I will Hand over Corrupt Lawyers to Anti-corruption Agencies for Prosecution, Says NBA President-elect

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Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

The President-elect of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud, has said he will set up an anti-corruption commission that will investigate lawyers involved in judicial corruption and hand them over to anti-corruption agencies for prosecution.
Addressing journalists in Abuja wednesday, Mahmoud also called on the present administration to always obey courts orders.

According to him, the refusal to obey court orders is a deficit on the part of the present administration.

He said the association under his leadership would engage the government and ensure that all government agencies obey courts orders.

He said: “The NBA under my watch will set up anti-corruption commission charged with the responsibility to (i) identify all those invoked in the unwholesome and indeed criminal practice of judicial corruption, (ii) investigate same and refer the outcome to the relevant anti-corruption law enforcement agencies for prosecution, and other action they may deem fit to take in conjunction with the Chief Justice of Nigeria.”

In addition to the ongoing fight against corruption, he advised the federal government to initiate measures that seek to prevent corruption from occurring.

When asked how he intended to deal with senior lawyers often alleged to be involved in corrupt acts, he answered, “We will not tolerate senior lawyers undermining the fight against corruption but lawyers whether senior or junior must be allowed to carry out their responsibilities. But we will deal with any lawyers who violate the rules of professional conduct.”

He called on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to operate within the ambit of the law.

Mahmoud called on government to do more in ensuring security of lives and property.
He identified kidnapping, terrorism, insurgency, cybercrime and incessant clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers as the new faces of crime which had resulted in monumental loss of lives and properties and called on government to up its game in managing conflicts.

He said: “While we commend the efforts of the federal government in tackling the security challenges which we are facing, we urge the government to spare no efforts at ensuring peace, security, law and order in Nigeria.”

He also called on Chief Joe Kyari-Gadzama (SAN) who contested the election with him to put the elections behind him and team up with him to move the bar forward.

“No reasons to call for cancellation. We are happy to work with Gadzama and every lawyer. We are calling on Gadzama to accept the results in good faith,” he added.