Few days ago the media space was awash with news of Barrister Monday Ubani, former 2nd Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) who spoke strongly to condemn the judicial heist in Anambra state in the run up to the November 6, governorship election in the state
Barrister Ubani had demanded for the enforcement of disciplinary measures as recommended by Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme of the Court of Appeal in Anambra against some judges and lawyers who delved into alleged frivolous post primary-election cases filed by some parties.
It will be recalled that Justice Chioma Nwosu-Iheme who was livid with anger while delivering judgment in the case had recommended that the National Judicial Council, (NJC) should discipline two judges for unprofessional conduct of dabbling into the Anambra State gubernatorial election controversy; and also the NBA should in the same manner, discipline the senior lawyers who filed the suit on behalf of their clients for professional misconduct
Ubani therefore insisted that the disciplinary measures as recommended by her Lordship be commenced by the NBA and NJC to act as a check to the incessant embarrassment the legal profession is presently facing in all spheres especially by those who are supposed to know and observe the ethics of the profession whether at the Bench or at the Bar
Ubani also said that the most litigious state in Nigeria in electoral matters since the beginning of the democratic process in the country had remained Anambra state
Ubani cited the case of the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) gubernatorial primary election case that has just ended at the court of Appeal in Awka.
He said the journey of the case started somewhere in Jigawa State that is several hundreds of kilometres away from
Anambra, the state that has the territorial jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
He added that both the lawyer and the judge that decided on the case knew that the Jigawa State High Court do not have the territorial jurisdiction but went ahead to decide the case not minding the consequences of such brazen decision that is fatally flawed
Continuing, Barrister Ubani said as if that was not enough, another set of lawyers and a judge this time around, somewhere in Imo State as “undertakers” undertook to decide the APGA leadership matter that should be decided in Anambra State affirming one Jude Okeke as APGA acting Chairman while one Chukwuma Umeoji was declared as the gubernatorial candidate for the November 2021 gubernatorial election
Ubani said all these bizarre rulings and judgements were given despite the fact that a High Court in Anambra State presided by Justice Charles Okaa had corrected these anomalies and upheld the recognition of former Central Bank Governor of Nigeria, Prof Chukwuma Charles Soludo as the validly and legally elected APGA candidate for the November 6 gubernatorial election in the State
Barrister Ubani stated, regrettably, that it was this impunity that gave ample room to Justice Nwosu-Iheme of the Court of Appeal in Awka an opportunity she never wasted to lash out at the erring legal professionals who, according to her, go from one part of the country to another in search of judgements to enable some politicians to run for public office which in the legal parlance is called “forum shopping”
Commending Justice Nwosu-Iheme courage and forthrightness, Ubani remarked that the nation can heave a sigh of relief knowing fully well that there are still remnants in Nigeria that can stand and speak truth to the Nation irrespective of whose ox is gored.
He noted that all hope is not lost for Nigeria as a nation because there are still men and women like Justice Nwosu-Iheme everywhere
Ubani therefore appealed to the NJC and NBA to act swiftly in saving the judiciary while applying appropriate disciplinary action on those bringing its name to disrepute!