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We Have More Than 5,000 Newly Registered Members – NNBA

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The newly formed factional bar association, New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA) says more than 5,000 lawyers have registered to become a member.

Abdulbasit Suleiman, a co-convener of the NNBA, made this known in an interview with Premium Times.

Recall the factional association was formed by some members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) who were aggrieved over the disinvitation of Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State to participate at the NBA Virtual Annual General Conference.

Suleiman, however, said the dis-invitation of Governor El-Rufai was not the reason the new NNBA was created.

“We, the conveners of the new NBA, are not fans of el-Rufai,” he said.

“We all have our reservations on el-Rufai’s government. But since you have invited this man, let’s hear from him- for him to answer our questions before we take any action against him.

“Some people wrote a petition against him without giving him a fair hearing. This is against our motto, which is to uphold the rule of law. We did not do that. El-Rufai was not given that opportunity.”

The NNBA co-convener also said one of the reasons for creating the new association is that the NBA is being run by an alleged cabal who do not care about the welfare of the larger population of lawyers.

“Reasons for forming the new NBA are many but the first is that the NBA is being hijacked by some few cabals,” he said.

“NBA activity is just circulating between some few people. We have more than 200,000 registered members in Nigeria but I can tell you authoritatively that less than 100 people are benefiting from the NBA.

“Most of us are not benefiting from the NBA. We are paying our dues, we follow all the rules and regulations but our benefits and interests are not being protected.”

Suleiman further said the intention of the group is not to create division but to create a competition for the NBA.

“We are not dividing the bar. We are trying to form an association to create a competition for the NBA,” he said.

“If we have two or more, there will be competing. If we look at developed countries, they have more than one lawyers’ associations. Why must we restrict ourselves to one.”

“As I’m talking to you now, we are still counting. We have more than 5,000 members that have registered with us and we are still counting.

“Starting from tomorrow, some state governments will be receiving our letters, notifying them of the formation.”

MERIDIAN SPY reported days ago, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mike Ozekhome in his reaction to the creation of factional bar association, some people were trying to knock the head of NBA members against each other by introducing religious and ethnic connotations.

“The progressive forces in this country within the bar, the elders of the bar, most members of not all, senior advocates of Nigeria who know where we are coming from will resist it,” said Ozekhome.

The senior advocate further explained that creating a faction in the NBA along sectional lines would trigger similar action in other associations in the nation and ultimately lead to the balkanisation of the country.

“The reason is that when you begin to create a different bar, let’s say for example northern bar or new bar, the people very soon are going to start calling for southern Nigerian army, southern Nigerian navy, western Nigerian air force, eastern Nigeria tax authority, midwest maritime authority,” he said.

“We will begin to hear of southern Nigeria NNPC, Central Bank, where are we heading to, that is nothing but balkanization of Nigeria. God forbid Afghanistan, God forbid USSR, God forbid Sudan, God forbid Ethiopia, God forbid India-Pakistan and Bangladesh. God forbid another Nigeria-Biafra pogrom.”

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