Day one of the 60th conference of the Nigeria Bar Association is going on as the body itself is going down in controversy that has broken the pressure group into smithereens.
A splinter group has announced its breakaway following the politicization of invitation and disinvitation of Kaduna Gov Nasir el-Rufai as one of the keynote speakers on the occasion.
In a press statement signed by Barrister Abdulbasit Suleiman Esq, and Nuhu Ibrahim Esq, the New NBA said the recent rumblings from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has left much to be desired within the ranks of concerned lawyers especially from the northern part of the country.
“Its penal powers have been deployed discriminatively based on ethnicity and regionalism,” they said of the old NBA whose outgoing president is Paul Usoro.
“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 members if at all, it should be seen to be practising what it preaches.
Based on that, they said some lawyers have decided to form the new body to protect their interests as encapsulated under Section 40 of the Constitution.
“Members of this Association have commenced consultations with very Senior Lawyers of Northern Nigeria extraction and those practising therein with the view to constituting the Trustees and for purposes of fixing a date for the formal inauguration of the Association.”
A group of young lawyers triggered the twitter storm that led to the removal of el-Rufai from the list of speakers.
The group said the governor is not qualified to speak to the because of the way he is handling the southern Kaduna killing.
But the governor and his sympathisers said the NBA failed to practise fair hearing it preaches by not getting the governor’s side of the story.
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