*Says There Is Already A Pending Suit On The Matter
*NBA Gives Jigawa Two Weeks Ultimatum To Reinstate uspended Lawyers
The Garba Abubakar led faction of the Nigerian Bar Association, Dutse Branch, Jigawa State, has reacted to the report of the fact-finding committee of the NBA set up by the President of the Association, Olumide Akpata, to find solution to the lingering leadership crisis in the Dutse Branch.
The report had recommended that Nuhu Suleiman Tafida and members of his executive committee be recognised by the association’s president, Olumide Akpata, and the NEC, as the duly elected leadership of the branch.
The fact-finding committee led by the NBA’s 1st vice-president, PJohn Aikpokpo-Martins, found that the Garba Abubakar-led factional executive committee of the branch was unlawfully constituted and in contravention of the provisions of the NBA constitution and the articles of the uniform bye-law for branches. The said recommendations were approved by the NBA National Executive Committee.
However, in reaction, Abubakar said the decision of the NBA NEC is ultra vires because there is a suit on the matter already pending before the High Court No. 3, Jigawa. He described also the situation as an attack on Nigerians by a section of the country who see themselves as demi gods.
He said, “We are of the view that the fact-finding committee and NBA President lacks power to during pendency of a suit to constitute a committee with superior power over regular court under the chairmanship of the 1st Vice President John Aikpokpo-Martins, Esq., the entire conduct of members of the fact-finding committee is akin to what My Lord Honourable Justice Ejembi-Eko of the Supreme Court of Nigeria described ‘that they had set out deliberately to disdainfully snub the provisions (of the Constitution of Nigeria). It was clear from their body language that nothing, including pending proceeding…,would stop their outlawry. They had imbibed in themselves impunity and worn a false toga of being above the law.’ It is unfortunate that the language used in the fact-finding report betrayed the comportment of members of the fact-finding committee as persons that do not have patience in trying times.
“We are not mindful of the fact that there are crisis rocking other NBA Branches across Nigeria such as Abeokuta, Abuja, Ikeja, Uyo, Uromi, Auchi and several other branches, yet the President did not take such an unfair step. In the case of Abuja Branch, the President even resolved to create another branch and share the branch properties between the two branches with a view to end the crisis. This reinforces the assertion that the action was a well-coordinated attack targeted against Promising Nigerians from particular section of our great nation by a cabal who consider themselves as demigods.”
The Garba faction said the Dutse Branch cannot watch anyone disrespect court order. They vow to approach court.
“We therefore wish to inform members of the fact-finding committee that we the members of NBA Dutse Branch will not fold our arms and watch any person to disrespect Court of law and we shall meet in Court.” Abubakar said
In another development, the NBA NEC has given the Jigawa State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice a two-week ultimatum to reinstate Mr Nuhu Sulaiman Tafida and other staff in the Ministry of Justice of the state who were earlier suspended from office by the Commissioner.
The ultimatum is in line with the recommendations of the Aikpokpo-Martins led NBA Fact Finding Committee which reported that, “The Honourable Attorney General of Jigawa State, Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, Esq. abused the powers of his office and conducted himself in a manner unbecoming of a legal practitioner in the course of his undue interference in the affairs of Dutse branch”.
The report further revealed that “Dr. Musa Adamu Aliyu, Esq, the Honourable Attorney-General of Jigawa State should be strongly advised to take immediate steps to reinstate Nuhu Suleiman Tafida, Esq. and the other staff of the Jigawa State Ministry of Justice whom he caused to be suspended to their various offices and positions within 2 weeks”.
The NEC of the NBA maintained that should the attorney-general “fail, neglect and/or refuse to heed the advice and/or warning contained above, the president should ensure that disciplinary action is taken against him immediately and without further recourse to him”.
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