The Nigerian Bar Affiliation (NBA) on Wednesday decried the “horrifying assault” on the rule of regulation by the Federal Authorities final yr.
The NBA in a New 12 months message signed by its Nationwide President, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN) lamented that rule of regulation was persistently assaulted and laid prostrate by the Govt by its “misbehaviors and high-handedness.”
The physique warned that it might be inconceivable for peace and justice to reign in any nation that continues to pay lip service to the rule of regulation.
In line with the NBA, 2019 was the yr that “removal of public officers through nebulous and reprehensible ex-parte orders of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) gradually became the norm in our national life”.
The physique mentioned: “It began with the elimination of erstwhile Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honorable Justice Walter Onnoghen (GCON) by a purported CCT ex-parte order within the first quarter of 2019 and, in the direction of the tip of the yr, this abnormality was repeated with the elimination from workplace of the Performing Registrar-Basic of the Company Affairs Fee, Girl Azuka Azinge by a questionable ex-parte order.
“That is one innovation in our nationwide life that doesn’t bode effectively for the safety of tenure of our public officers. Financial development can solely be attained in an environment of predictability and certainty.
“This new follow of tripping and eradicating our public officers by contrived CCT ex-parte orders corrodes confidence within the system. It not solely assaults our collective sensibilities when CCT ex-parte orders are used to ease out public officers however erodes due course of, a elementary plank of the rule of regulation.
“That is as disingenuous as the opposite unacceptable follow of tarring public officers to offer purported justification for his or her elimination. That follow has been prolonged to personal sector professionals together with authorized practitioners with doubtlessly deleterious impression on wealth-creation capabilities.
“2019 was the yr that our courtroom was invaded by officers of the Division of State Safety (DSS) in an try and re-arrest a defendant who had been granted bail by the court docket and was launched by the Division solely the day prior to this.
“This was a horrifying assault on the rule of regulation and the sacred sanctum of our courts and judicial processes. It’s considerably reassuring that, within the dying days of 2019 and on the occasion of the Honorable Legal professional Basic of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), each Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki have been lastly launched from confinement by the DSS, after being detained for extended durations in opposition to the orders of courts.
“It’s our hope that, in 2020, we might construct on this new resolve by authorities and be sure that court docket orders are obeyed throughout the board by our state officers and businesses.
“In 2019, our judicial officers and our courts continued to be disparaged, blackmailed and intimidated by state officers. Legal professionals and the authorized career weren’t spared.
“Legal professionals and retired judicial officers have been prosecuted, hauled earlier than regulation enforcement businesses and detained solely on account of their skilled companies to purchasers.
“Some legal professionals have been brutalized by regulation enforcement brokers whereas finishing up their skilled duties. Regulation was weaponized in opposition to legal professionals and judicial officers and a few of our judicial officers have been kidnapped and assaulted by legal components, in an unabated assault on the rule of regulation and, particularly, the dual independence of the judiciary and the authorized career.”