JS Okutepa SAN: SPIDEL Cannot Stop YC Maikyau OON, SAN

As lawyers, we must at all times learn to obey and respect the rule of law. We can not preach the rule of law and practice disrespect for the rule of law. We must not maintain double face in our attitudes towards the rule of law.
The reason behind the formation of the NBA is promoting the rule of law.
When I see the fight between the leadership of the Section on Public Interest Ligation (SPIDEL), of NBA, and the President of NBA, I laughed. SPIDEL, I read today, has gone to court to stop the NBA President from presiding over the NEC meeting tomorrow in Jos.
The reason they claimed is that the NBA president cannot maintain professional detachment if he presides over the NEC meeting when SPIDEL issues come up for discussions. That is how it ought to be. But has it always been like that in the affairs of NBA. I do not think so.
For me, the current chairman of SPIDEL cannot go to court to stop the NBA president from presiding over the NEC meeting tomorrow to discuss SPIDEL matters.
I recall that during the tenure of President Olumide Akpata, the current chair of SPIDEL was the 1st Vice President of NBA. They had quarrels with their GS then.

Felix Chukwuma Ashimole, Esq., co-publisher Kubwaexpress is consulting to serve NBA as Publicity Secretary 2024-2026.

The leadership of NBA had issues with Joyce Oduah Esq, the then General Secretary of NBA. She was suspended from the office. She went to court to stop NBA from taking decisions on her case at NEC meeting and AGM. The NBA under President Akpata was assisted and supported by my learned friend John Aikpokpo Martins Esq, the current chairman of SPIDEL, ignoring the pending processes and proceeded to do the very things Mrs Joyce Oduah was in court to stop NBA from doing.
I wrote then that that was political rascality and grave breach of the rule of law to ignore court processes. Nobody cares to hear me. They ignored me. Authorities are legions that when parties have turned their disputes over to the court, none of the parties is allowed to engage in self-serving and self-help in sabotage of the pending processes. Nobody, listen to me then. What goes round comes round.
In Nigeria, we preach the rule of law, but we practice self-serving and self-help rooted in absolute drunkenness in power and then engaged in a show of naked power in breach of the rule of law. Those in power, including those in the NBA, engage themselves in a despotic show of absolute power in sabotage of the rule of law even when the motto of our association is promoting the rule of law.
The precedent set by the immediate past NBA leadership of which John Aikpokpo Martins Esq was then the number 2 man in NBA may be copied by YC Maikyua SAN presidency. That is the spirit behind “go-to court theory.” Those who showed no respect for court processes while in power always find courts necessary when they are out of power. In Nigeria, nobody respects the law. Lawyers don’t. Police don’t , executive don’t. The legislature doesn’t.
In sane climes, lawyers showed respect for court processes. Not here in Nigeria. I am watching keenly to see how YC Maikyua SAN led NBA and John Aikpokpo Martins led SPIDEL will end their personality superiority contest in Jos. Will YC Maikyua SAN led NBA copy the bad precedent set by immediate past leadership of NBA, of which John Aikpokpo Martins Esq played a very prominent role in ignoring court processes and suspended Mrs Joyce Oduah only time will tell.
For me, as lawyers, let our conduct at all times demonstrate unparalleled fidelity to the concept of the rule of law. We must at all times show that we practice what we preached.

J.S.Okutepa, SAN

As lawyers, we cannot claim that we practice the rule of law and then act in sabotage of the very institution that was set up to uphold and promote the rule of law. Processes from a court of competent jurisdiction must be respected. But do we do so in Nigeria. I do not think so. The reasons being that there are no consequences for misbehaviour and misconduct.
That is why darkness and gross darkness have covered and overshadowed the legal profession in Nigeria. This is the sad reality.

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