The 2023 People Democratic Party, PDP, candidate for Dekina/Bassa Federal Constituency, Usman Okai, on Saturday called on the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, to root out fake lawyers who undermine the integrity of Nigeria’s judicial system with their deceitful practices.

Okai said fake lawyers are everywhere, holding baseless press conferences to defend embattled former Governor of Kogi State, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

On Friday in Abuja, some lawyers led by one Emmanuel Agada accused the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, of disregarding valid court orders and breaching the constitutional rights of Nigerians.

Agada said: “As young lawyers, we envisage a judiciary where justice is not only done but manifestly seen to be done. It is in our patriotic quest to always pursue ventures that guarantee an independent judiciary that dispenses justice without fear nor favour that we formed this civil society of lawyers.”

Reacting to the development, Okai said the NBA must launch a thorough investigation into the duplicitous practices of the concerned lawyers, whose conduct he said tarnishes the reputation of the legal profession.

According to Okai: “The National Judicial Council, NJC, also bears the responsibility of cleansing our legal system of individuals who treat it as nothing more than a marketplace.

“In the realm of law, the term “lawyer” has been reduced to a mere facade, devoid of any substantial practice or ethical integrity.

“These so-called legal practitioners are nothing more than mercenaries for hire, prostituting their services to the highest bidder without a second thought to justice or morality.

“Instead of advocating for justice, individuals like Olukayode deserve commendation for daring to challenge the status quo.

“The alleged court order was obtained through fraudulent means, a blatant mockery of justice.

“No decree can shield criminals like Yahaya Bello, who have shamelessly pillaged our state coffers, from facing the consequences of their actions.

“It is imperative that the international community, including nations like the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and China, dismiss the baseless pleas of these counterfeit lawyers and consign their letters to the oblivion they deserve.

“The whole Nigerians are well aware of Yahaya Bello’s fraudulent activities and must not be swayed by his desperate attempts to evade justice”.

Okai lamented that Kogi State has become a breeding ground for corruption, with unscrupulous individuals shamelessly exploiting its resources for personal gain.

He noted that ‘rampant bribery and corruption’, exemplified by the lavish expenditures on faceless civil society organizations, obscure lawyers, and self-proclaimed pundits, are emblematic of the decay within the society.

“Yahaya Bello, a former governor notorious for his disregard for the rule of law, has transformed Kogi State into his personal fiefdom, appointing cronies as judges and subverting the judiciary to serve his own interests.

“It is incumbent upon the Inspector General of Police and the Department of State Security to root out these fake lawyers, who undermine the integrity of our judicial system with their deceitful practice.”

Speaking further, he said the pervasive culture of legal malpractice and political corruption in Kogi State demands immediate action from both domestic and international institutions.

“We must not allow the sanctity of justice to be defiled by mercenaries masquerading as lawyers, nor permit unscrupulous politicians to trample upon the rule of law for their personal gain,” he added.

EFCC vs Yahaya Bello: Root out ‘fake’ lawyers – Okai urges NBA

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