TRIBUNAL SCANDAL LATEST: Lawyer Faults Kalejaiye’s Silence

THE Vice-chairman, Osogbo chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Abiodun Olaide has lambasted the counsel to the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the Justice Thomas Naron-led Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in the state, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), for not having sued The NEWS magazine, despite all his mouth-making to sue the media…”
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August 22, 2008 12:17 pm

THE Vice-chairman, Osogbo chapter of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Barrister Abiodun Olaide has lambasted the counsel to the embattled Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola at the Justice Thomas Naron-led Election Petitions Tribunal that sat in the state, Otunba Kunle Kalejaiye (SAN), for not having sued The NEWS magazine, despite all his mouth-making to sue the media over the alleged secret telephone conversations between the tribunal chairman and the counsel.

Speaking to OSUN DEFENDER in Osogbo on Tuesday, the Attorney, who left the position of magistrate in the state, said that he was disappointed to see the senior counsel still keeping mute over the matter despite the seriousness of the allegations.

According to him, for a Senior Advocate of Nigeria to have kept quiet on such a sensitive issue, it shows that the allegations may be the true story of the matter, saying that he would be more disappointed if the allegations eventually turned out to be true.

He said: “As young as I am in the bar, if such a thing happened and I knew that it was a lie, I would have taken the matter to court on the following day, but for a SAN, who has lawyers in his chamber to have kept quiet on such a sensitive issue, it shows that the allegations may be true.

“I am not saying that it is true, but if it is eventually confirmed that the allegation is true, it is an aberration and a damnable happening, because it will affect the law profession and the SAN himself, which may even relief him of his SANship.

“Though, they claimed that the allegation was not true and the call logs of both the tribunal chairman and the involved senior counsel were obtained illegally, but that is not the issue, because illegally obtained evidence is admissible.

Even if you go to police custody and steal a document, you may be charged for stealing later, but court will admit it once it is relevant to the matter at hand”, Olaide explained.

“I think the fear of the SAN not to have gone to court may be that if eventually he goes to court and the matter turns out to be true, he may be in more trouble”, predicted.

While declining the rumour milling the rounds among politicians of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) extraction that the national secretariat of the NBA has discountenance the petitions on the allegation of the telephone conversation between Justice Naron and Kalejaiye, Olaide insisted that the information is total falsehood.

The Attorney then cleared the air that the NBA only stepped down its action to await the result of investigations of the National Judicial Council (NJC), calling on the NJC to speed up action on the allegations and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

By KAZEEM MOHAMMED

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