Posted on Wed 16 Jan 2019, 01:57 PM

The Nigerian Bar Association has be petitioned by a lawyer, Onyemaechi James to sanction Aliyu Umar (SAN) for alleged professional misconduct, following his role as the Prosecution Counsel against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.

In his petition addressed to the Secretary General of NBA, James stated that Umar violated Rule Rule 15(3)(a)(b) and (c) jointly or severally of the Rules of Professional Conduct for legal practitioners.

He wrote, “In Nganjiwa vs FRN, the Court of Appeal held that a prosecution cannot be commenced against a serving judicial officer who is subject to the disciplinary powers of the NJC unless the NJC has first considered the facts or circumstances that form the subject matter of the proposed prosecution. That is the position of the law today until set aside by the Supreme Court.”

He also stated, “By order 15(3)(c), a lawyer shall not ‘knowingly advance a claim or defence that is unwarranted under existing law’, but he may advance such argument or defence if it can be supported by argument in good faith for an extension, modification or reversal of existing law.

“Mr. Aliyu in prosecuting the CJN in the code of Conduct Tribunal is knowingly prosecuting a case that was dead on arrival and it cannot be said that he probably intended a modification or reversal of existing law because the CCT being inferior to the Court of Appeal cannot modify or reverse the Court of Appeal’s decision.

“Clearly the conduct of the learned SAN brings the legal profession into disrepute. It is a precedent that if allowed will encourage lawyers nationwide to embark on litigation that will serve to subvert legal institutions and make mockery of the litigation process.”

He urged the NBA to thoroughly investigate the role of Aliyu Umar (SAN) in the case.

 

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