The president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Paul Usoro, has been accused of trying to foment disharmony among members of state branches of the association.
Two members of the Kano branch of the association, Usman Umar Fari and Mallam Abdulrazaq A. Ahmed submitted a signed letter on Tuesday titled ‘An Attempt to Volatile the Affairs of Kano Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association’ in which they claimed that “under the constitution of the N.B.A, no committee has power to review the decision of the election committee. Equally, the national body of the N.B.A has no power whatsoever to set up a panel or committee to review a decision that the constitution of the N.B.A said is final.”
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Fari and Ahmed were particularly dissatisfied with institution of an appeal panel by the NBA at the national level to look into the decisions of state branches’ electoral committees regarding disqualification of candidates for executive positions in 2020.
They said the institution of the panel was wrong, unacceptable and illegal, arguing that the constitution of the NBA does not entertain such an action.
The letter read:
AN ATTEMPT TO VOLATILE THE AFFAIRS OF KANO BRANCH OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
An electoral committee was duly set up and inaugurated by Kano branch of the Nigerian Bar Association pursuant to the provision of our constitution. In the discharge of its functions under article 17 and 18 of the uniform bye law, the election committee disqualified some of the candidates for their failure to comply with the provision of the constitution. Being dissatisfied, the contestants applied before the committee for their disqualification to be reviewed. The application was duly considered but refused.
By the provision of article 18 (5) of the bye law, the decision of the election committee is final for all intent and purpose:
“To the extent of their functions the decision of the election committee shall be final”
However, to our greatest surprise and dismay, our attention was drawn to a certain unsigned letter dated the 4th day of June, 2020 claimed to have emanated from the national body appointing a panel to review the final decision of the election committee.
There is no doubt that under the constitution of the N.B.A, no committee has power to review the decision of the election committee. Equally, the national body of the N.B.A has no power whatsoever to set up a panel or committee to review a decision that the constitution of the N.B.A said is final.
Our firm position is that your leadership, should not indulge in any activity capable of bringing disunity and chaos into the affairs of Kano branch. More so, when the volcano that is terrorizing the unity of our members at Abuja branch has not been contained. With that in mind, the atmosphere in Kano branch should not be polluted.
We therefore advise Mr. President that the members of the Kano branch having immeasurably contributed to your emergence as the N.B.A president, should not be rewarded by doing anything capable of destroying their unity.
We write this letter urging Mr. President not to violate our handwritten constitution as any attempt to interfere with the decision of our election committee will be vehemently resisted.
Usman Umar Fari Esq.
Mallam Abdulrazaq A. AhmedEsq.