From Mustapha Adamu, Kano
Lawyers in Kano State, yesterday shunned the directives of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to boycott court sessions nationwide, in protest to the suspension of Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Walter Onnoghen, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Our correspondent, who went round some courts within Kano metropolis, observed that, virtually all courts including federal and state high courts, magistrate and shariah courts held sessions as usual across the state.,
It was also observed that proceedings held as usual, just as lawyers were sighted in the courts for proceedings.
At the Federal High Court, situated along Court Road in the Kano metropolis, our correspondent observed yesterday that, there were courts sessions in the three courts located within the same building.
Also, it was observed that, proceedings were ongoing in all the five state high courts within Audu Bako Secretariat.
A lawyer, Barrister Ibrahim Babangida, who spoke to our correspondent, said they decided to shun the directive issued by NBA on Monday, because the body did not provide cogent reason for them to boycott courts.
According to him, the suspension of Onnoghen was purely a government matter, as such, he did not see why lawyers would meddle in the issue.
He added that, they have clients who depend on their service to seek redress, and it is unconstitutional to abandon a client for any reason that did not affect the client.
“Legal practice is a service to humanity. We have clients that we agreed to render our services for. It is unconstitutional to abandon them and go for another thing that doesn’t affect them.
“The Onnoghen matter is before the court. Why should NBA meddle in it? Why should we be asked to remain at home? Who would give us the money to fend for our family? We are vehemently not in support of this directive and we will not comply,” said Babangida.
“As you can see, courts are open as usual. The lawyers were in courts. Even me I attended two court sessions”, said another lawyer, Barrister Abdullahi Karaye
Meanwhile, reacting to the matter, a legal practitioner, Ma’aruf Muhammad Yakasai, in a press conference yesterday, said they did not support the NBA decision because they had not received a correspondence to that effect.
According to him, lawyers in Kano State were not party to whether the embattled CJN is guilty or innocent since the case in before a competent court of law, adding that their primary responsibilities as lawyers was to serve their clients effectively.