​THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION: AHEAD OF THE BIGGER MALAISE

Just when it seemed my pen had run dry of juristic ink, battling with what ostensibly was the feeling of the nation’s ache has really not been so easy for a while now. I had the conviction that such helplessness is not made to be for a permanent period of time, but for the records, it always come at the rate of metronome. The moment I was confirmed a clean bill of health not by men in medical junipers but, by the unanimous prevalence of issues in overall attires, fit to step into the breech of a penman as I had thought against contradiction, then I realized that my pen only got refilled.

With this consciousness, I rightly followed the NBA just concluded election weeks back, down to its swearing in ceremony held at Port Harcourt on August 26th, 2016. As it is very not unusual with swearing in ceremonies and oath declaration in Nigeria, the NBA had hers festooned in artificial exquisiteness. I had only thought that such enthused excitement on the emergence of the new executives led by the Chairman, Abubakar Balarabe Mohmoud (SAN) were to play ball in a fashion differently legal. I thought the less when he advocated for the streamlining of the prosecutorial powers of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), circumscribing them to investigatory functions only. As the outgoing Chairman, Barr. Augustine Alege (SAN) is to be remembered for at least one thing he did for the two years he served, the introduction of the first ever electronic voting system in the history of the NBA, will only pray for a better successor than him and for the association.

On a critical assessment, there are a bundle of a thousand and one issues to be handled by this new administration,   particularly of current contemporary realities than mere queer the pitch of the ongoing successful fight against corruption. Overtime, courts of cootdinate jurisdiction mete out justice, though in rare cases but, at least to say below the forty five degree line of justice. Of recent, it has taken a tempestuous dimension that smirks the nation on its face. The reason(s) seem not to lie in the fact that the judges are not wit enough with legal understanding, but, in its asymmetric coordinacy of jurisdiction. The mere fact that a Court of Appeal situate in at least one in every state of the Federation, is no excuse for the Justice Abang’s woeful tragedy of error as template for a judge in a court of such record.

It seems not far fetched an issue that the administration and regulatory role played by the Nigerian Bar Association and the National Judicial Council is in great doubt. I see no reason why a higher court cannot on a frequent basis as it is perceived to be, in other to put paid to the activities of a judge or some judges whose judgement(s) can pull down a whole nation, solicit for their case
records by an order of certiorari and commence a review process of
such cases decided upon and where reached per incuriam injustiae, such
a person should be made to face the music. It cannot be gainsaid that an already divided Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) led by two factions plummeted further into gross polar lines upon the conflicting judgement of the Court of  Appeal in Abuja and another in Part HarCourt on same issue. This in itself bode ill for the legal environment and it is on such matters that the new NBA Chairman should
help tackle.

Also, Chairman Abubakar should attend to the credibility process of
the Legal Practitioners Awards Committee. The whole concept of
awarding a legal icon especially to the position of SANs, must be on the basis of fairness and openness and never subject to the fate of a tombola. Taking from past incidence, one cannot decipher why a Festus
Keyamo who has been blackballed twice and the likes stripped off such position even upon nomination and their exploits in the legal profession in consideration and no reason(s) made public is issued. If things done by the NBA is shrouded in secrecy, then the credibilty question is brought and will be taken to task as there is a presumption that it is illegal any thing carried out in secrecy if such is government business except as otherwise proven. The NBA should as a matter of fact come clean on matters that are commanding of
public concerns.

Of greater consideration should be given to the perceived dysergy
experienced within the Judiciary. A concord of ideas and thoughts between the Nigerian Bar Association, National Judicial Council and
other judicial personnels and institutions must be fostered and this the Chairman must take seriously. These issues are there to be flogged
than mere picking holes with the prosecutorial powers of the anti-corruption agency who through her anti-corruption fight have
achieved more in less than a year under the Buhari’s administration than its operation since its inception.

The EFCC by the EFCC Establishment Act, 2002 is empowered to prevent,
investigate, prosecute and penalize economic and financial crimes and
is charged with this responsibility of enforcing the provisions of other laws and regulations relating to economic and financial crimes.
Thus, by this provision, the EFCC being an enforcement agency and empowered by the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of which an enforcement agency qualify as one (armed force), is constitutionally bound to prosecute any individual found wanting. I therefore cannot phantom why the new Chairman who once served in qua the Attorney General of Kano State and other anti corruption agency of the state, antagonise EFCC; a federal institution, purposely to stripping it of its most vital armanent in the war against graft. It makes no real
sense and therefore ridicules logic and horse sense for a one time prosecutor for and on behalf of the state, to stop the same prosecutorial role the EFCC plays even as the latter seeks to recover the spoils of corruption back to the nations treasury. His purported advocacy for the total divest of the EFCC’s prosecutiorial role only
leaves a reasonable man in the lurch as to a better choice of which and what independent body devoid of political and external leverage will transparently exercise same. One will only expect that the Abubakar led administration will not leave much to be desired.

Conclusively, it may be not of finest importance, of footling purpose that my hard earned pen and the way the ink drooped down its tiny
receptacle as it found its way through the nib, down to the parchment, to dove tail my little contributions to the NBA’s quest for a reformation is given dim view of. For sure, it may be so but, it will not be forgotten that I pledged my troth for nationalism.


-AVST. DAVIDSON .I. OBABUEKI

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s