LEADERS and branch chairmen of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in the North have dissociated themselves from the splinter group, New Nigeria Bar Association (NNBA).
The position of the leaders was made known in Abuja on Wednesday after a meeting with the NBA President, Olumide Akpata.
Acting Chairman of Arewa Lawyers’ Forum (ALF), Elisha Yakubu Kura (SAN), read the resolutions reached at the meeting, tagged: “Meeting between the NBA President, national leaders and branch chairmen and leaders of the northern geopolitical zone of the NBA.”
“At the meeting today (Wednesday), Mr. Akpata reassured us that his administration is very keen on ensuring that we did not have only a united Bar but also an indivisible one, and we verily believe in him.
“We have unanimously agreed to support his (Akpata’s) leadership of the NBA, and we hereby restate our true allegiance to the NBA and disassociate ourselves from the ‘New NBA’ or any other splinter group whatsoever making the waves in recent weeks as a new association/body of lawyers in Nigeria.
“We, therefore, urge all lawyers, not only of the northern geo-political zone, including those behind the establishment of the NNBA but indeed all legal practitioners in Nigeria, to please come together to support Mr. Olumide Akpata and the new national officers to ensure that they deliver on all their core mandates whilst indeed putting the rule of law, the welfare and capacity development of our members at the fore front,” he said.
Akpata had told journalists after the meeting that, “The message we want you to help us put out there is that at the NBA, we are one; we are not divided.”
“We should learn to disagree to agree.
“We have spoken unequivocally today that we are one association and, by extension, one country.”
Two Kaduna-based lawyers, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, had formed the NNBA and wrote to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami of the existence of the new body.