from the Force Intelligence Bureau (FIB) which clearly revealed the criminal involvement and individual roles the suspects played in the invasion of the residence of the revered Supreme Court Judge.”

While Ubani reiterated the call by NBA President, Olumide Akpata, for President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an independent panel of inquiry to uncover the circumstances behind the incident, Malami insisted that he had no hand in the incident.