The Jigawa branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says the withdrawal of the invitation extended to Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna governor, to speak at the association’s annual conference is unfair.
There had been a lot of dissenting voices when the invitation was extended to El Rufai.
A whole lot of lawyers had kicked against the choice of El Rufai, pointing at his poor human rights records and his inability to curb the killings in southern Kaduna.
In a statement released recently, Garba Abubakar, the chairman of the Jigawa NBA branch, said if the decision to withdraw the governor’s invitation is not rescinded, they would boycott the annual conference.
He described all the accusations against El Rufai as frivolous, stating that the allegations against the governor had nothing to do with the national leadership of the association or the NBA at large.
Abubakar stated that “The Nigerian Bar Association Dutse Branch disagrees with the position of the national executive committee, in its resolve to withdraw the earlier invitation sent to Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, the executive governor of Kaduna state to participate as a guest speaker in the forthcoming annual general conference of the association scheduled to take place from August 26-29, 2020 based on frivolous allegations.”
He further stated that “The motto of the association is promoting the ‘Rule of Law’ prudence and justice, therefore, demands that he be given the opportunity to defend himself before taking any decision that affects him”.
He reiterated that “If complaints are to be judged on their face value and without due process, similar treatment should be given to Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike who has serious allegations of abuse of human rights against him to the extent of the demolition of residential houses and place of worship without observing due process”.
He urged that “On the strength of this, therefore, we call on the national body under President Usoro SAN to reverse the decision with immediate effect, else, the Nigerian Bar Association Dutse Branch will boycott the virtual annual general conference taking place in a few days to come.”