The Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch has issued a press release on the arbitrary use of judicial power by Magistrate Ibrahim Mohammed of zone 6 magistrate court abuja.
The statement as cited by Lex Community NG was signed by the secretary of the Branch, Prince Adebiyi Adetosoye and it states as follows;
PRESS RELEASE ON THE ABITRARY USE OF JUDICIAL POWER BY MAGISTERATE IBRAHIM MOHAMMED OF ZONE 6 MAGISTERATE COURT ABUJA.
The Attention of the Nigerian Bar Association Abuja (Unity Bar) has been drawn to a bizarre event that ensued between one of our member MR EBURU EKWE BARTH and a Magistrate wherein it was alleged that Mr EBURU EKWE BARTH interjected the Magisterate while delivering his ruling on an application before the court and the court in turn cited Mr Barth for contempt who was thereafter on the order of the Magisterate handcuffed and summarily sentenced to jail for 2 months and has since remanded at the correctional custody.
While the Nigerian Bar Association Abuja, (Unity Bar) condemns every unruly act or disrespect to the court, we however, find it extremely offensive and the highest level of abuse of judicial power to summarily sentence a lawyer to jail without giving him a fair hearing in a manner that is best described as a sentimental show of anger.
We also find it rather unfortunate that all attempts made by the NBA Abuja Branch to appeal to the Magisterate while the issue was still on-going to tender justice with mercy proved abortive.
The NBA has immediately filled an application to review the Court Order sentencing Mr. Barth to jail without fair and so far has assembled a team of over 20 eager lawyers offering to take on the matter pro bono.
The Bar has also reached out to the necessary judicial hierarchy to ensure that this arbitrary Order of court is reversed immediately.
We are at the moment articulating a petition against the Magisterate to be submitted to the FCT Judicial Service Commission to ensure that this trend is permanently put to a final stop.
We are currently battling with police brutality against lawyers and cannot allow our own institutions who should naturally be our ally’s in this fight and the last hope of the common man to turn itself into a tool for brutalization of lawyers.
The Nigeria Bar Association, Abuja (Unity Bar) hereby uses this opportunity to Appeal to all the Lawyers in the FCT to remain calm as we are on top of the matter and shall ensure that this arbitrary use of power by Magisterate Ibrahim Mohammed is curtailed. We shall keep you posted on the update.
Prince Adebiyi Adetosoye
Secretary NBA Abuja”