Indications emerged that some Lawyers have defied the plan to boycott courts in the country to register displeasure over the ordeals of the embattled Head of the Judiciary in Nigeria.
According to The Guardian, some members of the Nigerian Bar Association ignored the orders of the association to boycott courts for two days to protest the suspension of Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen.
The NBA arrived at the resolution at its National Executive Council meeting held on Monday. “The Nigerian Bar Association rising from her NEC meeting has decided to embark on a two-day warning boycott of courts all over Nigeria over the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria by President Buhari,” the NBA said on Monday evening. Lawyers were meantto boycott courts on Tuesday and Wednesday.
However, The Guardian has observed some movements in and outside of different court premises, one can say that NBA order was only partiallysuccessful. While some lawyers were seen coming out of the Federal High Court Abuja Division, Justice Lewis Allagoa of Federal High Court, Kano is also sitting on a criminal suit involving the Green Party Gubernatorial candidate in Kano.
Some lawyers claimed not to have heard about the order. Others said the interest of their clients mattered more to them. For others, NBA failed in enforcing its own order. The lawyer blamed the association for not sending task force to courts to monitor compliance.
Onnoghen is facing trial on alleged false asset charges at the Code of Conduct Tribunal. He was suspended from office by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday based on a controversial order by the CCT.The president implemented the CCT order despite the Court of Appeal ordering the tribunal to halt its trial of the chief justice.
Onnoghen’s suspension has attracted mixed reactions from Nigerians, with the majority regarding the move as an illegal action and a coup against the judiciary by the executive. The suspension has also been questioned by the international communities including the US, EU and the UK.
Meanwhile, the action of some of the lawyers who chose not to obey the boycott order presents the union as a body that is not so united on this cause as many would expect. It would have been different if all the lawyers had obeyed the order. It would definitely send a strong message on the unity of purpose of the Body especially on this issue that affects them most.
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Daily advent Nigeria