‘New NBA’ Makes U-Turn, Says We Never Said We’re Breaking Away

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–Begins Talks With NBA’s Leadership Over Possible Return
-We Prefer A United Bar, Says NBA Spokesman

The New Nigerian Bar Association, a splinter group, has said that it had begun discussions with some members of the Nigerian Bar Association for the possible return of their members to the parent body.

Convener (1) of the New NBA, Nuhu Ibrahim, made this known to THE WHISTLER in an exclusive interview.

“In any case, there have been some efforts by some concerned lawyers and we are in the process right now, but I will not really confirm to you our terms…

“I don’t know whether Elisha Kura is one of them, but there have been moves and we are already in discussion with them,” he said.

THE WHISTLER earlier reported that participants from about 40 branches of the NBA in the North, had at a stakeholders meeting, unanimously rejected the splinter group.

They also affirmed their loyalty to the NBA under the leadership of Olumide Akpata.

“We, the under-signed individuals, who are Chairmen of the various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association that make up the Northern Geopolitical Zone as defined in the NBA Constitution 2015, and other senior members of the Bar, have today Wednesday, September, 2, 2020 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, met with the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata, and the National Officers of the NBA.

“We have unanimously agreed to support his leadership of the NBA, and we hereby restate our true allegiance to the NBA and disassociate ourselves from the ‘New NBA’ or any splinter group whatsoever making the waves in recent weeks as a new association/body of lawyers in Nigeria,” the acting Chairman of the Arewa Lawyers’ Forum, Mr Elisha Kaura, had stated.

But, Ibrahim clarified that the decision of the New NBA was to form an alternative platform and not to break away from the NBA.

“The issue is that we never said we have left the NBA, all we said is that we want an alternative platform.

“The constitution did not say that we must belong to one association; we can belong to more than one association and we can alternate between two associations.

“So, we may chose to leave the NBA, we may chose to remain in the NBA and still form another association,” he said.

He held that “all we are saying is that we need an alternative to the NBA, and we have come to form the new NBA in other to bring about justice, equity.

“I want to believe that the Arewa Lawyers Forum, is like an example, it is still an umbrella but it is still under the NBA.”

Recall that the conveners of the New NBA had written to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, regarding its decision to form another association.

This came days after the Paul Usoro SAN-led NBA had dropped Kaduna Governor Nasir El-rufai from its list of speakers for the 2020 NBA National Conference, due to the security situation in Southern Kaduna.

Usoro took the decision based on petitions written by some lawyers and groups, who maintained that El-rufai was not qualified to speak at its annual conference, held on August 26.

However, the NBA Spokesperson, Rapulu Nduka, told our correspondent on Monday that he was “not too sure of any immediate meeting at the moment with the leadership of the NBA.”

But, he observed that the NBA’s leadership was willing to do what it would to have a united Bar.

“You know, the way things are now, we have a lot of issues we are tackling at the same time.

“So, I can’t really confirm whether there is anything at the moment.

“Definitely, we will prefer to explore that option; some people have been calling for sanctions for them but then, having a united Bar is better than just looking for people to punish,” he said.

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