HomeNewsDr. Joseph Onoh Accuses NBA of Culpability in Conflicting Court Orders

Dr. Joseph Onoh Accuses NBA of Culpability in Conflicting Court Orders

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Former spokesman of President Bola Tinubu in the southeast Dr Josef Onoh has accused the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) of being more culpable in the flagrant conflicting orders granted by courts of coordinate jurisdictions across the country.

He also urged the NBA to preserve the sanctity of the Bar by not getting involved in partisan politics or agreeing to be used by the opposition political parties to misrepresent facts.

Onoh made the accusation following the NBA’s reaction to President Tinubu’s Democracy Day speech where the President said that it has become imperative that the unnecessary, illegal orders used to truncate or abridge democracy will no longer be tolerated.

The NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) replied Tinubu that what constitutes illegal orders still remains a matter within the exclusive preserve of the courts of the law and not the presidency.

Onoh however told the NBA President that he believes that any instrument no matter how legally obtained but aimed at creating illegality, disabilities on any legal foundation or Authority is also in itself illegal.

He noted that the conflicting court orders which are either final or interim orders or decisions of courts of coordinate jurisdiction are calculated to contradict clear provisions of the Constitution, statutes or regulations.

He recalled even the late Chief Justice of Nigeria – Honourable Justice Dahiru Mustapher once lamented conflicting Court Orders and decisions of Courts and said that a number of judgments from the Court of Appeal and a few from the Supreme Court appear to have created some confusion amongst practitioners and the general public.

He assured the NBA that the President does not intend and will not interfere in any way with the judiciary processes in the country, clarifying that the President’s statement simply meant inconsistent court orders that can create conflict which in turn could truncate democracy.

Onoh said that the Judiciary is being threatened by incessant contradictory and conflicting court Orders/decisions which not only cause problems among judiciary officers but also raise serious concern and suspicions for those outside the bench which he said was what President Tinubu’s statement is encouraging to stop.

He recalled that during the 1993 presidential election some controversial orders on the eve of the election by Justice Bassey Ikpeme (now deceased) of the High Court, FCT restraining the conduct of the June 12 presidential election was followed by subsequent orders of other High Courts nullifying the order.

“The events that ensued are now history; we should never forget that our justice system played an unpleasant role in the prelude to those events with devastating consequences for our democratic stability and the erosion of confidence in our justice system that culminated in the June 12 democratic revolution.

“Mr. President’s statement was purely aimed at discouraging judicial anarchy which can be a threat to look democracy. This judicial recklessness is dangerous for our democracy. It may worsen the parochial attitudes of Nigerians. It may bring economic hardship to the nation because the right to own means of production is only guaranteed in a state where laws work and not where self-help methods prevail.”

He also stated that misapplication of laws may return Nigeria back to era of the military regime where the rule of fair hearing is subjected to military decrees, stressing that if the judiciary, which is one of the tripods of democracy, continues to somersault, the military will be forced to hijack power.

“However, nobody is praying for this to happen and it will never happen under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu because the worst democracy is better than the best military regime but we should also remember that the worst military regime is better than the best form of anarchy hence the reason Mr. President gave that clear warning.

“Anarchy is inevitable in a society where misapplication of law and miscarriage of justice continue to surface on a regular basis as is the case in Nigeria. This is because misapplication of law is inimical to the rule of law and President Bola Tinubu wants to ensure that rule of law is maintained in order to preserve our democracy.

“The NBA should go down memory lane with the adventures of his political party, the PDP’s role in attempting to truncate democracy with their litany attempts at using the courts to create an epidemic of conflicting injunctions and ex parte orders on political cases.

“Finally the President will never interfere with the judiciary as assured; rather President Bola Tinubu’s administration will engage all stakeholders and support the judiciary to ensure they strengthen disciplinary measures both at the Bar and on the Bench, as well as administrative steps taken by the NJC with the issuance of the Policy Direction of 11 May, 2022,’’Onoh reassured.

The Nation

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