The Leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association Yola branch received with shock the sudden withdrawal of invitation to Governor Nasir Ahmed El -Rufai, the Executive Governor of Kaduna State as one of the Guest Speakers in the forthcoming NBA Annual General Conference 2020.
The disinvitation of El – Rufai was based on a petition written by some group of persons which was submitted to the NBA national leadership on 19th August, 2020, just a day before the National Executive Committee Virtual Meeting of the Association which was held an 20h August, 2020.
The allegations against Governor El-Rufai will remain allegations until contrary is proven. The provisions of our Constitution on fair hearing and presumption of innocence is very clear and cannot be violated by few. El Rufai was neither given a fair hearing nor the chance to defend himself on such weighty allegations.
While the branch is aware that El-Rufai is not on trial, the NEC being the highest decision making body of the Association ought to have constituted aC ommittee that will investigate and submit its findings before any decision will be taken. Such rash decision by the NEC was unnecessary and no doubt has raised some questions and concerns in the minds of many.
The cardinal objective of the NBA is to promote and uphold the rule of law and protect the Fundamental Human Rights of all citizens and not the other way round
The branch therefore condemns and disassociate itself with such unfair and rash decision and considered same as ill-conceived and dangerous capable of creating more disunity and disaffection amongst members of this great association, particularly at a time of the Association’s transition into a new
We urge the National body to reverse the lopsided decision and re invite Governor El Rufai to participate in the forthcoming Annual General Conference as initially planned in the interest of justice and fairness.
The Leadership of the NBA and NEC should in the future avoid taking such decisions that is capable of creating disunity amongst its members
JIBRIL JIMETA ESQ Chairman
GABRIEL C ADIKWU ESQ