Former Kano State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) has vowed to work towards restoring public confidence in the judiciary if elected president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Promising fundamental reforms and a “clean judiciary with predictable outcomes”, he said he was better qualified for the job, having excelled in public service and in private practice.
Mahmoud spoke when he visited The Nation’s Newspaper corporate headquarters in Lagos yesterday.
He promised to overhaul NBA’s disciplinary procedure, which he described as “tardy”, saying having a separate regulatory arm for the Bar would be explored.
Mahmoud vowed to build a virile NBA to complement government’s anti-corruption war, adding that stronger institutions, such as the judiciary, are needed.
On why he wants to lead the NBA, he said: “The legal profession, in my view, and in the view of many of my colleagues, is one of the building blocks of Nigerian nation. Therefore, we have a responsibility to assist the NBA in this nation-building project. We have a duty to come out and assist in redeeming the image of the profession.”
Mamoud said corruption was already killing the country, adding that NBA under his leadership would align itself with efforts to tackle it.
“If I become the president of NBA, this is clearly going to be one of the major areas we will be focusing on. The struggle against corruption is partly going to be won on the basis of our ability to build strong governance institutions. It’s not going to be dependent on one man’s efforts.
“That corruption has eaten so deep into the fabric of our nationhood is partly because of the weakness of our institutions. So, the Bar association must work very hard to assist in building strong institutions, such as the judiciary, the Bar association itself.
“We need to deploy our knowledge and skill in assisting the government to revamp the various institutions of justice – the courts, the police, the prison system and others which have roles to pay in the administration of justice.”
On how to end the filing of frivolous applications to delay cases, Mahmoud said he would build a strong Bar that can call its members to order and set very high standards and ethical expectations.
Those who accompanied Mahmoud include the alternate head of his campaign team, Dr Garba Tetengi (SAN), his campaign manager Muritala Abdul-Rasheed, former NBA Lagos branch chair Alex Muoka, Lagos lawyers Kunle Adegoke and Tope Alabi, among others.
They were received by The Nation’s General Manager Training and Development Mr Soji Omotunde, editorial board member Mr Tunji Adegboyega, Online Editor Mr Lekan Otufodunrin and legal counsel Mr John Austin Unachukwu.