P_20160330_172133
Anthony Atata

The Nigerian Bar Association at the valedictory court session of Justice Sotonye Denton-West,a fine Judge of impeccable character, turned somersault in their previous position and warning of grave consequences against the DSS.
This association of noble men goofed by telling Judges whose houses were raided to stay away from their Job until their innocence is proven. That is absolutely unreasonable and very frightening coming from an association of Lawyers who by their training should know that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
Let me avert the mind of the NBA to the popular dictum of Lord Denning, you cannot place something on nothing and expect it to stand. The NBA has previously condemned the raid on Judges as wrong and illegal. Days later, they are telling them (the Judges) to step aside. My question is, if the raid was not duly executed, at what point did it become proper? If it was wrong, then no right action can stand on it. Simple. Advising them to step down means a validation of the actin of DSS. This is not a brave new bar at all.
The NBA was there when the President was accused of contesting elections with unverifiable certificate, until today, they have cowardly kept quiet. One would expect them to tell the President to step down until his case is concluded. Nonsense!
The NBA was there when the Legislature was accused of corruption, yet they did not tell them to step down.
Telling the Judges to step down is uncharitable and an easy way to play into the hands of the executive who have succeeded in intimidating the Judiciary .Another question comes up here. If DSS decides to invade all Judges, are we going to cowardly tell them to step down? Of course we know what that means.
Someone will now say that in civilised climes people step down bla bala bla,make no mistake about this, people only step down from positions when there is an overwhelming evidence against them. In this case,I see no evidence not to talk of overwhelming one to make the Judges back down.
I am glad the Judges are talking now because everyone seemed to be buying the cock and bull of DSS. Yes ,it might look messy .Some of my colleagues are saying that the responses of the Judges are desecrating the temple of Justice. Arrant Nonsense. Why won’t they respond when many people are buying the stories of DSS hook , line and sinker.
The position of the NBA will encourage a deadly pattern where the Law enforcement agents will continue to harass Judges who do not favour them and consequently make them step down from cases not going their way.
It is still my take any day that corrupt Judges should face the consequences but it must be done in line with the provision of the law which empower the NJC to treat their cases ,dismiss and then Law enforcement takes over.
Going by the recent cowardly position of the NBA,I will also want the NBA to tell all Lawyers who are already named and will be named(The time is near) in delivering these so called bribes to step down from Law Practice pending the determination of their innocence. It also desecrates the sanctity of the Temple of Justice to see a senior Lawyer accused of bribery and corruption arguing a case in any court of Justice. Nonsense.