Senate minority leader, Abaribe indicts NBA over Onnoghen’s removal
Etomi tasks African countries on investment in legal education
Senate Minority Leader, Eyinnaya Abaribe has indicted the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) over its inaction in the removal of former Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Samuel Walter Onnoghen.
Abaribe, who spoke at the Rule of Law symposium in the 2019 NBA Annual Conference in Lagos yesterday, argued that if the association had protested against Federal Government’s decision, Onnoghen would not have been removed without due process.
Speaking on Independence Beyond the Letters of the Law with the Judiciary, Abaribe said NBA, being an association of lawyers was powerful enough to successfully fight the course.
The session, which was moderated by a former President of the NBA, also witnessed strong debate on Onnoghen’s removal among lawyers, as two Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), Femi Falana and Mike Ozekhome made submissions at the session.
Ozekhome berated lawyers for not demonstrating and shutting down government in protest against Onnoghen’s prosecution and conviction by the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
But in a swift reaction, Falana who reminded him that the Pakistani CJ was not unlawfully removed under a cloud of having unexplained wealth, just like Onnoghen.
Falana also questioned the commitment of Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN) to human rights causes as he used to do in the past.
Besides, former Chairman, Section on Business Law of the NBA, George Etomi, tasked African countries to invest in their legal education to improve the capability and expertise of lawyers.
He said it would instill confidence in the legal profession and equip practitioners with requisite expertise to compete in the liberalised legal services market, which he said, was already happening, albeit unregulated.
Etomi stated this during the plenary session of the 59th NBA conference in Lagos, insisting that investing in legal education in Africa would libralise legal services.
He argued that aspirations of the African Union (AU) were similar to the European Union (EU), adding that the EU was established in 1993 and has achieved political and socio-economic integration and harmonisation of its member states.
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