The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has threatened to punish the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) over the recent invasion of the Abuja home of Supreme Court Judge, Justice Mary Odili, by security operatives.
Addressing reporters in Lagos on Friday, NBA President, Olumide Akpata, said the minister can be barred from practicing law and stripped of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) if found culpable of giving the directive that led to the invasion.
Akpata pointed out that Malami can be dragged before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee ( LPDC), the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), and the Body of Benchers can reconsider his life membership.
Akpata asserted that the Abuja magistrate who issued the search warrant which led to the invasion of Justice Odili’s home will also be sanctioned.
He, however, stated that the NBA would ensure that all the parties involved in the illegal raid were revealed and punished to stop the assault on the judiciary.
Akpata said: “In the event that we find that any lawyer was involved in this unfortunate incident, that lawyer will be subjected to our disciplinary mechanisms and that lawyer will definitely face the music.
“We note that the Attorney General of the Federation has reportedly agreed to make himself available for investigation. This is consistent with the position of the National Executive Council of the NBA, to the effect that the Attorney General definitely has questions to answer. However, he cannot subject himself to a panel that he sets up. This is why the panel to be set up by the President is very necessary.
If the Attorney General is found culpable, then as a lawyer, we will take him before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee; because if indeed, he is found to have given the directives that led to the invasion of the home of the Justice of the Supreme Court, then he is not fit to hold the office he occupies presently and continue to be the recipient of the privileges the profession has accorded to him.”
He added, “There is a mechanism, and that is for us to bring him before the LDPC and what does the LPDC do? What is the ultimate sanction, amongst others? He can be stopped from practicing law. What does the LPPC do, amongst others? The LPPC can strip him of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria and also the Body of Benchers can reconsider his life membership of that body. So, without mincing words, those are the steps that the NBA can take.”
Akpata urged President Muhammadu Buhari to set up an independent panel to unravel the actors behind the invasion, rejecting the panel being set up by Malami to investigate the matter.