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Lawyers group kicks against suspension order

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•WAILA accuses association of meddling in politics

Integrity Group of Nigerian Lawyers (IGNL) has flayed the debate among lawyers over the suspension of Justice Walter Onnoghen. It said the debate is exposing the “legal profession in Nigeria to ridicule,” just as it discarded the NBA’s call to boycott courts.

The group added that the debate has also called to question the integrity of all lawyers, including those in the making.It took the stand yesterday in Jos in a statement signed by its executive committee.“We wish to make it categorically clear that NBA’s position is not a reflection of the collective opinion of its members.

“The leadership of NBA should retrace its steps and ensure that it takes decisions that agree with the collective thoughts and opinions of its members. The decision to boycott courts in the present situation is not in line with known procedures in our laws, especially in resolving confusion such as the current one,” they stated.

According to the group, NBA’s position is simply a reflection of the personal interest of a few people.The statement added: “Ordinarily, the judiciary is the pendulum that holds every society together under the roof of justice. And, no country will attain justice, if the institution saddled with the responsibility of protecting the sanctity of laws and the promotion of sanity in the society is marred with corruption.

The IGNL stressed that the reaction of the NBA to the suspension of the CJN, was based on emotions and sentiments instead of law.Also, West African Institute of Legal Aid (WAILA) yesterday cautioned the NBA against meddling in the ethics and conduct of the noble profession by dragging it into the Nigerian political atmosphere.

Regional coordinator of the institute, Ma’aruf Yakasai, stated this in an interview in Kano. Ma’aruf declared that NBA’s decision was questionable, considering the political colou ration that surrounded the suspension, instead of taking sides, which is against the spirit of justice.


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