From Folorunsho Alu, Kano
The umbrella body of legal practitioners, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Kano state branch has revealed that contempt proceedings had been initiated against two senior lawyers over unprofessional conduct.
The body alleged that, the duo of Okechukwu Nweze and Ken Obi, in the presence of a magistrate, during court proceedings, engaged in verbal altercation, which escalated into a scuffle and later into a fray, when the presiding magistrate issued an order directing their temporary detention.
Kano State branch of the NBA expressed dismay over the physical brawl involving the senior lawyers, while appearing before a Senior Magistrate’s Court in the state, on Wednesday, February 1, 2017.
According to a statement signed by Ibrahim Mukhtar and Yusuf AbdulSalam, chairman and publicity secretary respectively, disclosed that the branch will refer the matter to its Disciplinary Committee for the duo to state their case, in the spirit of fair-hearing, pending when proper action would be taken in accordance with rules and laws guiding the profession.
“The branch wishes to assure the public that this kind of conduct does not in any way represent the disposition of lawyers, and that other members of the profession are as embarrassed as members of the public with this display of indiscipline.”
“It is to be noted also that the legal profession is imbued with enough internal regulatory and disciplinary mechanisms to tackle such behaviours, and the branch will not waste time in addressing this incident”.
“Ours is a profession steeped in knowledge, discipline, self-respect, reciprocal respect and respect for rules and regulations guiding every aspect of our demeanors. We will not tolerate any attempt to ridicule or bring the legal profession to disrepute,” It would be recalled that on August 16, 2010, one Mr. Okechukwu Nwaeze appeared before a Kano magistrate court for inflicting bodily harm on a bank manager then attached to Intercontinental Bank Plc, named Mrs. Omolara Dilibe, while on official duty.
Reports then disclosed that, the incident occurred on 22nd July, 2010 along Sarkin Yaki road of Kano metropolis, the police arrested, detain and subsequently prosecuted Nwaeze.
The police dragged Nweze before magistrate Abba Kabara, Nwaeze pleaded not guilty to the charges of assault, criminal force, and causing hurt contrary to section 264, 262 and 282 of the penal code leveled against him by police prosecutor, inspector Bashir Abubakar.
It would further be recalled that on Wednesday, July 15, 2015 Justice Mohammed Yahya of the Kano state high Court, Gezawa division ruled that the disciplinary committee of the Nigeria Bar Association,( NBA) should proceed to investigate one barrister Okechukwu Nwaeze over unethical practice.The court said, Nwaeze, had acted in a manner described by the court as “unethical and overzealous”.