Court’s closure: NBA threatens Imo AG, others with sanction
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has threatened sanctions against the Attorney General of Imo State and others involved in activities that led to the recent closure of the Owerri Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
NBA President Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) said it was sad “to note that our colleagues, who ought to know better, were complicit in the shameless attempt at undermining the authority of the court”.
Maikyau spoke in Abuja at an event marking the 2022/2023 Legal Year of the NICN.
The NBA president recalled that on June 3, four workers of the Owerri Division of NICN were attacked and whisked away by anti-kidnap squad of the Nigerian Police while performing their lawful duty.
The court workers were said to be executing the garnishee order absolute made by the court in a suit between Prince Eze Madumere v. Imo State governor, the state Attorney General, the Imo State government and a new generation bank on 27 May 2022.
“Subsequent to the orders of this court aforestated, the Attorney General of Imo State, on June 3, 2022, approached the Imo State High Court and obtained an order ex parte against the bank and others, which restrained the respondents therein, including the bank, which was already under an order of the National Industrial Court to pay money to Prince Eze Madumere from complying with the garnishee order of this court.
“With the said ex parte order of the High Court of Imo State, the execution of the judgment of the National Industrial Court was frustrated.
“The security detail of the presiding judge were withdrawn, and a demonstration held in front of His Lordship’s premises.
“This led the honourable, the President of the court, to direct, and justifiably so, the immediate closure of that division.
“The NBA condemned and still condemns, in the strongest terms, such a display of Executive recklessness by the Government of Imo State, aided by the Nigerian Police Force.”
Maikyau, who emphasised the importance of rule of law in the sustainable of democracy and societal development, assured Nigerians that the NBA would continue to protect the Judiciary against attacks by politicians.
He said: “To my colleagues at the Bar, I wish to repeat my warning to us, that there will be consequences for our actions and inactions that threaten to ridicule our profession. Nation