Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Joseph Daudu, SAN, has warned lawyers and practitioners in the media who have been commenting on the Supreme Court grant of stay of proceedings on the case against Senate President, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, using “uncouth language” to beware of being held contemptuous of the highest court in the country.
Daudu, yesterday, in a statement signed by him expressed surprise that some lawyers were quoted in newspaper reports as describing the decision of the Supreme Court as ‘illegal’, a position that was almost sacrilegious to take in the nation’s justice system.
“That is most unfortunate as decency and elementary regard for the finality of the decisions of the Supreme Court should restrain every citizen of this country, particularly a legal practitioner, from using such base and scurrilous language against the highest court of the land.
“It is a known legal axiom that a decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria cannot be illegal in any form or manner as it is binding on all persons and authorities in this country. If a person is aggrieved
by the decision of the court, the only approach is to wait for an opportunity to arise and such a person can ask the Court to overrule itself or depart its earlier decision,” he stated.
The fiery lawyer warned that “no amount of political inclination or rascality should prompt or compel a lawyer or even a layman to employ such uncouth language against the Supreme Court of Nigeria.”
He warned that the lawyers who have been passing negative comments on the decision of the Supreme Court are “treading dangerously on boundaries of contempt of the Court. It is obvious that this orchestrated backlash against a correct decision of the Court is aimed at intimidating the Court and may the day never come when such a hallowed Court will succumb to mob action or intimidation.”
He further warned that he might be compelled to bring contempt proceedings against all the commentators who by their actions are seeking to prejudice the final outcome of the appeal on the Saraki case in the Supreme Court, “through intimidation and skewed reportage of facts”.
He explained that, contrary to the impression that the panel of Supreme Court which rightly granted the stay of proceedings in the Saraki case is being disbanded because of a purported outcry against its ruling, saying it is the appellant, Saraki, who requested that a constitutional panel be constituted consisting of seven Justices instead of the five that heard the stay of proceeding motion.
“The request contained in paragraph 2 of Saraki’s brief of argument is in line with Sections 233 (2) (b) and 234 of the 1999 constitution.
“Normally, and most lawyers should know this; when a request for a panel of 7 Justices is made in a paragraph in the brief of argument, it is only the Chief Justice of Nigeria ( who is presently out of the country) that can constitute such a panel. It is therefore most
mischievous, to use the platform of a newspaper to peddle such misinformation of grave proportions”, he argued.

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