The Nigerian Bar Association - Security Agencies Relations Committee led by Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN paid a courtesy visit on the Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye SAN, yesterday, Tuesday, February 15, 2022. 

The Committee which was set up to smoothen the relationship between members of the legal profession and personnel of security agencies has, in the interest of the legal profession, began interfacing with various security agencies in the Country. 

At the meeting, Joe-Kyari Gadzama SAN thanked the Chairman for granting the NBA-SARC audience despite his tight schedule. Mr. Gadzama thereafter stated that he brought good tidings from the President of the Association and that there was an urgent need for a partnership between the Association and the ICPC. 

He also remarked that the Committee had observed that the ICPC did not have a considerable amount of clashes with lawyers; however, it would be beneficial to have a code of engagement for lawyers and members of the ICPC to observe. 

The Chairman, in response, thanked the Gadzama-led Committee for attending the meeting before remarking that the ICPC respects the rule of law and due process. He stated that it is the Commission’s tradition to work in line with the Constitution and other relevant laws. 

He particularly stated that the NBA would need to cleanse itself as lawyers may need to be trained on how to engage security personnel. He advised that measures should be taken against erring lawyers who invite agencies such as the ICPC into matters which are civil in nature. He mentioned that lawyers at times do things which they ought not to and would then give untrue accounts of their dealing with the ICPC to the NBA. 

The Chairman further noted that the NBA had been misled by its members in various instances and stated that in as much as the NBA-SARC seeks to work with security agencies, it must ensure that lawyers act in accordance with their status as ministers in the temple of justice. 

In conclusion, he remarked that he would be available to work with the Committee as may be required. 

After the Chairman’s response, members present were able to pose highly engaging questions. The most prominent question revolved around the need for lawyers to confirm the source of the funds used by Clients in paying for legal fees. 

The meeting came to an end after a quite lengthy deliberation between members of the NBA-SARC and staff of the ICPC. 

Present at the meeting were honourable Members of the Commission: Mrs. Olu Bukola Balogun, Mrs. Hannatu Mohammed, Mr. Chinda, Alhaji Abdullahi and Mr. Obioha Igwedibia; the secretary to the Commission; members of the NBA-SARC, Mr. Salman Alhaji Salman and Mr. Nnaemeka Emmanuel Otagburuagu; Chairman of the NBA-Bwari Branch, Mr. Monday Adjeh; the NBA-SARC liaison officer, Mrs. Rabiah A. Hassan; Representatives of other NBA-Branches in the Federal Capital Territory and other distinguished persons.

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