Members of the Port-Harcourt branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Monday disrupted a session of the law body’s annual conference over an invitation extended to former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Ameachi to address them.
The placard-carrying protesters opposed Ameachi’s presence on the ground that Amaechi’s government shut courts in the state for one year during his tenure.
The protest degenerated into brawl when Ameachi, who was the co-chairman of the session, wanted to speak and another group of lawyers challenged the protesters.
For about 30 minutes, the NBA President, Augustine Alegeh (SAN) and security personnel had to plead with the protesters before order was restored and the continuation of the session, tagged: ” Public perception of lawyers; is the esteem justified?”
Expressing his disappointment, the chairman of the session, Governor Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, said: “It is sad that people who claimed to be learned gentlemen are irresponsible.”
Oshiomhole added: “This is the height of irresponsibility, lawyers shouting like touts. My privileges have been violated, the rules of the professional conducts thrown to the dust bin. I could not differentiate between the touts in motor park Benin City and the lawyers”.
Oshiomhole said that the scene must have been one of the most embarrassing moments for the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajana, who presented the lead paper.
In his remark, when he was allowed to continue, Ameachi said that while the disruption lasted he was telling his lawyer that it was politics and whether it would be proper to get others to disrupt any similar speech by his successor, Nyesom Wike.
Earlier, Justice Ajana had listed public perception of lawyers to include liar, encourage impunity, promoter of injustice, desirous of high legal fees, and arrogant,
While stating that the public perception must be taken seriously, Justice Ajana said that reputable lawyers all over the world are known for promoting fundamental rights.
Also in their contributions all the speakers agreed that negative public perception of lawyers erode confidence in the judicial system. They advised the lawyers to check the high legal fees and use their position as lawyers to improve the society.
Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew
Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.
Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.
The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis
“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”
Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.
However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.
The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.
Arsonists burn down LG secretariat, Magistrate Court in Anambra
Suspected arsonists have burnt down Idemili North Local Government secretariat in Ogidi and a Magistrate Court in the area.
Sources said the arsonists entered the premises on Sunday night to perpetuate the act, burning down all files, properties in the secretariat, including the secretariat building.
Videos and pictures circulating online showed that the entire buildings were reduced to rubbles, while vehicles parked inside the Local Government secretariat were also burnt to ashes.
The State Police Command has also confirmed the development, attributing it to unidentified arsonists.
DSP Toochukwu Ikenga, the spokesperson of the State Police Command said: “Yes, the incident was confirmed, and our men were there to restore normalcy.
“Right now, the fire has been put off, and calm has been restored to the area,” Ikenga said.
National Assembly transmits amended Electoral Act to Buhari
The National Assembly has transmitted the amended Electoral Act 2022 to the Presiden Muhammadu Buhari for assent.
The bill was transmitted to the Presidency on Friday.
Sources in the Presidency and the National Assembly confirmed the transmission.
A source in the Presidency, who spoke on the condition of anonymity as he had not been authorised to announce the development officially, said, “Yes, it has been transmitted. But wait till Monday when it may be announced when the President will sign it.”
Another source in the National Assembly said, “It was transmitted on Friday. I needed to confirm it before saying anything.”
It was further learnt that Buhari would sign the amendment ahead of primaries of political parties beginning next week.
The Senate and the House of Representatives had last week passed an amendment to the Act to recognise statutory delegates at primaries, congresses, and conventions of political parties.
The lawmakers particularly amended Section 84(8) of the Act to provide automatic or statutory delegates, ahead of the forthcoming party primaries, from where candidates would emerge for the 2023 general elections.
In March, the National Assembly had passed the bill for the Act while the President signed it into law.
While political parties are close to conducting primaries to elect candidates for the 2023 general elections, the Act did not allow members elected into public offices and executives of the parties, known as statutory delegates, to participate and vote in the conventions, congresses, or meetings of parties.
The chambers had described the omission as “a fundamental error.”
Without the provision by the law, Buhari; the Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo (SAN); members of the National Assembly, governors and their deputies, members of the State Houses of Assembly, chairmen of local government areas, councillors, executives of political parties, amongst others, would have been disenfranchised.
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