The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has faulted media reports that it issued a query to a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Aliyu Umar, the lead prosecution lawyer in the trial of suspended Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Walter Onnoghen before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Kunle Edun, said in a statement yesterday that Umar was only required to respond to a petition written against him by another member of the NBA.
The statement read: “The attention of the Nigerian Bar Association has been drawn to misleading headlines published by some bloggers and national newspapers giving the erroneous impression to members of the public that the Nigerian Bar Association has issued a query against the person of Aliyu Umar (SAN) for appearing as a prosecuting counsel in the case against Justice Onnoghen at the Code of Conduct Tribunal.
“Please, be informed that the said publication is false and misleading. A proper perusal of the content of the letter of the General Secretary of the NBA, Jonathan Gunu Taidi, will bear this out.
“Any member of the NBA is entitled to send petitions to the association against any member who he perceives to have committed any infraction of our Rules of Professional Conduct.
“When such a petition is received, NBA forwards same to the colleague against whom it is written for his response. That is what the NBA has just done. It is a long standing standard procedure.
“The NBA in adhering to these laid down procedures is impervious to emotions or sentiments.
Therefore, it is misleading to say that NBA has issued a query against the learned silk. The NBA urges members to desist from spreading false news over a process that is at its preliminary stage.
“We should be properly advised and disregard any motive ascribed to the letter, particularly sensational headlines that are contrary to established facts.”