Bayelsa judgment review: Adegboruwa asks NBA to sanction lawyers

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has called on the Nigerian Bar Association to sanction lawyers involved in the application that sought the review of the Supreme Court’s February 13, 2020 verdict on the Bayelsa State governorship election.

In its February 13 verdict, the Supreme Court nullified the election of David Lyon of the All Progressives Congress as the governor of Bayelsa State.

The decision case about 24 hours to Lyon’s inauguration as the governor of Bayelsa State.

As a result of the Supreme Court’s verdict, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, who came second in last November’s Bayelsa State governorship election, Duoye Diri, has since been declared winner of the election by the Independent National Electoral Commission and sworn in as governor.

Displeased with the turn of events, Lyon and the APC approached the Supreme Court for a review of the verdict.

But the apex court, in a verdict on Wednesday, threw out the application, describing it as “vexatious, frivolous and a gross abuse of court process.”

The court awarded N30m fine each against Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), who represented Lyon; and Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN), who represented the APC.

Reacting to the court’s verdict on Wednesday, Adegboruwa said the fact that the Supreme Court awarded personal costs against Babalola and Olanipekun clearly showed that they were engaged in professional misconduct, for which the NBA ought to punish them.

Adegboruwa, in a statement in which he hailed the Supreme Court’s decision, said, “The next stage is for the NBA to take the court proceedings and proceed against the counsel involved in all these applications, given the personal costs awarded against them by the court, which is a clear indication of professional misconduct on their part.

“And if counsel in the pending cases cannot take a hint from today’s proceedings to withdraw their applications, they should be disbarred. I am very worried about the negative effect these applications have had on the image of the judiciary and the legal profession.”

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