NBA Condemns Minister's Offensive Comments Against Judge - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Friday, November 15, 2019

NBA Condemns Minister's Offensive Comments Against Judge



The Nigeria Bar Association(NBA) on Friday condemned the alleged indicting and defamatory remarks by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva, against a Federal High Court Judge in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

NBA called on Sylva to withdraw the offensive statement and apologise to the learned trial Judge and the nation's judiciary, whom he has collectively and unjustifiably attacked.

The National Publicity Secretary, NBA, Kunle Edun, who  made this known in a release sighted by The Daily Crucible, also warned that the members of the Bar shall resist any attempt by the political class to subject judges and judicial institutions to public ridicule and opprobrium.

Kunle stated: "The attention of the NBA has been drawn to a statement made by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr. Timipre Sylva while featuring as a guest on a programme on Channels Television yesterday, the 14th day of November, 2019. 

"While commenting on the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting at Yenegoa wherein the Court delivered a judgment in the case filed by Senator Heineken Lokpobri and cancelled the Bayelsa State APC Primaries, Mr. Timipre Sylva made some indictive and defamatory remarks about the person of the Honourable Judge of the Federal  High Court who presided over the case. Mr. Sylva was  unsparing in his insult on the learned trial Judge. 

"The Nigerian Bar Association considers the statement made by Mr. Timipre Sylva as most unfortunate,  uncalled for and unbecoming of a Minister of the Federal Republic of  Nigeria. As a one time State governor, Mr. Sylva is expected to appreciate the importance of the judiciary as an independent arm of government and the need to accord respect and dignity to the courts. 

"The general norm is for parties to appeal or challenge an order of court in the proper forum if a party is dissatisfied with same. Resorting to media campaign of calumny against a court of law is contemptuous and not a hallmark of civility.

"The NBA demands that Mr. Timipre Sylva withdraws the offensive statement and apologise to the learned trial Judge and the nation's judiciary, who he has collectively and unjustifiably attacked.

"The NBA urges the judiciary to do the needful to protect its sanctify, integrity and honour by dealing decisively with cases of open contempt, without delay. 

"The NBA also urges the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami,SAN , who is the Chief Law Officer of the Federation not to be seen to encourage disrespect to the courts, by always do the needful in protecting the sanctity and respect for the decisions of courts and judicial officers.

"Nigerians (particularly political actors) must recognise that courts are necessary and vital instruments for entrenching social equilibrium and justice in a society. NBA therefore advises members of the various political parties to be well guided in their utterances concerning matters pending before or decided by courts. Politicians must not drag the courts and judicial officers into their dirty arena of bickering, name-calling and mudslinging.

"As a Bar, we shall resist any attempt by the political class to subject judges and judicial institutions to public ridicule and opprobrium. We do this in recognition of the fact that the protection of the independence and respect for the judiciary is necessary for a peaceful, orderly and united Nigeria."

From Mariam Yomi, SouthSouth Bureau, Asaba

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