A frontline legal luminary, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, has petitioned the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA’s Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, against the Chairman, Code of Conduct Tribunal, CCT, Danladi Umar.
Agbakoba, in the petition, gave reasons why the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee should direct that the name of Danladi Umar be struck out of the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.
Agbakoba’s petition reads:
The Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa v. FRN (2017) LPELR-43391 (CA) held that allegations of misconduct against a serving Judicial officer must first be referred to and handled by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“It is only after the NJC has entertained and made a finding or pronouncement on the allegation against a Judicial officer and recommended to the President or Governor as the case may be, the removal of such judicial officer, and the recommendation is accepted and acted upon by the appropriate authority, that the prosecuting agencies of the Federal Government can proceed against such judicial officer to make him face the full wrath of the law. Mr. Danladi Umar knew the state of the law yet acted otherwise. Mr Umar’s misconduct has created a constitutional crisis and brought great embarrassment to the Legal profession.
On January 23, 2019, the Code of Conduct Tribunal of which Mr. Danladi Umar is Chairman issued an Exparte Order which on its face is clearly defective having not set out on record the Counsel that made the application.
This gives the impression the CCT may have drawn up the Application on itself. This led the President of Nigeria to purportedly suspend the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Honourable Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onnoghen and purportedly appoint an Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, Hon. Justice Tanko Mohammed, as the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria. Mr Umar’s misconduct has created a constitutional crisis and brought great embarrassment to the Legal profession.
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar is on trial at the Federal High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja for allegedly demanding a bribe of N10million from one Mr. Rasheed OwolabiTaiwo in 2012.
The alleged demand was made in relation to a case (CCT/ABJ/03/12) involving Mr. Taiwo, an offence contrary to Section 12(1) (a) and (b) of the Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Act, 2003.
The Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Mr. Danladi Umar not being a Judicial Officer is subject to the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee.
In the light of these violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct, we pray the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee direct that the name of Mr. Danladi Umar be struck out of the Roll of Legal Practitioners in Nigeria.