The “purported suspension of the Chairman of the Young Lawyers’ Forum of the Nigerian Bar Association has neither the backing of the NBA constitution nor any of the Bye-Laws and is therefore, ultra vires and cannot stand,”‘ Committee of Branch Chairmen and Secretaries of YLF said in a statement.
Full Text of the Statement
The attention of the Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of the Nigerian Bar Association-Young Lawyers’ Forum Branches (the “Committee”) has been drawn to a report that one of its members, Bodunde Ezekiel Esq., who is the Chairman, NBA-YLF, Ikeja Branch was purportedly suspended by the Chairman, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch. In the light of this, the Committee has decided to make its position known to the public.
Without underplaying the supervisory and advisory role the leaders of the Branches of NBA play with regards to the activities of the Young Lawyers’ Forum (the “Forum”), we state without fear that the leaders of the Forum should be responsible to the Nigerian Bar Association and the young lawyers who have elected them to lead in accordance with Article XIV of the NBA Uniform Bye-Law for Sections, Institutes and Fora. These leaders should not be relegated to mere puppets in the hands of the Chairmen of the NBA Branches as doing so would give room to abuse of power which in turn may create a state of anarchy within the system.
In this vein and without necessarily delving into the circumstances that led to the purported suspension, we vehemently condemn the purported suspension of the Chairman of NBA-YLF, Ikeja Branch by the Branch Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association. We strongly believe that this singular act tends to create a wrong precedence and send a wrong message to the Bar about how the affairs and administration of the Young Lawyers Forum should be run. The activities of the Forum should be guided by NBA Uniform Bye-Law for Sections, Institutes and Fora, and after perusing the said instrument together with the NBA Uniform Bye-Law for Branches, we are yet to see a provision that gives any power to a Branch Chairman of NBA to suspend any Executive of the Forum of any Branch.
We therefore humbly call on the Chairman of the NBA ikeja Branch to retrace his steps with regards to the subject-matter forthwith for posterity sake. We reiterate that the purported suspension has neither the backing of the NBA constitution nor any of the Bye-Laws and is therefore, ultra vires and cannot stand.
God bless the Nigerian Bar Association.