Posted by News Express | 3 June 2013 | 3,937 times
The N10.2 billion libel suit slammed on the Anti-Corruption Network led by a former member of the House of Representatives, Otunba Dino Melaye, by Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN), will most likely be a grand legal battle.
While Adoke, who sued Melaye before an Abuja High Court in the Nigerian capital city, has raised an 11-man legal team to fight his cause, Adoke’s worries have become reduced following the offer by 10 Senior Advocates (SANs) and 87 other lawyers to defend pro bono.
This is even as Melaye told journalists that neither himself nor his group has been served the court notice. He described the offer of free legal services as a justification of the alleged abuse of office by the AGF.
Hear the radical ex-lawmaker: “It shows that those in the legal profession have recognized the abuse of office and flagrant disregard for the rule of law by the AGF. Many of the lawyers complained of the conduct of the AGF and have vowed to furnish this case with additional information and obvious cases of abuse of office by Adoke.
“The bastardisation, monetisation and commercialisation of the legal profession must stop. Conflict of interest must become history. Public interest must be placed above selfish or personal interest in the discharge of official responsibilities in the office of the AGF. The battle to salvage our country from all forms of abuse of office is a battle of no retreat, no surrender.”
The Anti-Corruption Network (ACN) had in a petition to President Goodluck Jonathan dated April 11, 2013 detailed alleged graft and “outrageous use of powers against public interest” and for which the Presidency ordered investigation.
Adoke however insisted that rather than the Presidency, it was he that ordered his investigation.
The outcome of the investigation was contained in a letter from the Office of the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar, signed by Ali Amodu, a Commissioner of Police in charge of X Squad, to the Executive Secretary of ACN (Melaye).
Speaking Friday with journalists at Melaye’s Abuja office, a lawyer who described himself as one of the disciples of late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, Mr. Sikiru Akinrele, said he would defend Melaye pro bono provided he has his facts.
His words: “The justice system should encourage free legal services. If Dino (Melaye) has his facts, I will defend him in court or advise him accordingly. I want to encourage him to do what is right, even if he is standing alone; he will know that some people appreciate him.
“Melaye should be heard on the merit without being hampered with finance. Remember that Nigerians (lawyers and Judges inclusive) rallied round Chief Gani Fawehinmi when his chambers was to be sold for a judgment debt that the whole world decried.
“Dino Melaye is exceptionally courageous. He reminds me of my late boss, Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN); if he has good grounds for his remarks and lack the funds to tackle the retinue of eminent lawyers lined up against him, then I am ready to tow the line of the doctrine laid down by Sapara Williams (the first Nigerian lawyer) and give him the benefit of my calling free without charge.”
•Photo shows Dino Melaye.
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