Groups caution lawyers against ridiculing judiciary
• Allege filing of multiple suits on same issues
• Urge NBA, NJC to convene stakeholders’ meeting
A civil group, Society for Global Justice and Equity Promotion, has called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to caution lawyers against filing multiple suits on the same issue.
The group was reacting to the spate of conflicting orders emanating from various divisions of the Federal High Court as well as the Federal Capital Territory High Court on the leadership crisis rocking the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking yesterday in Abuja, the group asked the NBA to call to order lawyers who are making a mockery of the judicial system by filing multiple suits on the same subject matter.
The group’s deputy national co-ordinator, Mr. Jolayemi Adekunle, stated that from findings, lawyers could not be absolved from the blame on the conflicting judgments because they have presented different facts to courts on the same issue to confuse judges.
“We have found that some lawyers engaged in the unwholesome practice of arranging someone loyal to their clients to appear as a representative of the adverse party in order to mislead the courts into thinking that the proper adverse party has been served.
“We, therefore, urge the new leadership of the NBA to ensure strict compliance with the rules of professional conduct in the legal profession,” the group said.
Also, another group, Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), has frowned at counter-judgments on political cases.
It, therefore, called on the NBA and the National Judicial Commission (NJC) to convene a stakeholders’ meeting to arrest the trend.
ANEEJ’s position was made known in a statement by Rev. David Ugolor as a reaction to the nullification, by Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, of an earlier judgment by a Federal High Court, which sacked Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu as governor of Abia State.
The statement added: “Justice is one of the pillars upon which humanity stands. It must not be bought and sold. If the perception that it can be politically driven gains ground, then it is no longer the hope of the common man. The NBA must intervene and convene a stakeholders’ seminar or meeting to give the NJC powers to redeem the image and reputation the Judiciary as the arm of government which interprets the law impartially and fairly.
“In the recent past, judicial decisions/pronouncements have had a tendency to incite and divide Nigerians rather than unite them. A political party in Nigeria today has two party chairmen instead of one, and this has already added to the insinuation in international political platforms that Nigeria does not have strong institutions.
“What we are witnessing is shocking and bewildering and does not augur well for our political development.”