NBA Begins Investigation Over Misconduct Of Members In Osun

Ebola NBAThe Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has commenced investigating the professional misconduct of some lawyers representing the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and the All Progressives Congress (APC) at the sitting of the Osun State Election Petition Tribunal on September 10, 2014.

Speaking to newsmen in Osogbo, the state capital, the ‎3rd NBA Vice President, Barrister Akintokunbo Oluwole, said that although NBA frowns at any misconduct that would tarnish the image of the Law profession, the body would do a thorough investigation before any penalty is meted out.

He condemned the altercation which transpired amongst the counsels of both the PDP and APC but assured that each side would be given fair hearing.

He, however, made it clear that his mission is not to apportion blame to any of the parties involved but rather report back to the NBA for all necessary actions. He urged men of the noble profession to always conduct themselves with utmost civility in the discharge of their duties.

The second day of the inspection of election materials used during the August ‎9, governorship election in Osun State was stalled for over four hours as counsel to both the PDP and APC engaged in a physical fight.

The fight broke out within the premises of INEC in Osogbo, the state capital, when the PDP legal team objected to the idea of allowing the APC legal team record the daily activities of the inspection of the materials.

This led to an altercation in spite of the intervention of security agencies calling for calm. Barr Kehinde Adesiyan‎, a supporter of the PDP, allegedly launched an attack on Barr Daudu Akinloye, a member of the APC team.

Ondo Judicial Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

Ondo StateJudicial workers in Ondo State under the aegis of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has embarked on an indefinite strike to press home their demands from the State’s Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

The major demand of the striking workers is that Magistrates should not be holding administrative positions, which they insist are meant for the Registrars.

According to the State Vice Chairman of JUSUN, Kikelomo Iyiola, the union is demanding for the change of the nomenclature Registry Assistants given to polytechnic graduates instead of Registrar as applicable to their university counterparts.

She said Ondo is the only State where they are being referred to as Registry Assistants.

The State Secretary of JUSUN, Toye Ilesanmi on his part enumerated some other demands of the union.

The Chairman of the Union, Mr Femi Ogunode, in a statement said the decision was reached at a congress, insisted that the industrial action was unavoidable.

Ogunode explained that the action became imperative following a failed negotiation deal between its representatives and the JSC and management of the State Judiciary.

He explained that since the commission and management of the Judiciary had been holding such positions, many of the judiciary staff have been denied promotions, while some who had applied for conversion of service were refused to be granted consideration.

“The JSC has failed to heed the advice of the Ondo state Head of service that due process should be followed in fashioning out new scheme of service for the Registrars.

“It is our belief that if the JSC wants Magistrates to acquire administrative knowledge, it should send them to relevant administrative training institutions.

“Judicial service commission has also failed woefully to heed our own advice that it should wait patiently for the release of the new National scheme of service being prepared by JUSUN, national body, in conjunction with all relevant bodies like the National Council on Establishment”, he said.

NBA Rejects Calls For Dismissal Of Abia State Chief Judge

OKEY_nba1The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has condemned calls for the dismissal of the Chief Judge of the State by the State House of Assembly.

In a statement by the president of the association, the association stated that its “attention has been drawn to the reported resolution of the Abia State House of Assembly, calling on the Governor of Abia State to dismiss the Chief Judge of Abia State from service, for refusal to appear before the Abia State House of Assembly to answer to allegations of misconduct.

“The NBA has monitored various misleading radio reportage of the event to the effect that the Abia State House of Assembly has removed the Chief Judge of Abia State for gross misconduct.

“The NBA notes that the Independence of the Judiciary is the bedrock of democracy and rule of law and therefore calls on the governor of Abia State, His Excellency Chief Theodore Orji to reject this invitation to politicise the office of the Chief Judge and the judiciary in Abia State.

The NBA called on the “Abia State House of Assembly to exercise restraint in dealing with matters concerning the judiciary in the state, as this is coming too soon after the return of normalcy in the Abia State Judiciary, in the aftermath of the rejection of the recommendation of late Justice Ijeoma Ofonry as Chief Judge of Abia State by the National Judicial Council by the same House of Assembly.

“We trust that Abia State Government will be properly advised by the Chief Law Officer of the state, the Honourable the Attorney General of Abia State’, the statement further said.

The Nigerian Bar Association also noted that “it is in the interest of all that we have an independent, virile and fearless Judiciary at all levels”.

National Dialogue: NBA Urges Jonathan To Receive Minority Report

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) has asked President Goodluck Jonathan to call for and receive the minority report on the proposed National Dialogue and remove doubts over the inclusiveness of the process.

Inaugurating a committee on National Conference and Constitutional Review for the NBA, the president, Mr Okey Wali said the minority must be allowed to have a say even if the majority is to have its way.

He said pertinent issues need be addressed including representation, political structure and federalism noting that the bar will only support a conference whose report shall not be altered by government and which is also final, binding and validated by Nigerians through a referendum.

It was reported that a minority was to be submitted by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Solomon Asemota.

His disagreement, according to a local newspaper, with the committee is noted in his separate letters to President Goodluck Jonathan and Professor Ben Nwabueze.

The local newspaper reported that in his letter, dated 6 December, 2013, Asemota told Jonathan that he had to forward the report to him because it was rejected by the committee and was not intended to be included in the report.

“I am not in any doubt that the committee’s jurisdiction does not extend to rejection of a minority report and the issue would not have arisen if the Chairman was willing to take the opinion of a senior lawyer in the committee into consideration”, he wrote.

Furthermore, in his letter dated 2 December to Nwabueze, Asemota complained that all his attempts to make the Committee listen to his viewpoints failed and only some some experts ideas were accepted.

“As a result of these developments, I came to the conclusion that some of us were invited to promote viewpoints that are contrary to my conscience and learning,” Asemota complained.

NBA Condmens Baga Killings

The dust has not yet settled on the confrontation between men of the Multi-National Joint Task Force (MNJTF) and militants in Baga a border town in Borno state, North-East Nigeria.

President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Okey Wali noted that even though Nigeria is going through difficult security challenges, it is not enough for the security agencies to turn their weapons on innocent citizens.

He further added that the NBA will give all the necessary support to victims of the incidence to ensure they get justice.