A veteran journalist and lawyer, Dr. Richard Akinola, has faulted lawyer Femi Falana (SAN) over his statement that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) should discipline all lawyers in the Buhari administration over conduct of officers of the Department of State Service (DSS) at a Federal High Court in Abuja.
In his reaction on Saturday, Mr Akinola said, “With the greatest respect to my good friend, Femi Falana, SAN, l beg to disagree with him in respect of his statement against the Vice president on the Sowore saga.
“It’s necessary to put things in proper perspective. There is only one presidency. By my understanding, the VP cannot be issuing statements on an issue when there is a sitting president.
“Recall that when Osinbajo was acting as president and similar incident happened at the National Assembly, he took action. The invasion of National Assembly started at about 7am, and by 10.30 am, Lawal Daura had been fired as the DG of DSS.
“So, it would be unfair to attack the VP on this matter because he is just the VP. The buck stops at the president’s table. If in the president’s wisdom, he refused to take action, he must have his reason. Ours is to speak out for him to take action,” he said.
Similarly, the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) described as mischievous the comments credited to Mr. Falana.
In a press statement signed by Peter Oladele, Publicity Secretary of ISD, the group said lawyers in the Buhari administration had not acted in any unprofessional capacity to warrant any disciplinary action.
Besides, the group noted that regarding the Vice President in particular it was an unrealistic expectation to require him to respond officially on the misconduct of the DSS agents because the executive powers of the Federal Government are vested only in the person of the President not the Vice President or the lawyers in the Cabinet.
“Besides the President who has the Executive powers in the 1999 Nigerian Constitution as Amended, another person who has responsibility on this matter is the Attorney-General of the Federation,” the group explained, adding that the facts were well known to Mr. Falana.
The group also recalled that while the VP was acting for President Buhari and the DSS invaded the National Assembly, Prof Osinbajo acted in defense of rule of law and democracy in the country by removing the head of the organization and condemning the invasion.
“why does Mr. Falana now think the VP or the lawyers in the cabinet could not advise the President to act in a similar way, after all, it is the same Buhari Presidency?
“Mr Falana is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria and should know that Section 11 of the NBA’s Legal Practitioners Act has specific penalties for unprofessional conduct and there is no provision for disciplining lawyers for the actions of other people,” the group said.
“So how do you call for disciplinary actions against colleagues who have not acted in any unprofessional capacity or have not breached the rules of professional conduct?” The group asked.
The group then advised Mr Falana to rid himself of any emotional outbursts that could overshadow what is otherwise a noble work he is doing on the Sowore matter, stressing that, as a senior lawyer he should know who has what powers and where the buck stops in a Presidential system of government such as Nigeria is currently practicing.
“As a group we have condemned the actions of the DSS and have called for the immediate release of Mr Sowore because the court has ordered his release. We also condemn the re-arrest of Mr Sowore by the DSS because, it only puts Nigeria in bad light. And we should not use this unfortunate incidents to dent the image of lawyers in the Buhari cabinet”, it advised.
Facebook Shuts Down Nnamdi Kanu’s Page
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Thursday said the Facebook page of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has been shut down.
The group’s Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, in a statement, alleged that the action was taken by Facebook Nigeria who, it said viewed the page as a platform to exposing the ills in government.
It warned that Biafra had suffered greatly as a result of denial of media space in the late 60s, saying it could not afford to allow same to continue in the 21st century.
The statement reads in part: “We can confirm that Facebook Nigeria has shut down the page of our leader Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
“This is not unconnected with the fact that our leader’s page has become a rich resource for those determined to expose the evil regime in Nigeria and enthrone a better life for the masses.
“We mince no words when we say that Facebook Nigeria is more corrupt that the corrupt government they are seeking to protect.
“Biafra suffered immeasurably as a result of denial of media space in the late 60s a situation we are not prepared to allow in this 21st century.”
Amotekun: Osinbajo, South West Governors In Closed-Door Meeting
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is currently meeting with South-west governors in his office in Abuja.
The details of the meeting have not yet been made public. However, a source said the meeting would focus on the newly-formed South-west security outfit, Amotekun.
The federal government has declared the outfit, set up in December to combat rampant insecurity in the region, illegal. The announcement was made by the Attorney General and Minister for Justice, Abubakar Malami.
The declaration has been greeted with disapproval among groups and across southern Western part of the nation
Mr Malami and the Inspector General of the Police, Mohammed Abubakar, are attending the meeting.
Mr Osinbajo had earlier on Thursday chaired a meeting of the National Economic Council, which has all governors and some ministers and top government officials as members.
Armed Robbers Invade MTN Office In Kebbi
The Kebbi Police Command has confirmed the invasion of MTN office in Tudun Wada area of Birnin Kebbi by three armed robbers on Wednesday.
The Command Public Relations Officer, DSP Nafi’u Abubakar, confirmed the incident to newsmen in Birnin Kebbi on Thursday.
“Yes, the robbery took place and investigation has since begun,” he said.
Earlier, Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki, the MTN Manager in the state told NAN that the robbers stormed the shop around 2.pm on Wednesday and took away about N4.5 million.
“The armed robbers carried out the operation in less than five minutes when they stormed our office at around 2 pm, and carted away nothing less than N4.5 million , ” he said.
He explained that the three masked armed robbers arrived the office in a Toyota saloon car with Bauchi state number plate.
“On arrival, the robbers, armed with AK 47 ordered all the people outside the office to lay down while wielding their guns.”
He said that one of the robbers was left outside holding those laying down hostage at gun point.
Dasuki explained that the remaining two shot into the air immediately after they gained entry into the office and demanded for money.
He added that the robbers must have trailed one of the staff members from a bank, where he withdrew money for office transactions.
“As soon as they got into the office, they demanded for the money by asking where is the money, where is the money?
“They carted away the money in less than five minutes’ operation; they stole over N4.5 million,” the manager said.