The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), said it has finally withdrawn its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, as a speaker at its planned Annual General Conference, following protests from some lawyers.
The NBA disclosed this in a tweet on Thursday via its Twitter handle @NigBarAssoc.
The tweet read, “The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association at its ongoing meeting resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir el-Rufai, by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning committee be withdrawn and decision communicated to the Governor.”
Petitions and protest had greeted the NBA’s announcement of the Kaduna state governor as a speaker in the planned conference, with over 3,150 signatures, rejecting his nomination.
Also in a separate letter titled, ‘Request to Withdraw the Offer of Platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the NBA to Mallam Nasir el-Rufai,’ addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning, NBA, Prof. Koyinsola Ajayi, some lawyers said the governor must not be allowed to speak at the conference.
The letter, which was signed by Silas Onu and Auta Nyada, listed 10 allegations against el-Rufai and his son, Bello, who is a Special Adviser to Kaduna Central lawmaker, Senator Uba Sani, accused the duo of poor human rights record as well as his inability to stop the killings, particularly in southern Kaduna.
Human right lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN had also in a letter to the Chairman, Technical Committee, Conference Planning Committee, Nigerian Bar Association, Professor Konyinsola Ajayi SAN, called on the association to remove el-Rufai’s name on the list of speakers for the event over the Southern Kaduna crisis.
Falana reminded the committee that a similar decision was taken in 2006, when lawyers were mobilised to boycott all courts in the country to protest the disobedience of court orders by some officials and agencies of the Federal government and the administration of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) under the leadership of el-Rufai.
He had also pleaded with the committee not to give its platform to someone who has a penchant for promoting impunity.