A civil society group, Center For Public Accountability rising from its 64th Extraordinary General Meeting has passed a resolution among others to send a petition against six legal practitioners to the Legal Disciplinary Committee for misconduct, and cyberbullying of judicial officers.
The group said, “We have compiled names of six lawyers to be submitted to the Disciplinary Committee with evidence of misconduct and cyberbullying of judges.
Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee of the Body of Benchers was established by Section 11 of the Legal Practitioners Act as amended by Decree No. 21 of 1994.
The committee functions include considerations and determinations of allegations of misbehaviour by persons whose names are on the roll in their capacity as legal practitioners. Appeals from their decisions lie to the Supreme Court. Section 9 of Decree 21 of 1994.
Akindele Olufemi-Lawson, Executive Director of the group made this known on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Public attention has shifted to the judiciary that is handling pre and post-election matters as different political parties and candidates are challenging election results across the country.
The group said this has brought unwarranted pressure and harassment to many judicial officers, particularly the Supreme Court Justices.
“We have noticed how some justices have been harassed in recent times because of their involvement in pre and post-election disputes. People have taken political battles from the street to the court with the plan to overrule and bring our court to disrepute. It is even incomprehensible that lawyers, who are supposed to know better, are also involved.” Olufemi-Lawson said.
The group said it penned the names of the six lawyers for passing disparaging comments at the judges and court and had equally submitted the names of those who are not lawyers to the security agents for investigation and possible prosecution.
“Enough is enough of how people always blame the judiciary for the mistake and misfortunes of politicians. It is inexplicable that some individuals have gone as far as posting pictures, profiles and phone numbers of the Supreme Court judges for people to call and shame them.
“Recently, a senior lawyer used crude words to describe the judgment of the Supreme Court, while another one posted a photo of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, in a wheelchair claiming that the Justice disguised himself at the airport, which he later pulled down with apologies.
And just last week, another senior lawyer delayed a Lagos-bound flight for his objection to the inauguration of President-Elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. “The group said.
The organisation said it will nonetheless strictly adhere to the disciplinary committee by not publishing the names of lawyers concerned until the committee begins its proceedings.
It said, “As a law-abiding non-profit making institution and corporate citizens, we will be guided by the committee guidelines before we release their names to the public since we have briefed our lawyers to submit our petition to the Disciplinary Committee.”
“We must ensure public accountability and as well protect the sanctity of the judiciary because an encumbered and endangered judiciary cannot ensure accountability and independence of the judicial process.
The group also said that the blanket accusation of corruption against the judiciary must stop. Stating that such accusation must be direct and specific, and any judge found wanting must be singularly dealt with with the full force of law.