CASE SUMMARY OF:
Nigerian Bar Association v. Moses Odiri, Esq. & Anor (2007) - CA
1. Nigerian Bar Association
1. Moses Odiri, ESQ.
2. Andrew Oru, ESQ. Respondents
 8 NWLR (pt. 1035)
Court of Appeal
LEAD JUDGEMENT DELIVERED BY:
Umaru Eri, J.C.A
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Bank: Zenith Bank.
Name: Branham Paul Chima.
Account No.: 2178756839.
LAWYERS WHO ADVOCATED
FOR THE APPELLANT
FOR THE RESPONDENT
The complaints against the objectors/respondents are that both of them as counsel made several allegations of corruption against the person of Honourable Justice Muhammadu Uwais, Chief Justice of Nigeria, as published in Punch Newspaper of January 13, 2005, with intent to bring the judicial officer and the Supreme Court into disrepute, public odium thereby bringing dishonour to the Legal Profession all contrary to Rules 1, 14, 21 and 24 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession and section 12 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1990 as amended.
The second complaint against the objectors/respondents is that both as Counsel, on or about 9th day of March, 2005, acting in concert with other persons caused a false and unsubstantiated petition to be written to the Inspector-General of Police, against the person of Hon. Justice Muhammadu Uwais, Chief Justice of Nigeria and Hon. Justice E. A. Ejiwunmi, the Hon. Justice of the Supreme Court all with the intention of bringing the person(s) and the integrity of the judicial officers and the Supreme Court into disrepute thereby bringing dishonour to the Legal Profession all contrary to Rules 1, 14, 21 and 24 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the Legal Profession and section 12 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1990, as amended.
The third complaint against the objectors/respondents as legal practitioner jointly and severally as counsel on or about sometime in 2005 and 2006, made various comments in the newspaper and other publications with regards to matters pending in suit No. ID/828/2004 pending before Ikeja High Court thereby bringing dishonour to the Legal Profession all contrary to Rules 21 and 24 of the Rules of Professional Conduct in the legal profession and section 12 of the Legal Practitioners Act, 1990, as amended.
The Court of Appeal held,
"The allegations relate to nothing remotely criminal as submitted by the learned counsel to the respondents/objectors."
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It is trite, that courts, tribunals or committees, acting in quasi judicial capacity, like this committee, cannot and must not comment on or determine the merit of the substantive matter before it, in an interlocutory proceeding like this otherwise it would have acted prematurely. There is no way the issue raised here can be determined without touching on the merit of the complaints against the respondents. - Umaru Eri, J.C.A. Nigerian Bar Association v. Moses Odiri, Esq. & Anor (2007)
Law is dynamic and no court or tribunal should regard the rules of procedure as one that is immutable. Rules of procedure is made to guide the tribunal to conduct its matters in an orderly manner. Indeed, all procedure must conform to the basic rules of fair trial and fair trial includes the rules of fair hearing. Any rules of procedure which has the effect of shutting out a party from presenting his cases or inhibits counsel in presenting his cases to the best of his ability is inconsistent with the rules of fair hearing and section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. - Umaru Eri, J.C.A. Nigerian Bar Association v. Moses Odiri, Esq. & Anor (2007)
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