According to a newspaper report, some lawyers, on Sunday, showed interest in a petition seeking to strip the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, of the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).
The petition, registered by a lawyer, Izu Aniagu, on change.org, had received 362 signatures as at 7:26p.m., on Sunday.
The petitioner said, among others, that Malami unilaterally deleted the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, RPC, which provides for stamp and seal as well as bar practice fee for government lawyers.
According to Izu, the AGF had no such power.
Reacting to the story, Social Economic Consultant Iyabo Awokoya reacted to the issue raised by the lawyer in court.
According to her; What on earth is wrong with our ‘professionals’ for crying out loud? Haba! Talk of a hare-brained response and cowardly as well. Why not present your matter in court? Why this underhand plan to strip a SAN serving Government as the Chief law officer of the nation of his title?
When he was made AGF, did he go their to serve the interest of the NBA or to serve Government? Can his actions as AGF then ever earn him opprobrium as a lawyer? Who is his master presently? I am not sure I understand the logic of Malami in making his proclamation and I would love to see it challenged in court.
To me nothing should be wrong in ensuring that only lawyers can practice and a rule in our practice laws that says lawyers should have a stamp does not seem wrong in my view, but since Malami has done something supposedly within his powers and contrary to an existing law, ONLY the courts can reconcile his action or abolish his action if in conflict with the existing law. How would two bodies of lawyers (AGF & NBA) then expect to resolve the conflict outside the courts? Stripping him of his SAN is a judgment already
And the NBA does not have this powers to initiate it because they cannot be a judge in their own cause: “Nemo judex in causa sua.” Should we even be telling NBA this? Haba.
Can the court be the judge over this to strip Malami off his SAN title has prescribed by the petition?