Exchange of blows by two lawyers at Gombe Magistrate Court: Counsel Yuwa petitions NBA, seeks disciplinary action against Gurumyen
Exchange of blows by two lawyers at Gombe Magistrate Court: Counsel Yuwa petitions NBA, seeks disciplinary action against Gurumyen

By Editor

*Says Gurumyen accused him of lying before the Court *Says Gumyen assaulted him on his jaws and had to run for his life *Says he never retaliated or attempted to do so *Says Gumyen refused to apologize and even became more hostile during meeting for amicable settlement *Says there is need to save the bar from disrepute *Calls for disciplinary action against Gumyel

A Jos based lawyer, John M. Yuwa, has petitioned the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, against one Mukna’an Kingsley Gumyen, for alleged assault.

Recall that there was a wild drama at Gombe Magistrate Court where the two lawyers descended on each other with blows while arguing a motion for stand down.

The two Lawyers, John Yuwa Esq and MK Gurumyen Esq drew attention of everyone within the court premises with their physical combat which let to the hospitalizations of Yuwa Esq and stitches for his torn mouth and broken jaw.

Yuwa, in the petition to NBA, however said he never retaliated the blow from Gumyen neither did he attempt to do so. He added that even when meeting was convened for amicable settlement, Gumyen refused to apologize but rather became more hostile.

Yuwa urged the NBA to discipline Gumyel in order to save the profession from being dragged to disrepute.

Below is the letter

24th September, 2021

The President, Nigerian Bar Association, Plot 1101, Mohammed Buhari Way, Catiastral Zone A00, Central Business District, P.O. Box 3243, Garki ll, Abuja.

Dear Sir,


The above subject refers.

I ate a legal practitioner based in Jos, Plateau State, and practising in the Law Firm of Samuel Oguche & Co. I do, hereby, petition your good office upon the facts set out below.

On the 23rd day of September soot, I appeared in a criminal matter (Case No: CMCIII/GM/42/20t7 between Hajiya Ladi Baba Umar & 2 Ors V Bilyaminu Shehu & 2 Ors) (“the Case”) before the Chief Magistrate Court, sitting at Gombe, Gombe State.

When the Case was mentioned, as a Defence Counsel, I informed the Honourable Court of the predicament of the defence: that the 3rd Accused Person, who was earlier in Court, left the court premises, before the commencement of proceedings, to quickly get medication

After my application for a 30-minute stand-down, the Prosecuting Counsel, Oct Mukna’an Kingsley Gurumyen Esq.,(wIth enrolment number: SCN051591 ) )( ” the Respondent”) Was invited by the Trial Magistrate to respond. In his response, the Respondent stated that if the 3rd Accused Person, for whom I had sought the stand-down, was actually sick, he should be healed, but if my submission was a lie, then he the 3td Accused should suffer more severe pains.

Although his submission, as captured in paragraph 5 above, was highly concerning and provocative, I resisted the urge to quickly register my objection thereto. Perhaps perceiving that there was weight in his submission, his emphasis on the fact that I was lying surged; he repeatedly informed the Honourable Magistrate that I was lying, and that God would punish the 3rd Accused Person for lying.

Initially, I had thought the Honourable Magistrate would call Respondent to order on his line of submission; but I noticed that the Magistrate was urging him on. It was at that point that I rose to object, pointing out that I was speaking from the Bar; hence I should be given the benefit of the doubt.

More to the above, I reiterated to the Magistrate that the 3’d Accused had been in Court before the commencement of the day’s proceedings; and that my application was for a stand-down, not an adjournment. WhilSt I was still standing and trying to draw the Magistrate’s attention to the objectionable aspects of the Respondent’s submission- that is, the name-calling-the Respondent started shouting and ordering me to sit down immediately.

And before I could comply with Respondent’s “magisterial” order, he stretched his hand, and punched me ferociously on my jaws. The punch tore my jaws into ugly halves, and left a stream of blood flowing profusely and unabatedly. The Distinguished President may kindly find attached, photographs of the incident as annexure A1 and A2 respectively.

It is important to state clearly that the punch came with so much ferocity and suddenness that I was left only with the option of trying to escape death. And luckily for me, one of the Accused Persons, other lawyers in court and litigants came to my rescue.

May I add, as it can never be over-emphasised. that, as a law-abiding citizen. and a gentleman of the revered Bar. I did not retaliate or attempt to do so even afterwards: I immediately requested the other Accused Persons who were in Court-specifically the 2nd Accused Person in the Case to put a call to the police.

The police immediately arrived the court premises. and arrested the Respondent. He was taken to the Police Command Headquarters in Gombe, Gombe State (-the Command Headquarters-). for investigation and possible prosecution.

Whilst we were at the Command Headquarters. the Chairman of the Gombe Branch of the Nigeria Bar Association (-NBA”) intervened: he requested the police to allow members of the Bar resolve the matter amicably.

However, at the secretariat of the NBA, Gombe Branch where members gathered to plead with me to forgive the Respondent of the criminal and highly unprofessional conduct notwithstanding the grievous bodily hurt I suffered, the Respondent, to the utmost surprise of all, including myself, remained remorseless. He refused to utter any word of apology, and even grew more hostile towards me raining more insults and threatening more vicious blows! In fact, it took the intervention of senior members of the Bar, and others present at the NBA secretariat, for me to escape that second wave of the Respondent’s physical assault.

This petition has, therefore, become necessary in view of the fact that, beyond the grievous physical assault on my Person In Court—in the presence of litigants, the Respondent hade on previous occasions as testified by colleagues, judicial officials and even litigants, manifested these thuggish and un-lawyerly, attitude, in one of the many instances, the Respondent was reported to have attacked a court clerk; but that incident passed without retribution.

It is against the backdrop of the foregoing, Specifically the need to foster respect for legal profession, and to save the Bar from being dragged into disrepute, that I petition your good office for immediate disciplinary actions against the Respondent.

While anticipating your kind and prompt response, and confirming my

availability to provide more details in support of this Petition, kindly accept the full assurances of my high regard.

Yours faithfully, John M. Yuwa, Esq 08167659646

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