Nigeria lawyers rise against justice minister, petitions to strip him of professional title mount

September 13, 2020
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Justice Minister Abubakar Malami is having a tough time as members of the Nigeria Bar Association continue to sign a petition against him for personally tweaking up the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.

As of Sunday, more than 380 lawyers signed the petition initiated on change.org by Izu Aniagu, and it is titled, “Sign to strip Nigeria’s AGF, Abubakar Malami the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria”.

Aniagu backed his petition with the recent unilateral amendments to the Rules, coupled with Malami’s other alleged wrongdoings, such as “disobedience to court orders, to his lacklustre prosecution, to his outright failure to prosecute, to allegations of corruption and bias against his person, to the usurpation of office, to shielding of suspects, to his general dereliction of duty.”

Aniagu further said, “This time, the AGF has decided to take his imprudence to top-notch by unilaterally deleting the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practicing fee for government lawyers.

“The AGF does not have such power. Section 12 (4) of the LPA gives the General Council of the Bar power to make any such amendment and make other decisions concerning the NBA.

“There is no record of any meeting convened by the Attorney General of the Federation, who is the President of the Bar Council. The AGF took the decision alone and his actions constitute a threat to the rule of law. His action is totally shameful and is undeserving of a lawyer in the rank of a Senior Advocate, let alone a Chief Law Officer of the federation.”

Malami has been in the middle of a flurry of petition lately. Some CSOs petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari weeks ago to investigate his justice minister for corruption.

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