Breaking: Aggrieved northern lawyers exit NBA, form new association after El-Rufai snub

Breaking: Aggrieved northern lawyers exit NBA, form new association after El-Rufai snub

- Some aggrieved members of the NBA have withdrawn from the association

- NBA had withdrawn an invitation it earlier extended to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state

- The withdrawal has since generated controversy among Nigerians

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Following the withdrawal of its invitation to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, some aggrieved northern members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) have pulled out of the group, alleging that the legal body is biased.

TheCable reports that the lawyers said they have constituted a new group called New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA). gathered that this is a fallout of the controversy that ensued after the NBA withdrew its invitation to Governor El-Rufai, following a petition against the governor.

Some lawyers had kicked against the choice of the governor, saying the invitation is a “reward for misrule” and alleged that El-Rufai has abused the rights of Nigerians on several occasions.

Breaking: Aggrieved northern lawyers exit NBA, form new association after El-Rufai snub
Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state. Credit: Twitter/Nasir El-Rufai.
Source: Twitter

The new association in a statement said recent developments within NBA have generated increased concern which necessitated their withdrawal from the association.

It said the incidents have “exposed the inability of the NBA to manage and contain the heterogeneity of its members as well as their various interests.”

“Its penal power has been deployed discriminatively on the basis of ethnicity and regionalism. As a body of lawyers who have undergone training towards ensuring the promotion and protection of human rights and liberties, the NBA is supposed to live above sentiments, regionalism and discrimination on any basis and of any kind.

"Therefore, the NBA cannot afford to be seen not to be upholding the rights and freedom of its own members if at all, it should be seen to be practising what it preaches. The New Nigerian Bar Association has been watching the activities of the NBA, an association we all looked forward to joining with high hopes before being called to the Nigerian Bar, forcing idiosyncrasies of few on the majority of its members, especially in recent times," the statement read.

The new association said NBA mandatory membership is against the provisions of the constitution which recognises freedom of membership of every association, as provided in section 40.

The lawyers said their interests were no longer taken into consideration in major decisions of the NBA hence the formation of the new association.

“A cursory chronicle of the membership composition of major organs of the NBA would reveal lopsided representation despite having large numbers of lawyers from all parts of the country and especially northern Nigeria who have diligently paid their bar practising fees and have distinguished themselves in the legal profession,” it read.

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Meanwhile, had previously reported that the Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) asked the NBA to withdraw the invitation of the ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo and Governor Nyesom Wike as speakers at its conference.

It was reported that MULAN in a statement on Monday, August 24, argued that the withdrawal of the invitation on Governor Nasir El-Rufai based on his reported human rights record was selective since Obasanjo and Wike were facing similar allegations.

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