Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Edo State, saturday asked all lawyers irrespective of political leanings to fight the persecution of its President, Mr. Paul Usoro by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Consequently, the association described the plan of the EFCC to prosecute Usoro as an unwarranted intrusion into the practice of law and the legal profession.
The Chairman of Edo NBA, Mr. Collins Ogiegbaen canvassed this position at the 2018 Young Lawyers Forum held in Benin City yesterday, asking legal practitioners “to choose professionalism over politics and stand with Usoro.”
Ogiegbaen said the EFCC should not be allowed to extend unwarranted and unconstitutional jurisdiction over the contractual relationship between a lawyer and his clients.
He said the EFCC should not also constitute itself to an auditor or regulator of legal fees earned by lawyers, warning that there “will be gradual erosion of the independence of legal practice and the judiciary is such action of the EFCC is allowed to fester.
“It is my position that inherent in the present charges and undertaking of EFCC is a deliberate and calculated attempt to denigrate the person of Usoro and the office of the National President of the NBA and bring it to disrepute as well as ridicule it for political ends.
“The EFCC is in serious breach and violation of the client-lawyer privileges,” the chairman said.