Connect with us

METRO

SUPREME COURT FINE: Lawyers group wants NBA to disregard Afe Babalola, Olanipekun

Published

on

By Joshua Timi

The Radical Agenda Movement in the Nigerian Bar Association, a group of lawyers within the national body has advised by the National Executive Committee of the bar to disregard a letter purportedly written by the duo of Afe Babalola SAN and Wole Olanipekun SAN to protest the heavy cost imposed on them and the harsh words directed at them by the Supreme Court at their appearance in relation to the Bayelsa State governorship election judgment.

In a statement signed by Chairman of the group, Mr. Ogunlana Adesina Ademola and the Secretary, Ayo Ademiluyi, the group wonders why two learned Senior Advocates are making efforts to set the NBA against the Supreme Court based on what is termed as “their misadventure at the Supreme Court”

Recall that both lawyers represented the All Progressives Congresses (APC) and its candidates in the last governorship election in Bayelsa State – David Lyon Pereworinmin and Biobarakuma Degi-Eremienyo – in their request to the court to set aside its judgment, voiding their victory in the election.

The Supreme Court, in a ruling by a seven-man panel on February 26, 2020, dismissed the applications by the APC and its candidates, with Justice Amina Augie, in the lead ruling, rebuking both lawyers and awarding N30million punitive cost against each of them.

According to the two protest letters addressed to the National Executive Council (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Chief Babalola and Olanipekun are insisting that they did no wrong by asking the court to take a second look at its earlier judgment.

In the said letters, the Learned Silks while seeking NBA’s intervention argued that they did nothing unlawful and unprofessional to warrant the harsh words used on them and the unprecedented cost awarded against them for merely carrying out their professional responsibilities as lawyers.

Babalola SAN and Olanipekun SAN argued that the decision of the Supreme Court, as it relates to them, was capable of laying wrong precedence that lawyers could be penalised for merely seeking to explore the justice administration process for the benefit of his/her client.

While Olanipekun personally authored his letter (dated March 10, 2020), Babalola’s letter (dated March 11, 2020) was written by the Managing Partner of his law firm, Adebayo Adenipekun.

Both letters were addressed to the NBA President, Paul Usoro (SAN).

In his letter, to which he attached all processes in respect of the case, Olanipekun said: “I and the team of lawyers that I lead in the matter did no wrong, either in terms of our presentation through the filling of the application or during the oral adumbration in court.

“I repeat again, with every emphasis at my disposal and all sense of responsibility that I/we did no wrong, committed no error and did/do not deserve the harsh comments (to put it mildly) in the leading ruling of the Honourable Justice Amina Augie.

“It might interest you to note that there is no nexus or proximity or even bearing between the processes filed by us and the most unfair and least expected stern expressions of His lordship, Amina Augie.”

Part of Babalola’s letter reads:”I write to bring to the formal attention of the National Executive the Nigerian Bar Association, the unfortunate events which occurred that day, but more importantly, to protest and draw the attention of NBA to the danger posed to the due administration of justice by the disparaging remarks made in the ruling of the court concerning our principal, Afe Babalola SAN, CON and the imposition on him of the unprecedented costs of N30million.”

“The action of the Court, aside from being unfair and totally unwarranted, is, if not urgently addressed, capable of sending a wrong signal to judges of courts, lower in hierarchy to the Supreme Court about how they can and should relate with lawyers, who appear before them to plead the case of their clients.

“This in the long run will be inimical to the development of trust and respect between the bar and the bench and will ultimately hamper the smooth operation of the justice delivery sector in Nigeria.

“It is with respect to their Lordships of the Supreme Court, who sat on the 26th of February 2020 that we state that the award of cost of N30million against Aare Afe Babalola SAN, CON failed to meet the standard set by that very court concerning the award of costs.

“Costs have never been imposed to intimidate counsel as is apparent in the cost orders made by the Supreme Court in this instance.

“The cost order lose sight of the fact that Aare Afe Babaloia SAN, CON, like every other lawyer, has a duty under the rules of professional conduct to devote his attention, energy and expertise and subject to any rule of law, to act in manner consistent with the best interest of his client.

“It is in the light of the above that we most respectfully request the ‘Nigerian Bar Association, though the National Executive Council, to look into this matter with a view to preventing a situation where the courts would seek to intimidate counsel and prevent them from either adequately presenting the cases of their clients or punishing them for doing so in a manner required of them under the rules of professional conduct.

“This situation, at the risk of repetition, if allowed to persist and gain footing, will do incalculable damage to the administration of justice in Nigeria.”

RAMINBA in the statement asked as follows:

  1. Why was it that other counsel who after them have brought similar applications were not in like manner rebuked or sanctioned by the Supreme Court?
  2. What does the letters intend to achieve? Is it for the NBA to review the Supreme Court judgement and reverse same?

3.Does the NBA have locus and vires to entertain or probe the judicial action and verdict of the Supreme Court to warrant the entertainment of the letters of the Senior lawyers?

  1. Are the letters meant to incite the Bar against the Supreme Court because of what has turned out to be a misadventure of two lawyers to the quarters of the Supreme Court?

Without delving into the facts of the case upon which the two Senior Advocates brough their application or the merit thereof or otherwise, it is clear as noonday that the action of two Learned Silks in bringing the application without meeting the grounds upon the Supreme Court judgement can be called upon to review itself brings the Supreme Court to opprobrium. The words of Honourable Justice Amina Augie speak to the defiance of the Majesty of the Supreme Court to sit as a court of final jurisdiction.

Furthermore,as learned Senior Advocates, they ought to know that the Nigerian Bar Association does not have the locus or vires to entertain inquiry into, probe, review or even set aside the judgment of the Supreme Court? Why appeal to the NBA after their application for review of judgment has been struck out by the Supreme Court?

Overall, why are the two learned Senior Advocates intent on setting the Nigerian Bar Association on collision with the Supreme Court based on their misadventure at the Supreme Court? Can we then encourage a situation where the local Branches of the NBA will sit on appeal on the judgments of the High Court in their jurisdiction based on the reprimand of two members of the Branch by the same Court? The answer is NO.

We are of the view that , contrary to the prayers of the Senior Advocates in their respective letters to the NEC, the duo should be referred to the Legal Practitioners’ Disciplinary Panel by the Nigerian Bar Association for appropriate sanctions for their actions , which amounts to gross professional misconduct.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

METRO

Boy dies in Lagos building collapse, six others injured

Published

on

By

A three-storey building which collapsed Saturday morning at Freeman Street, Lagos Island has killed a child while about six other persons rescued from the rubble are receiving treatment at the hospital.

According to the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, body of the boy has been deposited at the morgue.

“The Agency responded to emergency calls on the collapsed building at Freeman Street, in the Lagos Island area of Lagos State. Upon arrival at the incident scene at 4am, a three-storey building was discovered to have totally collapsed on people asleep inside. Six victims have been extricated from the rubble alive while a single male child was recovered dead.” Osanyintolu said.

Residents of the area claimed that the building caved in at about 4.05 am while occupants were still asleep.

They said the building was said to have suffered total collapse leaving its occupants trapped as they were fast asleep due.

Meanwhile search and rescue operation continue at the scene, by the joint rescue team of the Lagos State government

Continue Reading

METRO

Jimmy Johnson: A life of fulfillment

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.”

Published

on

By

The family of Jimmy Johnson, better known as “Okoro” in the popular but rested TV drama ‘The Village Headmaster’ who died on July 8 in a hospital at Abuja has released a comprehensive profile of the veteran art enthusiast, hinting on the burial arrangements for the late actor.

In a statement issued by the family, “Jimmy J” was instrumental to the evolvement of the Nigerian entertainment industry over the years.

The statement reads: 

“Jimmy Johnson’s involvement in drama and theatre arts began in Ibadan in the early 60’s working with Professor Wole Soyinka in the Orisun Theatre Company and the Mbari Artistes and Writers Club a diverse group of University lecturers, writers, visual artists, musicians and actors that also included Soyinka, Ulli Beier, Chinua Achebe, Christopher Okigbo, Mabel Segun, J.P Clark, Christopher Kolade, Lindsay Barrett, Demas Nwoko, Tunji Oyelana, Jimi Solanke and Bruce Onobrakpeya amongst others.  Mbari was described as a magnet for artistes and writers of African descent from all over Africa, America’s and the Caribbean.

“The Nigeria Biafra civil war of 1967-70 disrupted Mbari with many members opposing the war, but some forced into different sides by circumstance.

“After the war Jimmy Johnson threw himself into reconstruction of the country as an Information and Culture Officer in the Civil Service – working first from Enugu, capital of the then East Central State, then in Lagos Nigeria’s former capital – while also working alongside colleagues to rebuild a national identity for radio, television, film and theatre.

“Alongside his day job in government in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s he worked with colleagues in Radio Nigeria, Nigerian Television, former associates from Mbari Club and a new crop of film makers and dramatists to build the bedrock of todays entertainment industry in Nigeria. His generation saw FESTAC 77 – The Second World, Black & African Festival of Arts & Culture – as an opportunity to try and rekindle the spirit of Mbari, and invited Black artistes from across Africa, North and South America, Europe and the Caribbean to Nigeria. However some associates, most prominent being Fela Anikulapo Kuti fell out with the Obasanjo government over what was described as military intervention in FESTAC.

“While still working as a Senior Civil Servant he was later best known for the role of “Okoro” which he played for about a decade in NTA’s longest running TV drama The Village Headmaster.

“In 1984 along with many politicians, and senior civil servants he was locked up in Ikoyi Prison and tried, but acquitted by the Buhari/Idiagbon military regime after the overthrow of President Shagari’s government.

“In twist of fate, President Buhari said of him decades later on a recent birthday that “As one of the pioneers of TV drama in Nigeria and a respected thespian” his “contribution to the movie industry, which ranks second in the world, remains indelible” commending his “sacrifice, patriotism and loyalty to his country and his calling, starting out early on stage and the screen when rewards were very minimal, but pursuing his career with relentless passion and vigour”.

“Until his death this week, Jimmy Johnson or Jimi J as he was known by his peers spent his time in semi-retirement in Abuja contributing occasionally to various artistic productions.

“He is survived by his spouse, children, and grand-children including his second child journalist, development and policy expert Rotimi Sankore. His first son Tunde Johnson passed away two years before his death.

“Burial arrangements will be announced soon in line with COVID19 Protocols.”

Continue Reading

METRO

Lawmakers call on Sanwo-Olu to investigate viral video on LAWMA sweepers protest

Published

on

By

The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the state to investigate those behind a viral video, where some sweepers working the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) were protesting the non-payment of their salaries.

This was contained in the Lagos State House of Assembly Motion Number 22 moved by Hon. Desmond Elliot (Surulere Constituency 1) along with other lawmakers during plenary on Monday 6th July.

The motion was entitled; “Need to Enhance Waste Management In Lagos State.”

Hon. Desmond Elliot stated that the House resolved to commend the efforts of the Lagos State government on waste management in the state.

Elliot stressed that the House condemned those behind the videos that went viral on the issue of non-payment of the salaries of sweepers by LAWMA and that the House called on the Governor and the Ministry of the Environment to look into it and bring the people behind it to book.

The House then called on Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of the state to direct the Commissioner, Ministry of Finance, Accountant General, State Treasury Office, the Commissioner, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, the Acting Managing Director, Lagos State Waste Management Authority and other relevant Agencies to expedite action on the payment of all outstanding allowances of the sweepers.

“Governor Sanwo-Olu should direct the Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Strategy in conjunction with the relevant agencies to sensitize members of the public on the need to dispose their refuse properly and the importance of having waste bin in their respective houses; and mandate the Committee on the Environment to investigate the immediate and remote causes of these irregularities in LAWMA with a view to finding a lasting solution to the matter,” he said.

While stating that the House was mindful of the modern technology means deployed by the state government to ensure a cleaner Lagos, he said that the Governor should mandate the Committee on the Environment to investigate the activities of LAWMA to make their job more effective.

Elliot added that everything was going smoothly before COVID-19, and that with COVID-19, the state suffered a lot over IGRs.

In his comment, the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa stated that there was need to address the issues raised by the staff of LAWMA.

Obasa stated sweepers were employed to sweep Lagos State roads based on humanitarian gesture of the state government, which he said had the alternative of using mechanized ways of removing wastes in the state.

“The state can come up with mechanized ways of removing wastes. We also want to reduce crime, which was why we are doing the job manually.

“We should condemn those behind the video because there are many ways of making their grievances known. The issue started during the break out of COVID-19 and everybody was affected. Those behind the video should be brought to book. We should condemn those going to the media to embarrass the government.

“For those who played roles in the delay of the salaries of the sweepers, the committee could see how they could be held responsible,” he said.

In his contribution, Hon. Rotimi Olowo (Shomolu 1) said that policing the canals and primary drainages in the state required more attention, and that the motion should be supported.

Hon. Kehinde Joseph (Alimosho 2), in his comment, said that the matter should be investigated, but that the government should not stop the salaries of the sweepers in the process.

Also Speaking, Hon. Ajani Owolabi (Lagos Mainland 1) said that Coronavirus pandemic restricted the efforts of the state government to deal with some issues.

Ajani said that the major challenge with wastes in the state had to do with plastic wastes.

“The roads are usually being flooded. We can monetize the plastic waste, and we can call on the Governor to look at this in a way that we can monetize plastic wastes,” he said.

Also contributing, Hon. Gbolahan Yishawu (Eti Osa 2) said that the viral video could not be ignored.

Yishawu then supported the resolve that the money of the staff should be paid.

He added that the sweepers were front line officials that worked during the lockdown, and that the matter should be investigated as suggested in the third leg of the resolve.

Some other lawmakers, who contributed to the motion included Hon. Jude Idimogu (Oshodi/Isolo 2), Hon. Olayiwola Sobur (Mushin 2), Hon. Temitope Adewale (Ifako/Ijaiye 1), Hon. Saka Solaja (Ikorodu 2) and Hon. Adedamola Kasunmu (Ikeja 1).

Continue Reading

SIGN UP FOR NEWS UPDATES

GidiNews
Advertisement

Contact Us

We love to hear from you

Phone:2349065904170
GidiNews
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending