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

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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.

GidiNews is exclusively designed to cover and report Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city. We bring you news updates, reports, opinions and analyses in Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Health and Education among others. GOT NEWS FOR US? Reach us: +2349090870065, +2348055441309

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NEWS

JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS.

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The Apc lagos state chapter have have called on security agency to check mate and bring to book the unscruptilous activities of the pdp governorship candidate Mr Adediran Olajide popularly know as jandor on the citizen of lagos state as he campaigned across the state .

The spokeman of Apc , hon seye oladejo in a press release made avsilable to gidinews .com ststed that :

Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.
The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.
We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.
We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.
While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.
We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.

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RELIGIOUS CLERGY in Ajeronmi ifelodun Endorsed PDP HON RITA ORJI …

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….Offer Prayers for her .

The clergies of the Mission street Islamic group and the Episcopal church of Cherubim and seraphim worldwide endorsed the pdp candidate of Ajeronmi Ifelodun Hon Rita Orji as their candidate on Friday .

The Most Rt Rev Judah Adeogo Oluwole spiritual head of the Episcopal church during the ilaje day at the church called out the pdp candidate for a specail prayers for her victory ,according Rev Adeogo ,

“we have always seen the dividened of democracy when you were the house of Representative in Ajeronmi ifelodun our people have always sing your praises , now that you are on a journey back to the hallow chamber , we will support you and vote for you ,because you have always remember us ”

Hon Rita Orji , appreciated the church and its most Rev for always look out for her every time , she assured the congregation that more will come their way if voted as back to the green floor , she retraced her last election woe on the rigging aspect of the Apc in 2019 , but she said it will never be business as usual, as she urged them to get their PVCs which will assured and seal her victory .

Hence , the pdp candidate hon Rita Orji meet with the muslim clergy at the mission street hall , where she also spoked on the essence of making Ajegunle a better place for all , she called on the clergies to always state on the path of truth as they pray for a better Nigeria . prayers were offered for her victory as Election drew near .

The pdp candidate have embarked on ward to ward campaign since pronounced as the right candidate of pdp Federal Constituency by the high court and inec.

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NEWS

JANDOR UNLEASHES TERROR ON INNOCENT LAGOSIANS.

Published

on

The Apc lagos state chapter have have called on security agency to check mate and bring to book the unscruptilous activities of the pdp governorship candidate Mr Adediran Olajide popularly know as jandor on the citizen of lagos state as he campaigned across the state .

The spokeman of Apc , hon seye oladejo in a press release made avsilable to gidinews .com ststed that :

Our attention has been drawn to the reign of terror unleashed on innocent and law abiding citizens of Lagos state by the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the forthcoming national elections, Jide Adediran, otherwise known as Jandor in the course of his campaign in Surulere Local Government Council of the state.
The incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.
We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.
Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country which has been as a result of long running and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.
We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.
It’s pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.
It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.
While we can imagine the untold misery and frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood potential voters.
We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.
We urge Lagosians to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.

Continue Reading

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