NBA DUTSE CRISIS: Court Threatens to Jail NBA President, Olumide Akpata
Reactions have began to trail the report of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA’s) fact-finding committee on the Dutse branch of the association, as the chairman of one of the factions of the branch dismissed the report and all the recommendations it contained as “thrash in the eyes of the law.”
The chairman, Garba Abubakar, told Nigerian Sketch that he obtained Form 48 on Monday, and that the “NBA, its president and all those involved in acts that are clearly meant to undermine our courts of law must be stopped from desecrating our temples of justice.”
In a Notice of Consequence of Disobedience to Order of Court, dated the 4th day of October, 2021, which Garba said he obtained in suit No IDU/29/2020, the NBA and its president, Olumide Akpata, have been ordered by the High Court of Jigawa State to desist from interfering in a matter that is pending before the court or risk going to prison.
The notice reads:
“TO: OLUMIDE AKPATA ESQ. OF PRESIDENT NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
Take Notice that unless you obey the directions contained in this suit initiated by the claimants, you will be guilty of contempt of Court and will be committed to prison for your interference in matters that is sub-judice.”
Nigerian Sketch reported earlier that NBA’s fact-finding committee instituted to locate lasting solutions to the festering crises in the Dutse branch, Jigawa State, submitted its report last week.
The committee, which was led by NBA’s vice-president, John Aikpokpo-Martins, made some far-reaching recommendations in the report, which has been made public.
Nigerian Sketch observed that the recommendations of the committee touched on the alleged roles of Jigawa State attorney-general, Dr Musa Adamu Aliyu, in the crises, asking him to act in a particular way and threatening to take disciplinary actions on him if he refuses.
But the attorney-general told Nigerian Sketch that he was yet to receive a copy of the report officially from the NBA, saying as a lawyer, he is disciplined enough not to comment on a document he has not been served with.
The report of the NBA committee itself indicated that one of the reasons the attorney-general of Jigawa State cited for not honouring its invitation was that there was a pending suit on the matter, involving the same parties, the NBA itself and its president.
according to the report the AG “…stated that he is aware of pending suits filed by both factions in which the Nigerian Bar Association, the present President and the immediate past President are parties. He submitted that it is improper for the Association or any party in the suit to interfere with the powers of the Court…”
Garba said the NBA was “indeed really disrespectful of the court to have gone ahead after been notified of the pending suit.
“It is even more annoying that the committee went ahead and made pronouncements on the issues that parties in court were seeking the court to determine.
“That committee donated to itself an adjudicatory status. These are lawyers, and when politicians do the same thing, we begin to shout that the our courts are disrespected. What is more disrespectful than for a lawyer to disregard the constitutional powers of the court.
“But, let’s wait and see how this will pan out. We are still in court,” he said.