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Maikyau —Nigerian Bar boss flays Kano judges for conflicting orders



President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN | Chief Judge of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, has lambasted judges of the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court for issuing conflicting court orders respecting the stool of the Emir of Kano.

Maikyau made the remarks in a statement over the orders emanating from the courts, dated 29 May 202.

He said those conflicting orders brought disgrace and shame to the legal profession, exposing it to public ridicule.

How it all started

Recall that Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) reported on May 23, 2024, that the Kano State Governor, Abba Kabir Yusuf, signed into law a Kano State House of Assembly Bill.

The Bill nullified the four Emirate Councils created by former governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The Law effectively abolished the establishment of five Emirate Councils in the ancient city of the state.

Thus, after wandering for five years, Muhammadu Sanusi II re-ascended the throne as Emir of Kano.

Shortly after the governor made the pronouncement, a Federal High Court sitting in Kano ordered him not to issue certificate of recognition to Sanusi.

The Court’s order was a move to stop Sanusi II from resuming office as the Emir of Kano.

Shortly thereafter, another Kano court gave another interim injunction, ordering the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Muhammad Hussain Gumel, to immediately evacuate Aminu Bayero from the palace where he is currently residing.

The court, presided over by Justice Amina Adamu Aliyu, issued the injunction on May 27, 2024.

It also restrained Bayero and four other dethroned emirs from parading themselves as emirs pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed by the applicants.

However, before the order could be executed, another Kano court issued another order.

The later order restrained the state government from dissolving the five emirates created by former administration.

Kano Police authorities acquiesced, saying they will enforce the court order.

The Commissioner of Police made the disclosure while briefing newsmen at police headquarters in on Saturday.

The judicial imbroglio evidently forced Maikyau, a Senior Advocate, to wade in.

Maikyau reacts

In view of the conflicting court orders, Maikyau said:

“I must say, without any equivocation, that the conducts of counsel and the Courts in the handling of the proceedings which culminated in the orders issued by the Federal High Court, the Kano State High Court and again the Federal High Court, in circus, have brought utter disgrace and shame to the profession — have exposed the entire legal profession in Nigeria to public ridicule and opprobrium.

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“The damage is one that would take the legal profession a long time to recover from. It is unfortunate and was totally uncalled for.”

“Completely unacceptable”

Maikyau, therefore, deemed it an anathema that court processes would be reduced to a leven of cash and carry on a matter as puny as chieftaincy dispute.

He stated: “For a country whose legal resources and expertise have for several decades been exported and positively impacted not only the African continent but the world at large, it is completely unacceptable that the processes of our courts would be deployed in the manner we have witnessed in the last couple of days, on a subject matter that is as clear as chieftaincy dispute.

“This is a subject that has been sufficiently dealt with by legislations and case law, leaving no one confused about the jurisprudence on the subject — both procedural and substantive.”

Maikyau demanded an urgent need to scrutinize the professional conducts of both Counsel and the Judges involved.

This, he said, will enable the relevant bodies or institutions to determine the culpability or otherwise of the judges.

The NBA boss wanted the judges to be scrutinised from an ethical and professional standpoint.

He called on respective heads of the affected courts to take immediate steps to investigate the conduct of the judges.

He urged them to find possible abuse of their offices and file a report with the National Judicial Council (NJC).

Maikyau further demanded necessary action against the judges if any of them is indicted.

Maikyau threatens action against lawyers

The NBA President assured that the Bar will investigate the conducts of the counsel involved in the affected cases.

If found wanting, NBA will “commence disciplinary action against them before the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee,” he said.

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He has directed the NBA Ethics/Disciplinary Committee to invite affected counsels for preliminary investigations.

“NBA shall continue to stand for and protect the integrity, welfare and independence of the Bar and the Judiciary.

“We shall not hesitate to call out any Judge or counsel, who engages in any conduct that is capable of bringing the legal profession to disrepute.

“I have consistently maintained that the institution of the Judiciary must be guarded jealously by all (both within and outside the legal profession) including the other arms of Government (Executive and Legislature).

“[This is] because the existence, peace, growth, development of any nation is intricately connected with the primary responsibility of the judiciary which is the dispensation of Justice,” he warned.

According to Maikyau, “the legal profession as a whole (Bench and Bar) must at all times, resist any attempt to compromise its independence…

“When this is allowed, we will fail in our noble call and assignment of providing direction to the people and advancing the cause of our nation within the confines of the rule of law.

“The respect in which the legal profession in any country is held, is the best indicator of the freedom enjoyed by that country,” he added.

Maikyau, in conclusion, demanded that erring members of the profession be brought to book.

This, he noted, will help regain the Bar its respect to lead Nigeria to its pride of place in the comity of nations.

Nigerians react

A lawyer, Barrister Ifeanyi Ejiofor, condemned the judges for conflicting court orders and the attending bazaar.

Ejiofor urged Maikyau to follow his “profound pronouncement” with action, “because enough should be enough”!

He said: “Harvest of conflicting court orders and bazaar of a sort.

“Nigeria Bar Association to wield big hammers on those adjudged culpable.

“Nigerian Judicial process is… on a crossroad, something urgent need to be done to salvage this sacred institution.

“The intervention of the President of Nigeria Bar Association on the current drama and mockery of judicial process going on in Kano, is timely.”

He added: “The damage is one that would take the legal profession a long time to recover from it is unfortunate and was totally uncalled for.

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“Let action follow this profound pronouncement because enough should be enough!”

Another observer, Slemto, added:

“Nothing is left of Nigeria judiciary. “Nigeria judiciary is the most corrupt institution in Nigeria.

“The Judiciary that is supposed to be the last hope of common Man has collapsed.”

In the meantime, Diaspora Digital Media (DDM) has just been informed that the chief justice of Nigeria (CJN), Olukayode Ariwoola, has waded into the judicial confusion raging in Kano.

Ariwoola, it was gathered, summoned the Chief Judges of the Federal High Court and the Kano State High Court.

DDM learnt that Ariwoola summoned them over the conflicting interim orders on the emirship dispute in Kano.

Read the details below:

CJN summons judges over conflicting orders on Kano Emirship dispute

About Maikyau

Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau is a prominent figure in the legal field. Here are some key points about him:

Background and Education

Born on February 6, 1965, in Kebbi State, Nigeria, Maikyau is a distinguished Nigerian legal practitioner.

He obtained his bachelor’s degree in law from Ahmadu Bello University, Kaduna State, in 1989.

Maikyau was called to the bar on December 12, 1990.

Career and Achievements

In July 2022, he achieved a significant milestone by being elected as the 31st President of the Nigerian Bar (NBA).

During the NBA election, Maikyau surpassed his rivals Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) and Jonathan Taidi.

As NBA President and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Maikyau has demonstrated excellence in legal practice.

Leadership Role

Maikyau leads the legal community in Nigeria, advocating for justice, professional standards, and legal reforms.

His journey to the NBA presidency reflects dedication, competence, and the trust placed in him by his peers.

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