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Senior lawyers in Nigeria kick against establishment of special courts

25/11/2015 18:50

The body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria on Wednesday charged judges to report lawyers who tried to unduly influence them to appropriate authorities, giving an assurance that the Nigerian bar was ready to kick such erring lawyers out of the legal profession.

The body also rejected any plan for the establishment of special court to try corruption cases, saying that it would not solve the problems unless "judges who know the law and are conscious of their public functions" were in place.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Alhaji Abdullahi Ibrahim, spoke on behalf of the body at the valedictory court session held in honour of a retiring Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice John Fabiyi, at the court complex in Abuja on Wednesday.

With the retirement of Justice Fabiyi, who attained the mandatory retirement age of 70 on Wednesday, the number of Supreme Court Justices dropped from 17 to 16.

Abdullahi applauded the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, who presided over the event, for banning politicians and lawyers handling political matters from visiting him, saying though the CJN's directive "raises a serious moral issues for the bar".

The senior advocate also declared that no lawyer had immunity shielding them  from being punished for misconduct as he urged the entire judiciary to stand up and be counted in the fight against corruption.

He said, "There are stories of counsel going around trying to influence the bench. I think the time has come for the judiciary and its members to stand up and be counted in the fight against corruption.

"I do not see any reason why judges should not report to the appropriate body any lawyer who goes beyond his professional calling and engages in acts calculated at perverting the course of justice.

"I am sure that the bar and the entire legal profession will not hesitate to show the counsel, irrespective of status, the way out."

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