- The NBA is now at loggerheads with the federal government
- This came after AGF Abubakar Malami invalidated the NBA requirement for its seal and stamp on all court processes
- This has sparked heated reactions from the leadership of the NBA which sees the move as undue reduction of the body's powers
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The federal government's amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for lawyers has sparked serious reactions from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Recently, the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) invalidated a rule of the NBA which required a seal and stamp of the NBA on all court processes, a move which now allows non-legal practitioners to also submit court processes, The Cable reports.
This was confirmed by a tweet from Lauretta Onochie, a special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on new media.
However, the decision from the office of AGF Abubakar Malami was on Sunday, September 13, vehemently rejected by the new national president of the NBA, Olumide Akpata.
Arguing that due process was not followed prior to the development, Akpata called on lawyers across the country to stick to standing RPC.
In his explanation, the NBA boss pointed out this decision can only be made by the general council of the bar, otherwise known as the Bar Council which comprises the AGF, the honourable Attorneys-General of all states in the country and twenty members of the NBA.
Akpata noted: "...Consequently, the RPC and any amendments thereto may only be validly issued after it has been deliberated upon and approved at a properly convened meeting of the Bar Council.
“As far as the NBA is aware, no notice convening a meeting of the Bar Council was issued to its elected representatives on the Bar Council and no meeting of the Bar Council was convened and/or held to deliberate on the Instrument.
"To that extent, our position is that no authority or approval was given for the amendment of the RPC. Consequently, the NBA maintains that the RPC has not been amended and enjoins all legal practitioners to remain calm and continue to conduct their affairs in the same manner as they did prior to the issuance of the Instrument.”
Akpata stressed that he is engaging Malami on the controversial issue and will inform the public on the NBA's next line of actions.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA) had written the Malami over the crisis rocking the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The NNBA informed the AGF of its decision to form the new body in a letter. Some aggrieved northern members of the NBA had pulled out of the association, after the withdrawal of the invitation of Governor of Kaduna, Nasir el-Rufai, as a speaker at its conference.
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