A faction, New Nigeria Bar Association (NNBA), has emerged from the Nigerian Bar Association.
The promoters of the NNBA are mostly lawyers from Kaduna State and other parts of the North.
Daily Tracker learnt that the development was an outcome of the controversy generated by the withdrawal of the invitation extended to Kaduna State governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, to speak at NBA’s recent annual general conference.
The NBA National Executive Council had withdrawn the invitation after protests greeted El-Rufai’s selection as a speaker at the conference.
El-Rufai, his son and some of his associates had kicked against the withdrawal, with some Northern state chapters of the NBA threatening to boycott the conference.
The matter has taken a new turn with the emergence of a splinter faction from the NBA.
The emergence of the faction was disclosed in a statement on Thursday by conveners of the NNBA, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, both of whom are members of the Kaduna branch of NBA.
The statement said consultations are currently going on among senior lawyers across Northern Nigeria towards actualising the formation of the new association.
Parts of the statement read, “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 date for formal inauguration of the association.
“The inaugural date of the association being apolitical and geared at taking and protecting the interests of lawyers of like minds shall be communicated.
“The recent rumblings from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is leaving much to be desired within the ranks of concerned lawyers, especially from northern part of the country.
“What has been happening recently has exposed the inability of the NBA to manage and contain the heterogeneity of its members as well as their various interests. Its penal powers 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 practicing what it preaches.
“As the Hausa saying goes: “Idan Kura tana maganin zaho, ta yi ma kanta’ (If Hyena has cure for diarrhoea let her use it for herself).
“The New Nigerian Bar Association have been watching 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.
“No wonder, NBA NEC, which is the highest decision-making organ of the association failed to uphold the fundamental principles of fair hearing which in itself, is the fundamental aspect of rule of law, on the allegations against the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai as were contained in a petition by Chidi Odinkalu Esq., a long time foe of His Excellency and a lawyer of eastern extraction, but the NBA failed to extend the same treatment to Southern invitees who were also petitioned and are also alleged to have committed similar or more human rights abuses than those alleged against Mallam El-Rufai.”
The promoters of the NNBA accused the leadership of the NBA of not taken their interests into consideration in the running of the association.
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