The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dutse Branch, Jigawa State, has faulted the withdrawal of the invitation extended to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai to attend the NBA Virtual Annual General Conference scheduled to hold from 26th to 29th August, 2020.

The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA had during its virtual meeting on the 20th of August, 2020 withdrawn the invitation extended to the Governor to serve as a speaker during the 2020 NBA AGC

However, the NBA Dutse Branch in a statement signed by its Chairman, Garba Abubakar, Esq., made available to TheNigeriaLawyer (TNL),
said the withdrawal was done without due process of law as El-Rufai was not afforded right to fair hearing

“The Nigerian Bar Association Dutse Branch disagrees with the position of the National Executive Committee of the Association held this evening, in its resolve to withdraw the earlier invitation sent to Mallam Nasir El-Rufa’i, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State to participate as a Guest Speaker in the forthcoming Annual General Conference scheduled to take place from 26th – 29th of August, 2020, based on frivolous allegations.

The decision is quite unfair as the allegation against the Governor has nothing to do with the NEC or NBA at large. Worse still, the Governor has not been given the opportunity to defend the allegations raised against him by a group within the Association before the resolution of this magnitude was reached against him as the Nigerian Bar Association belongs to all. The Motto of the Association 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.”

Abubakar added that the governor of Rivers State too has record of human rights violations including demolition of houses and place of worship without due process of law and therefore ought to have been given similar treatment if cases are to be judged on face value

“If complaints are to be judged on their face value and without due process, similar treatment is to be given to Governor of Rivers State Nyesom Wike who has serious allegations of abuse of human rights against him to the extent of demolition residential houses and place of worship without observing due process.”

The Branch therefore threatened to boycott the NBA Conference if the withdrawal is not reversed

“A section of the country cannot therefore take us for a ride as we all have fair understanding of the law. 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 time to come.”

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