Kano Emirate Saga: NBA President Slams Lawyers, Judges For Shaming Legal Profession


BY SEGUN ADEBAYO – Worried by the actions of some lawyers and the courts regarding conflicting injunctions over the crisis that has engulfed the Kano Emirate, President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), says the legal profession is now being covered with shame.

Maikyau spoke against the backdrop of conflicting interim injunctions issued by two courts in Kano State on the ongoing tussle over Kano Emir’s position.

The NBA President, who reacted to the development in a statement on Wednesday, berated the conduct of both counsel and judges involved in the cases, insisting that an urgent review of the professional conduct of both the counsel and judges involved in these matters is required.

He said it has become imperative for the Courts’ respective heads to probe the judges’ conduct and report their findings to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for necessary action.

According to him; “I must say, without any equivocation, that the conducts of counsel and the Courts in the handling of the proceedings which culminated in the orders issued by the Federal High Court, the Kano State High Court and again the Federal High Court, in circus, have brought utter disgrace and shame to the profession have exposed the entire legal profession in Nigeria to public ridicule and opprobrium.

“The damage is one that would take the legal profession a long time to recover from. It is unfortunate and was totally uncalled for. For a country whose legal resources and expertise have for several decades been exported and positively impacted not only the African continent but the world at large, it is completely unacceptable that the processes of our courts would be deployed in the manner we have witnessed in the last couple of days, on a subject matter that is as clear as chieftaincy dispute.

“This is a subject that has been sufficiently dealt with by legislation and case law, leaving no one confused about the jurisprudence on the subject-both procedural and substantive.”

Clearly expressing dismay over the current happenings, the NBA President further said; “Without prejudice to the subsisting actions before both the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court, it is my considered view that there is an urgent need to scrutinize the professional conduct of both Counsel and the Judges involved in these matters.

“This is to enable the relevant bodies or institutions to determine their culpability or otherwise, from an ethical and professional standpoint.

“I therefore call on the respective heads of the Courts of the Judges concerned, to take immediate steps to look into their conduct with the view to finding any possible abuse of their judicial offices and file a report with the National Judicial Council for necessary action.”

On how to handle the lawyers involved in the saga, Maikyau said; “The NBA on the other hand will investigate the conduct of the counsel involved in these cases and shall not hesitate to commence disciplinary action against them before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, should there be any finding of alleged professional misconduct against them.

“The Chairman of the NBA Ethics and Disciplinary Committee has accordingly been directed to invite these counsel for preliminary investigations.

“While the NBA shall continue to stand for and protect the integrity, welfare, and independence of the Bar and the Judiciary, we shall not hesitate to call out any Judge or counsel, who engages in any conduct that is capable of bringing the legal profession to disrepute.”

Forefront News recalls that in the heat of the crisis, Justice S. A. Amobeda of the Federal High Court in Kano on Tuesday ordered the eviction of the reinstated emir, Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II from Gidan Rumfa palace while Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu of Kano State High Court had earlier issued a separate order, restraining the police, the State Security Services (SSS) and the Nigerian Army from evicting, harassing or arresting Sanusi.

The 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero and the reinstated Emir Sanusi are currently locked in a supremacy battle for the royal stool.

The development has generated protests and contention among their respective supporters in Kano with each side flaunting the gotten court orders to back their claims.

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