SANs Meets today over crisis in the judiciary

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The Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) will meet today in Lagos to deliberate on the crisis rocking the nation’s third arm of government.

The meeting is coming on the heels of the arrest of some judges of superior courts, including two justices of the Supreme Court, by the Department of State Security (DSS) in a “sting operation” reportedly targeted at combating corruption in the judiciary.

The BOSAN meeting, according to source is aimed at deliberating on the crisis thrown up by the DSS operations, moreso as the action has split the two critical bodies in the legal profession – the National Judicial Council (NJC) and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Key stakeholders expected at the meeting include the Attorney-General of the Federation & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) and NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN).

It is recalled that aside from holding crucial meetings with major stakeholders towards resolving the impasse, Malami was sensationally fingered by embattled Justice Adeniyi Ademola as the architect of his travails. Justice Ademola had alleged in a letter to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmoud Mohammed that his ordeal in the hands of DSS operatives was due to his earlier brushes with Malami. Malami has however denied the charges, asking the judge to leave him out of his travails.

The crisis yesterday threatened to spiral out of control when a major split occurred between the NJC and NBA. The two bodies had maintained a common front before now, with the NBA declaring a “state of emergency” in the legal profession. But the NBA leadership suddenly made a turn-around, asking NJC to suspend the embattled judges pending their trial. The NJC yesterday rejected the NBA recommendation, describing it as “unacceptable.”

Noting that the recommendation breaches the 2014 Revised Judicial Discipline Regulations formulated by NJC pursuant to Section 160 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended, the council also queried NBA’s moral stance in its revised position when it was a party to the NJC resolutions which sought to uphold the independence of the Judiciary.

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