• Those who cannot stand the test of the law they teach. 

The story of Kayode Bello, a student of the Nigerian Law School who was expelled from the Post graduate Institution of the Council of Legal Education, seems to have got a fresh spin after he (Kayode Bello) filed an action before the Federal High Court of Nigeria against the Council itself and the Inspector General of Police. In a case with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/717/2017, the applicant Kayode Bello had prayed the Court for certain reliefs via a Motion Ex-parte dated and filed the 9th day of August, 2017. The relief sought were as follows:

  • AN ORDER of the honourable court granting leave to hear and/or entertain the present suit during the vacation of Federal High Court, 2017.
  • AN ORDER permitting the grant of LEAVE by this honourable court to operate as stay of all actions of the 1st Respondent against the applicant by suspending the continued operation of the directive of the 1st Respondent and the applicant’s physical expulsion from the 1st Respondent’s School of Law, Abuja Campus, and permitting the applicant to write his final examination, pending the hearing of the motion on notice in this suit.
  • AN ORDER permitting the applicant to write the Final Bar Examination at the Nigeria Law school, Abuja Campus, as a legally admitted Law School student pending the hearing of the motion on notice in this suit.
  • AN ORDER of interim injunction restraining the respondent from carrying out its decision and physical expulsion from the 1st Respondent’s law School, Abuja Campus.
  • And such further other orders as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances.

Upon reading the affidavit in support of the motion deposed to by the applicant and after hearing Amaka Ekezie, for the applicant move in term of the motion paper, the court ordered a grant of leave to hear and/or entertain the present suit during the vacation of Federal High Court, 2017 as well and an order permitting the applicant to write his final Bar examination at the Nigerian Law School, Abuja Campus as a legally admitted Law School Student pending the hearing of the originating motion on notice in the suit. The court further adjourned the matter to the 18th day of August, 2017 for hearing.

Following the order of the court, it is only expected that the applicant, Kayode Bello be allowed to write his exam in total obedience of the court order. But contrary to what is reasonably expected, the Council of Legal Education disobeyed the court order by refusing the applicant to write his bar examination. This is not only bad, but incurably bad because this contempt is committed not by any other body but the Council of Legal Education.

The Council of Legal Education (herein referred to as the Council) is established by virtue of S. 1 (1) of the Legal Education (Consolidation, etc) Act, and given the responsibility for the legal education of persons seeking to become members of the legal profession as stated in Subsection 2. Thus as a body tasked with the duty of educating and grooming aspirants to the Bar, of the need to uphold the rule of Law and justice, it is only expected that it live by example. But this is not the case as the Council openly disobeyed the order given by the court.

The question then is: What is the council of legal education teaching the students of the Nigerian Law School? What precedent is it leaving behind for the public at large? How can a body that ought to teach the rule of law fail to practice what it actually professes to preach every single day? Is the council so mad at Kayode Bello that even if it means disobeying the order of the court to deal with him, it would? Does the council feel challenged by the act of the youngster? Perhaps he must be too small to challenge the council, right?

It is a very big shame. It is a shame that the Council with all its wisdom could fall into this little test. Oh, yes, I call it a little test. Contempt of court is one act that is never tolerated in any civilized society. It ridicules the court and brings it to nothing. It is sound slap on the face of the judiciary and should not be tolerated for any reason whatsoever, not to talk of when the act (contempt) comes from a body like the Council. There are numerous cases that buttress the anger of the court on contempt of court, and even the Council knows this.

If Kayode Bello is expelled because the Council in its wisdom thinks, he violated the rules guiding or regulating students of the Nigerian Law School, does the act of the Council by disobeying the court order not make the Council and Mr. Kayode even, if at all he is wrong? That is if he truly was wrong. In other words, is the Council not doing the same thing it is accusing Kayode Bello of? Perhaps, this justifies Mr. Kayode’s ground for not appearing before the Panel of the School that wanted to try him, because they cannot be a judge in their own case.

This cannot be tolerated. It is an act that should not be treated with triviality. This is because as court orders are being disobeyed day by day by bodies like the Council and allowed to go away with it, sooner or later, the court will become a toothless bulldog only capable of barking without a bite. This is the biggest disgrace that can ever happen to the BENCH.

It is on this note, that the relevant authorities, such as the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation, The office of the Vice President, The Supreme Court of Nigeria, The Legal Practitioner’s Disciplinary Committee, the Nigerian Bar Association and other bodies that can so act, are called upon to look into the matter and lift the veil of the Council or the Nigerian Law School which is an institution of the Council to reveal whosoever or whatsoever is responsible for this act of ridiculing a competent court of jurisdiction and bringing such person or persons to order, so as to bring to a halt/stop such disrespect from repeating itself. Failure to do this will only amount to the worse for the court of Law in this part of the world.

This is not about Kayode Bello, IT IS ABOUT SAVING THE LEGAL PROFESSION FROM THOSE WHO CANNOT STAND THE TEST OF THE LAW THEY TEACH

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