The Nigerian Bar Association – Security Agencies Relations Committee (NBA-SARC), led by Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN paid a courtesy visit on the Chief of Defence Intelligence (CDI) of the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA), Major General S.A. Adebayo, today, Wednesday, March 2, 2022. The CDI, though not on hand to receive the delegation as led by Chief Gadzama, was however represented by Mr. C.B Abodunde, the Director of Legal, and Commodore A.O Ojo, the Deputy Director, Admin.
The Chairman of the NBA-SARC noted that the Committee as recently inaugurated by the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata, was presently visiting all relevant security agencies, hence the present need to visit the DIA in order to establish good relations with legal practitioners across the country.
Chief Gadzama stated “we are not aware of any such harassment on legal practitioners from the DIA and we are presently here building bridges with the DIA. The Agency is further encouraged to do its work in accordance with the law”.
Warmly welcoming the NBA-SARC’s delegation, the Director of Legal, Mr. Abodunde expressed that the DIA deeply appreciates the NBA-SARC’s visit, especially given the short notice from the DIA. He expressed that the Agency rarely involves in any clash / friction with lawyers. He further advised that the NBA should check the trend of lawyers becoming entrenched in criminality, as such does not look good on the NBA. He stated that Security Agencies and lawyers are supposed to work together in ensuring no criminal is left unpunished and that no innocent person is punished.
In addition, Commodore AO Ojo, Deputy Director of Admin, inquired on whether there are punitive measures to punish lawyers who are misrepresenting the Nigerian Bar Association.
The Chairman of NBA-SARC, Chief Gadzama responded by emphasizing that the NBA has mechanisms for punishing erring members and that the legal profession has one of the highest mechanisms for the discipline of erring lawyers, chief amongst which are the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC), and the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee (LPPC), which is another body that looks into complaints against Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
“We do not shield erring lawyers, nobody is a sacred cow. The Legal Profession is represented everywhere, the DIA is not excluded from this long list and the present demands of the NBA-SARC is for the betterment of NBA and Nigeria at large. We want to partner to work harmoniously “ Chief. Gadzama stated.
The meeting came to an end with a photo session between the delegation as led by Chief Gadzama and the representatives of the DIA, and a subsequent date to be fixed for meeting the with CDI.