By Femi Ogunshola
Dr Kayode Ajulo, a Constitutional Lawyer has backed the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau on plans to sanction lawyers criticising the judiciary over some judgments
Ajulo gave his support in a statement in Abuja on Saturday
This is coming against the backdrop of the Supreme Court judgment that declared Sen. Ahmad Lawan, President of the Senate as the candidate of APC for Yobe North Senatorial District.
The Apex court also declared Sen, Godwin Akpabio as the Senatorial candidate of the party in Akwa Ibom.
Ajulo said the NBA President should not be accused of silencing lawyers, adding that his position was for lawyers to distinguish between criticism and critique.
He added that abusing and casting aspersion on the judiciary and the judges of supreme court on such matters would not augur well.
Maikyau had said lawyers criticising the judiciary would be sanctioned, while urging the court to ensure such lawyers faced the consequences as the NBA would take steps in bringing the lawyers to book.Ajulo said such statements coming from the leadership of the Bar was expected, adding that the NBA President should be commended.
According t him, whatever the circumstances, the Judiciary should not be thrown to the dogs, there are prescribes and noble routes to air one’s views as a free citizen with the freedom of speech.
“Yes, we cannot appeal against the judgment of the Supreme Court and I maintain, we are of noble profession and what is expected of us is to critique the judgment.”
He urged lawyers not take the unholy voyage of criticism that would do no one any good as canvassed by the NBA President.
“We all should know that the immeasurable commitment and service of this noble profession is why well meaning Nigerians still have hope in this our challenged country.
“This is why we must always guide the institution jealously at all times, irrespective of the noise of those who want to influence the profession through emotional means.”
He said in leveraging the prevailing situation of the country, the lawyers should support the law to always stand firm and take its course as expected.
He said if politicians must respect the law, the lawyers must first make the law respectable through their actions, adding that lawyers remained
the custodians of the law.
He urged lawyers to do what is correct and right by law and not what they would like.
The apex court had also issued a warning in a statement titled, “Be mindful of unwarranted attacks on judicial officers.”
In the statement, the Apex Court warned purveyors of such attacks on the judiciary and Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola to desist from such attack
The statement especially warned the United States-based Prof Farooq Kperogi and Progressive Minds Forum, to desist and channel such energies to political parties which “fail to organise themselves well.”(NAN)