The President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata has said his administration will continue to fulfill its mandate by rising to the defence of the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary, and the sanctity of court orders.
His comments are in reaction to the apology by the Governor of Ebonyi State, Dave Umahi. Recall that Empire had reported that the NBA President had asked the governor to apologise after his comments on the judgement of Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo.
He had said the NBA “condemns without equivocation, Umahi’s unfortunate diatribe which, if it had emanated from an average litigant, would still have been regarded as shocking but coming from one who occupies the exalted office of a State Governor, is nothing short of a national embarrassment.”
But in a series of tweets on Thursday, the NBA President said, “Now that the right thing has been done and the appeal process has been activated, we shall resume our backseat and allow the process to take its course.
“As far as the NBA is concerned, this brings an end to this unfortunate episode, but we hope that important lessons have been learnt”.
The NBA blasted the Governor for refusing to obey a court order that asked him to vacate office as governor of the state. Umahi, however, reacted that he was not leaving office, despite the order by the court.
Akpata had in the statement described Umahi’s response as “impunity of the highest order and executive rascality taken too far.”
“Following that Statement, H.E. Engr. Umahi made extensive efforts to reach me. In the course of our conversation, I reiterated that the NBA has no interest in the case other than to ensure that the sanctity of the judicial system is protected & the rule of law is respected.
“In line with our demands, H.E. Engr. Umahi addressed a cross-section of Ebonyi State citizens. He unreservedly apologised for his comments, clarified his intentions and, very important too, called for calm from his supporters while urging them to refrain from denigrating the Judiciary.
“I will immediately transmit this apology to His Lordship, Hon. Justice Inyang Ekwo and My Lord the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria, the head of the Judiciary in Nigeria, urges them to accept the same.
“I must restate for the sake of emphasis that there is a well-established procedure for challenging unfavourable decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction and the NBA under”, he added.