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Re; nominees for the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, short-listed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

By Edo Unity League

The Secretary,
Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee,
Supreme Court of Nigeria Complex,
Abuja.
Dear Sir,
Re; nominees for the Senior Advocates of Nigeria, short-listed by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

The attention of the Edo Unity League (E.U.L.) has been drawn to a publication or advertorial made by or on behalf of the highest Court of our fatherland, Nigeria, (Supreme Court of Nigeria) published in the Punch Newspapers of Monday 12th October 2009, particularly as it relates to the integrity of personalities for the highly revered rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria; which is the highest national honour for Nigerian Lawyers. In our view, this Award should not be conferred on persons whom have been indicted by any court of competent jurisdiction be it in Nigeria or abroad.

We are particularly worried that over the years people of questionable reputation like Barr. Mike A.A. Ozekhome has continued to feature in the long list of distinguished Lawyers of Nigeria. Is it that the Supreme Court is not aware of his indictment by the Edo State Governorship Election Petitions Tribunal which delivered its judgement on the 20th of March 2008 wherein it certified the accusation of Barr. Mike Ozokhome as an actor who perpetuated a great degree of electoral violence and rigging during the April 14th 2007 governorship election in Edo State? In fact he was caught twice with unregistered guns first by men of the Nigerian Army and secondly by the men of Nigerian Police on the Election Day (14th April 2007) at Auchi and Agenebode respectively. The judgement including the indictments therein was subsequently upheld by the Court of Appeal delivered on the 11th of November 2008.

As a socio-cultural group, we have been committed in the last thirteen years to the upliftment of good ethical, moral, cultural and even spiritual values of Edo people and Nigerians at large. It is particularly gratifying that issues as sensitive as the conferment of Award of SAN on Lawyers are brought for the credibility search-light of the concerned public. The Barr. Mike Ozokhome is our son and brother, but we strongly believe that of what essence is the age long law of retributive justice if those who are trained to promote the rule of law flagrantly abuse it, he is caught, tried and found guilty, yet allowed to get highly revered award after truncating a people' future -oriented exercise like the governorship election of a State. We strongly believe that the most parochial-mind will subscribe punishment for such guilty persons; hence we most officially appeal for the removal of Barr. Mike Ozekhome's name from the list of persons selected for this great Award if indeed the respected Supreme Court of Nigeria is desirous of upholding its age-long honour. We also detest any attempt by his political party- the Peoples' Democratic Party to 'compensate' their member (Barr. Ozokhome) as though he has done well for the Edo State Chapter of the Party for wielding arms and ammunitions against defenceless people of Auchi, Agenobode and other parts of Edo North Senatorial District of Edo State.

We appeal for the verification of this fact as it relates to Edo State governorship election petition's judgements which are available even in the internet for the authentication of this our noble claim. We believe that it is time Nigerians started building strong institutions and not strong men and women whom would end up messing up the hard earned image and reputations of most credible Nigerians at the international arena. We will not subscribe to any modicum of tribalism or parochialism at the detriment of history and strong foundation for the rule of law.

Thanks,
Yours Sincerely.
Engineer Oyomahre Asemah- President
Comrade Steven Oroh Mika- Secretary General

Cc;
The Chief Justice of Nigeria
The Director General of State Security Service
The National Intelligence Agency
All affiliates of Edo Unity League at home and abroad

The Nigerian Union of Journalists.