Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai has come out to blast the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association for withdrawing his invitation to speak at the 60th annual conference of the association.
He revealed this in a recent letter to the President of the NBA, Paul Usoro.
According to him, it is super sad that the association withdrew the invite simply because of an unverified petition by a group called “Open Law Initiative,” without giving him the benefit to be heard.
He added that he was denied fair hearing by the association and this makes the NBA an accuser and a judge on his matter.
His words, “The news of the withdrawal by the Annual General Conference Planning Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, its earlier invitation to Governor Nasir Ahmed El-Rufai as a guest speaker in the forthcoming NBA 60th Annual General Conference was received by my humble self with rude shock and bewilderment.”
“It is utterly scandalous to say the least. My response is principally dictated by the strange circumstance leading to and surrounding the said withdrawal of the invitation which is based on one-sided allegations contained in a petition by the so-called Open Law Initiative which was believed and acted upon by the Annual General Conference Planning Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association without any referenceto Governor El-Rufai.”
“The decision taken by the NBA to withdraw their invitation to Governor El-Rufai on the basis of the wild and unsubstantiated allegations contained in the Open Bar Initiative Petition without any reference to the Governor is not only a naked affront on the rule of law but also a contradiction of the NBA’s motto which held itself out as the custodian, defender and guardian Angel of the rule of law in Nigeria.”
“The implications of this grievous decision by the NBA demonstrate a total disregard for the basic constitutional provision of fair hearing which is the foundation and bedrock of the rule of law designed for the safeguard of fundamental right and freedom in any civilised and democratic society.”
“It therefore beats all imagination that an elitist professional body like the NBA could take a decision that negates the very essence of this fundamental constitutional provision, no matter how tempting or appealing the reason may be.”
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