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Split in NBA, as Jigawa chapter vows to boycott conference over action against El-Rufai

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The decision of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to withdraw its invitation to Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai, as one of those to speak at its 2020 annual conference, has been opposed by the Jigawa State chapter of the association.

The NBA had initially listed El-Rufai as one of the keynote speakers in its 2020 Annual General Meeting. However, following petitions against that decision, the body on Thursday withdrew its invitation to El-Rufai.

Responding to the development in a statement signed and released later on Thursday by Garba Abubakar, Jigawa NBA chairman, the state chapter vowed to withdraw from the conference if the decision to withdraw the invitation earlier extended to El-Rufai was not reversed.

Abubakar said, “The Nigerian Bar Association Dutse Branch disagree with the position of National Executive Committee of the association held this (Thursday) evening in its resolve to withdraw the earlier invitation sent to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai … to participate as a guest speaker in the forthcoming Annual General Conference of the association scheduled to take place from 26th-29th of August 2020, based on frivolous allegations.

READ ALSO: You’ve embraced injustice, El-Rufai tells NBA after he’s dropped as speaker at planned conference

“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 himself on the allegations raised against him by a group within the association, before the resolution of this magnitude was reached against hi, as the NBA belongs to all.”

Noting that the Rule of Law demands that the governor be given the opportunity to defend himself, Abubakar argued, “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 the demolition of residential houses and place of worship without observing due process.”

Further saying “A section of the country cannot therefore take us for a ride as we all have a fair understanding of the law,” Abubakar added:

“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 NBA Dutse branch will boycott the virtual annual general conference taking place in a few days to come.”

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