The Presidency has said it is considering a legal action against a lawyer, Mr. Nnamdi Nwokocha for declaring President Muhammadu Buhari guilty for his alleged lack of School certificate in a press interview.
It would be recalled that Nwokocha had dragged the President to court, demanding that he produce his school certificate, the possession of which qualifies him to stand for the office of president.
This was disclosed by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Presidential Malam Garba Shehu, in a statement.
According to Shehu, “It is unfair for a lawyer who is a litigant to a case in court to go out of his way to hijack the power of a Judge by declaring the President guilty of what he is accused of.”
Continuing, Shehu said in the statement: “Newspaper pages are not alternative courts where a lawyer can declare anybody guilty of anything when the court has not formally given a definitive judgment on an issue before it.
“The two-pages interview splashed on pages 56-57 of ThisDay edition of Saturday June 11th breaches a lawyer’s ethical code and we hope that the court and the Bar Association will take notice of this.”
According to Shehu, any lawyer that sincerely believes in judicial process and the rights of other parties to a case would not have engaged in the inappropriate and unprofessional practice of trial by media, especially a situation where Nwokocha openly declared the President guilty when the court didn’t make that declaration.
He further noted that “gag orders emerged in the United States on account of lawyers’ inappropriate conduct on trying and convicting people on the pages of newspapers or the court of public opinion.
“Free speech is not synonymous with recklessness and wanton abuse of the rights of other parties to a case in court.
“The litigant’s unabashed claim that he was a card-carrying member of the opposition PDP which lost power in the last election clearly indicates a scheme that seeks power by circumventing the democratic process of elections.
“If Nwokocha has not stopped his unfair and professionally inappropriate abuse of free speech, the President’s competent team of lawyers will seek the instrumentality of the law in dealing with his unethical actions.
“You cannot be a litigant and be a Judge at the same time”, the presidential media aide said.
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