Popular legal practitioner, Olisa Agbakoba has requested the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to strike out the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) Justice Danladi Umar from the roll of legal practitioners in Nigeria.
Agbakoba describes Justice Umar as an embarrassment to the legal profession following an ex parte order that emanated from him (Umar) which led to the suspension of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Walter Onnoghen.
In a petition made available by Niyi Odunmorayo, the Media Assistant of the SAN on Tuesday, he said Justice Umar who is standing trial at the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for allegedly demanding a bribe of N10million from one Mr. Rasheed Owolabi Taiwo in 2012, should be the least to sit in a case involving the CJN.
The petition reads, “On January 14th, 2019, the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) of which Mr. Danladi Umar is Chairman assumed jurisdiction in a matter against the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen knowing the CCT had no jurisdiction in view of CCT’s own decision in the case of Hon. Justice Sylvester Ngwuta which also involved Asset Declaration.
“The Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa v. FRN (2017) LPELR-43391 (CA) held that allegations of misconduct against a serving Judicial officer must first be referred to and handled by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“It is only after the NJC has entertained and made a finding or pronouncement on the allegation against a Judicial officer and recommended to the President or Governor as the case may be, the removal of such judicial officer, and the recommendation is accepted and acted upon by the appropriate authority, that the prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government can proceed against such judicial officer to make him face the full wrath of the law.
“Mr. Danladi Umar knew the state of the law yet acted otherwise. Mr Umar’s misconduct has created a constitutional crisis and brought great embarrassment to the Legal profession.
The SAN argued, “The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar is on trial at the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for allegedly demanding a bribe of N10million from one Mr. Rasheed OwolabiTaiwo in 2012.
“The alleged demand was made in relation to a case (CCT/ABJ/03/12) involving Mr. Taiwo, an offence contrary to Section 12(1) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003”.
He urged the legal body delist Umar from the roll of lawyers.
“ In the light of these violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, we pray the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee direct that the name of Mr. Danladi Umar be struck out of the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria“, he submitted.
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