Court 3 of the Chief Magistrate Court Gombe presided over by Chief Magistrate Yusuf Idi Saluk Esq. witnessed an uncharacteristic incident, alien to a profession renowned for its nobility. The news of the physical altercation between one Mr. Yuwa Esq of NBA Jos Branch and a Chief MK Gurumyen Esq of the Jewel Bar, Gombe went viral yesterday, Thursday, the 23rd of September 2021.
It was reported that these two learned counsels were before the court for a pending criminal case filed by the Former NBA Gombe Branch Vice Chairman Yakubu Chidama, Esq. and others as Complainants against the Management of JED Plc Gombe. In the course of the proceedings, the Defence Counsel Yuwa, Esq. applied that the matter be stood down for at least 30 minutes to enable his sick client arrive at the court, in order that they may proceed with the matter. In opposing the application, MK Gurumyen, Esq. made a prayer that if the Defence Counsel is sincere with his application, then may God heal his client, but if otherwise, may God increase the severe pain on the sick Accused person. Eyewitnesses reported that the prosecutor’s counter to the defence application caused the beginning of a heated argument between the two learned colleagues, which soon resulted to bloody physical altercation. According to the wounded counsel John Yuwa, Esq., he got a blow to his face from the fist of Chief MK Gurumyen, Esq. leading to a serious wound both to the inside and the outer part of his mouth where he profusely bled. Leaving a large blood stain on both his Bar shirt and the court’s premises as seen in the herein attached photographs. While Gurumyen on the other hand, stated that it was the wounded counsel that first poked his nose with his finger, saying “this boy, sit down”. This caused him to retaliate with a blow on the mouth of the wounded counsel.
The Chairman of the NBA Jos Branch strongly condemned the incident on behalf of the Branch and also highly appreciated the timely intervention of the O/C Legal for not only referring the case to his office instead of Tumfure Police Division and by extension, allowing the Jewel Bar to settle the matter amicably for the interest of peace to reign and of course for the solid unity of the Bar. Displaying keen interest that the matter be settled at the Branch level.
In Support of this stance the Jewel bar of the NBA Gombe branch stated as follows:
- We strongly condemn the unfortunate and unprecedented incident that occurred between the two counsels leading to the wound of our guest learned colleague, John Wuyo Esq. of Jos Branch. It is very disheartening and uncalled for as well as unethical to our noble profession and the Jewel Bar which is known with peaceful legal practice right from its inception till to the bitter experience of today. As we were thought and reminded times without number during our legal training at the Nigerian Law School that _clients come and go but lawyers remain in the temple of justice.
- Though the wounded colleague John Wuyo, Esq. was seriously wounded in his both inside and outer part of his mouth and profusely lost his blood that stained his Bar shirt and the court’s premises, but it is not true that his tooth was removed in the incident. We therefore call on all our members and the general public to shun all fake news that our learned colleague Yuwo , Esq. lost his tooth in the fight as went viral all over the social media.
- Though for now, our colleague Yuwo, Esq. already left for Jos with the intention of taking further step after consultation with his Branch, at the Jewel Bar, our position is very clear that we are not happy with the words further uttered by our learned MK Gurumyen, Esq. at the NBA Secretarait which further frustrated the settlement, however, we should not relent in pursuing the settlement of the case amicably because we never experienced such situation in the history of the Jewel Bar and it is our responsibility to see our learned colleagues (both members of the Branch and our visiting guests) are happy and enjoying the Jewel jurisdiction in their legal practice.
They ended with promising to further update the house on any development on the issue in due cause. Also praying for the uninterrupted peaceful coexistence in the Jewel Bar, Gombe State and all other NBA Branches in Nigeria.