A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Damian Dodo, has denied any complicit involvement with the 5Court of Appeal justices handling the Imo State House of Assembly as well as National Assembly election cases in Lagos.
In a statement, the renowned lawyer, said he was not a counsel in the appeal before the tribunal, describing the imputations that he compromised the judges as untrue, wicked and malicious, and calculated to embarrass him and the panel of Justices.
A report by a national newspaper (not THISDAY) had indicated that the All Progressives Congress (APC) counsel, Echezona Etiaba (SAN) presented two petitions allegedly written by his clients accusing the three-member panel of being compromised.
It also accused Dodo, whom the report alleged to be counsel for one of the appellants of being the conduit to reach the panel headed by Justice Danjuma Mohammed, the presiding judge of Makurdi Division of the Court of Appeal.
Other members of the panel are Justice Peter Affen from Yola Division and Justice Asmau’u Musa Mainoma, who is one of the newly appointed justices to the Court of Appeal.
However, in a statement, Dodo stated that he had never met any of the parties in the said appeal, stressing that even if he had, he would never attempt to bribe any judge.
He noted that the petition was never served on him, and he never sighted same, and was therefore shocked and horrified by the audacity of the false, ridiculous, absurd, and callous allegations made against him and their lordships.
“I categorically deny all the allegations in the said petitions as being false, wicked, untrue, malicious, and calculated to embarrass the panel of Justices and myself.
“In the first place, I was neither a party nor counsel in the appeal and I do not know and have not met any of the parties in the said appeal. Even if I was a party or counsel in the appeal, I would not have in any way sought to compromise the panel or exert any influence to secure a favourable judgment for my client,” Dodo stated.
Noting that he had been in the legal practice for 37 years and had always endeavoured to carry on the practice in accordance with the highest ethical standards of the legal profession, the senior lawyer said that he had never sought to influence the outcome of any case beyond his legitimate professional efforts.
“In the same vein I have never offered a bribe or sought to bribe any judicial officer to obtain a favourable judgment for any client in all the years of active legal practice, and I never will, in this life or the next.
“It is out of character for me to brag about anything, let alone brag about some phantom governors giving any kind of assurances about the outcome of a matter in which I was not a counsel to any party on record.
“I am therefore shocked and horrified by the audacity of the false, ridiculous, absurd, and callous allegations made against their Lordships and myself,” he explained.
While expressing his sympathy with their lordships on the panel who he said had been scandalised by this most virulent and vile attack on their integrity, Dodo said the allegation was so horrendous that one of the Justices, he was told, broke down in tears.
“It is very sad for the profession. It is indeed a big shame. Regrettably, their lordships are in no position to openly defend themselves against these pack of lies from the pit of hell, beyond comments made in court. It is indeed very sad and most unfortunate.
“I expect that the petitioner will step out to substantiate the allegations in the investigation to be carried out or face the full consequences of his malevolent, wicked and inhuman attack against their lordships and myself.
“At the very least, I expect Mr. Echezona Etiaba (SAN) to issue and publish an apology in the media for this most unfortunate event.
“Those who orchestrated this most horrific attack on the integrity of their lordships and myself will definitely face the wrath of Almighty God in this life and in the life hereafter. The attack was clearly a hatchet job.
“Let me conclude by offering to their Lordships my sympathies and prayers for God’s grace against unjustified and scurrilous attacks on their reputation and integrity, for which there can be no insurance. There can be no insurance against the wicked and extremely desperate,” he stated. According to him, the strategy of the petitioner, his sponsors and collaborators was to truncate the hearing of the appeal on October 16, 2023.
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