BY SUNNY A. DAVID
Three Lawyers in Anambra State have been ordered by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to within 21 days respond to a petition written against them for “conduct unbecoming of legal practitioners”.
Their actions were said to be contrary to rules 1, 15(3) (6) (i), 24(3) and 33(1) of Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioner if proven to be true.
In three separate letters dated August 20 to the three Legal Practitioners, Barristers Okafo Onyilo, Ejike Efobi Esq. and G. T. Ozioko, they were ordered to file their responses in three copies accompanied by a witness statement of good selfsworn before a magistrate court, High Court, National Industrial Court or Federal High Court.
The letters signed by the General Secretary of the Association, Jonathan Gunu Taid, a copy of which was made available to our correspondent, further directed the accused legal practitioners to state their full names, Supreme Court enrolment number, contact address, phone numbers and email address in their responses to the petitions against them.
The letters directed the three legal practitioners to address their responses to “The General Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association, National Secretariat, Plot 1101 Cadestral Zone, Apo Business District, Abuja.”
The letters further stated that where a panel finds that a prima facie case has been made out against a respondent in reliance on the documents before it, it must expressly state so, with or without giving detailed reason of the basis of its decision.
In the petition the three legal practitioners were accused of knowingly and deliberately filing a motion to annoy, embarrass by absurdly imputing or reading their own meaning into the judgment of the Supreme Court for the purposes of misleading the High Court of Anambra State into rehearing the matter-subject of Supreme Court Judgment in Suit No: AA/53/75 and AA/11/77 (consolidated and SC 589) 2016, involving Ukpo and Abba communities.
It will be recalled that the Supreme Court had in its judgment under reference put to rest the protracted issues of land dispute between Ukpo and Abba community with a final decision that settled the Ukpo/Abba land dispute.