A Group, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption (CSNAC) has asked the National Judicial Council, (NJC) to sanction the counsel to the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, for allegedly misleading him in his trial before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT).
The Street Journal recalls that CCT had summoned Saraki to face a 13-count charge of alleged false declaration of assets and wealth acquisition before and while in office as Kwara State Governor from 2003 and 2011.
CSNAC , which is a coalition of 150 civil society groups, in a statement issued on Sunday by its chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraj, alleged that Mssrs Joseph Daudu and Mahmud Magaji, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) and lead counsel to Saraki, wrongly advised their client not to honour the summons of the Tribunal and thereby, erred in law and so deserved to be punished by the NJC.
According to the statement, instead of advising his client to honour the CCT summons, Magaji, for instance, proceeded to the Federal High Court to seek an ex parte order to restrain the Tribunal from going ahead with Saraki’s arraignment.
It said Daudu, who undertook to produce Saraki on September 21, later approached the Court of Appeal where he unsuccessfully sought an ex parte order to prevent the Tribunal from sitting, same day the High Court refused to stop the Tribunal from sitting.
“In defending his action for treating the Code of Conduct with contempt in the circumstance, the Senate President disclosed to Nigerians that he did not appear at the Tribunal on the advice of his lawyers.
“Having betrayed their Oath as senior advocates by advising their client to treat the Code of Conduct Tribunal with disdain, they ought to be sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to other lawyers in the country.
“We are therefore compelled to request the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee to sanction the senior advocates who have been indicted by the senate president.
“Having led their client to defy the summons of the Code of Conduct Tribunal we urge the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee to sanction Messrs. Daudu and Magaji as their conduct is a total betrayal of the Oath taken by them as legal practitioners,’’ CSNAC said.
The group stressed in the petition that the NJC should discipline the Senate President’s two lawyers in order to serve as a deterrent to other lawyers who may in error advise their clients to contemptuously treat court orders.