By Ise-Oluwa Ige
ABUJAâ€”The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Michael Kaase Aondoakaa, SAN, yesterday turned the valedictory court session of the immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi to a â€˜battle groundâ€™.
The cause of the disagreement between the two was the alleged failure of ailing President Umaru Musa Yarâ€™Adua to activate section 145 of the 1999 constitution which ensures legal transfer of presidential powers to his Vice, Jonathan Goodluck to avert vacuum in governance and constitutional crisis.
While Aondoakaa criticized the NBA for taking out a writ against the Federal Government over the failure of
Yarâ€™Adua to hand-over powers on the account of his ill-health, NBA blamed Aondoakaa for over heating the polity by not giving Mr President the correct legal advice.
According to the NBA, it warned yesterday that the nation, as things presently, is sitting on a keg of gun
powder and that he should use his good office to prevail on the cabal making things difficult for the country to move forward so that the country would not disintegrate.
But the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria represented by a one-time President of the NBA, Chief Oluwole Olanipekun, SAN, yesterday toed a middle course.
The Body which specifically warned members of the bar against making comments on life issues which are still before the court said continuing with the practice could bring disrepute to the legal profession.
The atmosphere was charged yesterday as NBA members were apparently divided into three groups over the absence of President Yarâ€™Adua in the country.
But all of them agreed yesterday at least on one issue to the effect that the retired Justice Kutigi was a fine gentleman, an excellent jurist and a disciplined legal minds whose judgments had, in no small measure, developed the nationâ€™s jurisprudence.
The Attorney-General of the Federation, Chief Aondoakaa drew the battle line yesterday when he said: I must comment on the need for our professional association, the NBA to be more circumspect in its involvement in the resolution of political matters within the polity.