Martin Ogunleye Chair,Nigerian Bar Association,Lagos

Today many Lawyers trooped into the streets of Abuja in protest of the happenings in the Judiciary which include disobedience of court orders.The protest divided the legal community as one side believed that the protest was absolutely unnecessary and may have been induced by a totally different motive why the other side advanced arguments in support.

Martin Ogunleye,the Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association,Lagos branch has this to say.

When a group of lawyers troop to the streets in protest against the raid on judges, one can only be suspicious of the motives. Lawyers in Nigeria have just one recognised platform, the Nigerian Bar Association which has already taken a position on the issues at hand, to wit, condemned the raids AND advised ‘indicted’ judges to recuse from duties till the saga is over. The group of lawyers who marched have clearly, by their actions, passed a vote of NO CONFIDENCE in the national leadership of the NBA to which they belong and are subject to. Rather than applaud them, i think we should worry that their action borders on infamous conduct or tantamount to ‘mutiny’ against their association. This is extremely worrisome and ought to be condemned. The constitution of the NBA clearly stipulates that there is only 1 spokesperson for the NBA and i think lawyers in Nigeria must learn to toe the line of professional discipline. We may not always agree with the president but we must always strive to express our dissatisfaction internally and through the framework of our association’s organs. Please let us comport ourselves with the dignity our calling as lawyers demand of us.

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