- Says Nwokocha’s press interview unprofessional
From Juliana Taiwo- Obalonye, Abuja
THE Presidency has kicked against Nnamdi Nwokocha’s interview in a national newspaper (not Daily Sun), over President Muhammadu Buhari’s alleged lack of a school certificate and described the interview as unfair, unprofessional and viewed it as embarking on media trial.
It called on the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to take appropriate action against him or Buhari’s lawyers will seek redress in court.
His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, in a statement, yesterday, said Nwokocha’s interview not only declared Buhari guilty on the pages of newspapers but, also, hijacked the power of a judge to do so.
Shehu said it was unfair for a lawyer, who is a litigant in a court case to go out of his way to hijack the power of a judge by declaring the president guilty of what he is accused of.
According to Shehu, newspaper pages are not alternative courts where a lawyer can declare anybody guilty of anything when the court has not formally given a definitive judgment on an issue before it.
“The two-page interview breaches a lawyer’s ethical code and we hope that the court and the NBA will take notice of this,” the statement said.
The presidential media aide also added that, “any lawyer who sincerely believes in the judicial process and the rights of other parties in a case would not have engaged in the inappropriate and unprofessional practise of trial by media, especially a situation where Nwokocha openly declared the president guilty when the court didn’t make that declaration.”
Shehu noted that gag orders emerged in the United States of Amercica on account of lawyers’ inappropriate conduct on trying and convicting people on the pages of newspapers or the court of public opinion.
He further noted that free speech is not synonymous with recklessness and wanton abuse of the rights of other parties to a case in court.