How Code Of Conduct Bureau Lawyer Backed Plaintiff’s Position
There was a mild drama at Court 5 of National Industrial Court on Monday as a lawyer representing Code of Conduct Bureau suddenly switched to file application in support of the claimants.
A non-governmental organization had taken the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and CCB to court to stop the return to office of the Bureau Acting Secretary, Mr Folasade Kolawole.
She was earlier recalled within the civil service rule and associated extant regulations.
The lawyer represented the CCB in a case in which the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and the Acting Secretary of the CCB are first and third respondents.
The defendants had moved a motion challenging the jurisdiction of the court and questioned the improper filing of names by the claimant which they said, implied that there is no proper body before the court.
As the defendants were making representation on the preliminary objection, the CCB lawyer jumped up and said he has a counter affidavit directly against the position of fellow defendants and his own employer the CCB.
Rather than support his employer whom he represented as a defendant lawyer, the defendant lawyer advanced position similar to that of the claimants, positing that the claimants’ position should be considered.
The lawyer Usman Mohammed went on to support the position of the claimants, insisting that his employer, the SGF was wrong to have recalled the Acting Secretary.
The Judge surprised at the turn of event then asked how such statement relates to the preliminary objection raised by the defendants and whether he represents the defendants or the claimants.
While the judge ruled the lawyer USMAN MOHAMMED out of order, the matter is reported to be generating disquiet within the Abuja chapter of the Nigeria Bar Association whose member described the conduct as a unprofessional misconduct and sanctionable within the bar code of ethics.
It was also learnt that the lawyer is facing DISCIPLINARY action from both the management of CCB and the office of the SGF, which supervises the CCB.
The judge subsequently adjourned the judgment on the preliminary objection to JANUARY 10th.