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  • Samson Omale

Kano Emirs: NBA Describes Conflicting Court Pronouncements a Disgrace

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has described the issuance of conflicting and counter court orders with respect to the Kano emirate tussle as disgraceful.



NBA president, Yakubu Maikyau, who issued a statement on behalf of the association on Wednesday said the actions of Judges and Lawyers in the case have exposed the entire legal profession in Nigeria to public ridicule and opprobrium.


“The damage would take the legal profession a long time to recover from. It is unfortunate and was uncalled for,” said Mr Maikyau as he called for a probe of the lawyers and judges involved in the crisis.


Conflicting court orders have trailed the Kano Emirate stool with the Federal High Court in Kano directing the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II while the Kano State High Court directed the eviction of the deposed Emir Aminu Ado Bayero.


The Federal High Court in Kano, presided over by Justice S. A. Amobeda, issued an order for the eviction of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II from the Kofar Kudu Palace, reinforcing the authority of the 15th Emir of Kano, Aminu Ado Bayero.


“An order of interim injunction restraining the respondents from inviting, arresting, detaining, threatening, intimidating, harassing the Applicant, or infringing on his rights is hereby granted,” stated Justice Amobeda.


He added, “This order ensures that Emir Aminu Bayero enjoys all rights and privileges accrued to him by virtue of his position.”


On the other hand, the Kano State High Court, under the jurisdiction of Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, issued an injunction to protect Muhammadu Sunusi and other key figures from potential harassment by state authorities. This order prevents any interference with the Emir’s autonomy and the seizure of key symbols of his authority, such as the twin spear, the Royal Hat of Dabo, and the Ostrich-feathered shoes.


The NBA called on the chief judges of both the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court to investigate the actions of the judges involved in the issuance of the confusing court orders and report their findings to the National Judicial Council (NJC). The NJC is the body saddled with disciplining of erring judges.


SEE THE NBA PRESIDENT'S FULL STATEMENT BELOW


Distinguished Colleagues,


I have keenly followed the developments on the recent events concerning the stool of the Emir of Kano.


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 legislations and case law, leaving no one confused about the jurisprudence on the subject – both procedural and substantive.


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 urgent need to scrutinize the professional conducts of both Counsel and the Judges involved in these matters. This is to enable the relevant bodies or institutions 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 conducts with the view to finding any possible abuse of their judicial offices and file a report with the National Judicial Council for necessary action.


The NBA on the other hand will investigate the conducts 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.



I have consistently maintained that the institution of the Judiciary must be guarded jealously by all (both within and outside the legal profession) including the other arms of Government (Executive and Legislature), because the existence, peace, growth, development of any nation is intricately connected with the primary responsibility of the judiciary which is the dispensation of Justice.


Sheikh Othman DanFodiyo was reported to have said – “a people can exist without religion but they cannot exist without justice”. Let us quit being religious as a people and begin to search for God and Justice for the people, in order to attain the peace we must all desire for the benefit of our nation.


The legal profession as a whole (Bench and Bar) must at all times, resist any attempt to

compromise its independence, as when this is allowed, we will fail in our noble call and

assignment of providing direction to the people and advancing the cause of our nation within the confines of the rule of law. The respect in which the legal profession in any country is held, is the best indicator of the freedom enjoyed by that country. We must therefore bring erring members of the profession to book to regain the respect we must have to lead Nigeria to its pride of place in the comity of nations.


Best regards,

Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, OON, SAN

PRESIDENT

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