The Ist Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association was quoted as saying in his Facebook account that Muhammadu Buhari is permitted by the constitution to crush secessionist, which has generated many reactions.
In a reaction to that the Nigerian Bar Association through its president has released a statement from the Association to state that they are committed to rule of law and rights to civic expression
The press release obtained by The Republican News distances the NBA from the personal view of the Mr Aikpokpo-Martins whose views raised eyebrows.
Below is the statement from the Nigerian Bar Association signed by their president.
NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION RESTATES COMMITMENT TO RULE OF LAW AND RIGHT TO CIVIC EXPRESSION
My attention has been drawn to news reports, currently making the rounds, in which the 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, was quoted as saying that the President of Nigeria is constitutionally bound to “crush” secessionist agitators in Nigeria.
In response to the many enquiries I have so far received from members of the Association and indeed the general public, it has become necessary to state categorically that, as was affirmed in the said news report, the views expressed by the 1st Vice President are his personal views which he posted on his Facebook account in the course of an online exchange, and that the said views do not represent the position of the NBA on the subject.
For the avoidance of doubt, the NBA, as an Association founded to defend the Rule of Law, will continue to champion and defend the rights of every Nigerian citizen and/or group including, inter-alia, the right to lawful and peaceful protest; the right to make lawful demands recognized under the Nigerian Constitution or international charters applicable to Nigeria; and the right to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by a Court of Law in a free and fair trial that accords with the basic principles of natural justice.
Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of Afenifere has ridiculed the Governor of Kaduna state, Nasir El- Rufai after the invitation given to him to speak at the Nigerian Bar Association forthcoming 2020 Annual General Meeting was withdrawn.
He charged El-Rufai to go to Boko Haram and collect his own invitation from them. Odumakin in his latest article titled ‘ El- Rufai and The Wages Of Sin’ said like the NBA, no decent Nigerian should give El-Rufai any platform to speak to Nigerians.
He wrote “The NBA has continued what I advocated that Nigerians to continue to do when the late Kashamu peers wanted to shut former President Olusegun Obasanjo up for grafting the proper epithet for the late serial fraud. Boko Haram can invite El-Rufai for their session but let no decent Nigerians give him their platforms”.
El-Rufai was one of the fresh blood President Obasanjo injected into governance in his time. He showed some zeal in restoring Abuja master plan but his activities were trailed with extreme wickedness”.“I met him on the net in 2010 when former President Yar’adua fell ill and the cabal around him started monkey business with Nigerians..We started a pressure group of 12 Nigerians which blossomed to 54”.
The online movement later became a real organization at a meeting called by Pastor Tunde Bakare.The Save Nigeria Group engaged the cabal until the National Assembly used the doctrine of necessity to enthrone Dr Goodluck Jonathan as President”. “I saw how efficient El-Rufai could be while working with him online.There was no airspace he could not enter to get information.
The day they were bringing Yar’adua to Nigeria, he was downloading every move of the plane to me.But it was in that process that I saw how widely ambitious he could be”.I cannot forget the day Jonathan was made President and he came to Pastor Bakare room at Transcorp.He wanted a list forwarded to the President of about 3 names from which he could pick a vice-President.His name was on the list with highest points”.“I forgot I have seen him twice in UAE before.The first time was when I attended his 50th birthday.
The second was when he solicited a meeting of SNG leadership through me.Pastor Bakare was reluctant at attending but succumbed to pressure from Mr Jimi Agbaje who was the first to become the first adversary of El-Rufai and his partner ,Jimi Lawal.I saw they were not for any great good at the UAE meeting !“Thereafter came the 2011 elections during which Major General Muhammadu Buhari picked Pastor Bakare as his running’ mate and me as his spokesman.El-Rufai was by the sides of Pastor but throwing bomb at Buhari as “corrupt and unelectable”“By 2015 he turned around a Buhari supporter and had abandoned his 2011 pipedream of running for President on Labour Party opportunistically using the SNG as a launchpad”.He became one of the members of the CPC merger committee for CPC towards the APC,I was named a member without anybody discussing with me.
I took a trip to Abuja to explain to other members that I was done with the CPC experiment and I was not going to participate in APC”. “I met El-Rufai and Hadiza Bala-Usman at 3G office and returned to Lagos. Some weeks after this encounter,I met EL-Rufai at Abuja Airport as we were both traveling to London on British Airways, I saw him and Dr Kayode Fayemi at the lounge and greeted them but EL-Rufai did not answer”.“As God would always show his sense of humor, we were assigned next seats to each other and we didn’t exchange a word till we got to London .
I was not surprised a year after that he started giving testimony as a Governor about how he started befriending killers and paying them compensations”.
I find the Department of State Security (DSS) continued display of primitive barbarism with regards to Omoyele Sowore’s case criminally disgusting. What we saw in the trending video is nothing but Executive brigandage on the part of the DSS. I feel nothing but disdainful contempt for the Commander-In-Chief who is perpetrating this banditry on an innocent citizen right inside the court of Law.
But, I feel more disdain for Barrister Femi Falana and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for playing a very active role in nurturing and emboldening this monstrous tyranny. Those two (Falana and the NBA) are part of the Arsonists of this inferno which is currently consuming the whole country. And they must never be allowed to deceive anyone that they are the Fire fighters because they are not.
Let’s face it, President Buhari didn’t start destroying our judiciary/democracy two days ago. He started it a long time ago and only a man who lies for a living will pretend not to know this. First, he started disobeying court orders with impunity with the NBA doing nothing. From there, he completed the evil job on October 2016 when he used this same DSS to abduct Supreme Court justices and judges of the lower courts IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT under the guise of fighting corruption. Is the DSS an anti-graft agency? And just before the 2019 election, he buried the judiciary and by extension, the rule of law and democracy when he SINGLE-HANDEDLY removed a sitting Chief Justice Walter Onnoghen using a mere exparte order fraudulently granted by the Code of Conduct Tribunal directly under the presidency and receiving orders straight from same.
Judging from Buhari’s past as a tyrant with a very horrible undemocratic records, Femi Falana and the NBA ought to have seen the sign quite earlier. As a lawyer and a body of lawyers equipped with the mental capacity for critical thinking and discernment, they should have known that a Buhari who publicly and repeatedly absolved Sani Abacha of any corruption charge, withdrew Danjuma Goje’s 25billion naira corruption case with the EFCC, re-appoint his Chief of staff, Abba Kyari despite serious corruption allegation hanging over his neck etc WAS NOT CAPABLE OF RECOGNIZING CORRUPTION NOT TO TALK OF FIGHTING IT. And as such, couldn’t have violated all known rules guiding separation of powers in a democracy the way he did in Onnoghen’s case for any altruistic reason.
But, shockingly, Falana not only supported Buhari on Onnoghen but was all over the T.V defending the head of the executive arm of government unilaterally and vindictively removing the head of another separate arm of government. In fact, during the last NBA conference, the same Falana was busy countering Mike Ozeikhome’s attempt to rally the NBA in defense of the sanctity of the judiciary. He was there shouting that Onnoghen was corrupt and as such, the NBA couldn’t possibly rally round a man facing corruption charges. But he forgot that it wasn’t really about Onnoghen as a person but about making a bold statement that the judiciary is a separate arm of government whose head should not be unilaterally removed by an over-bearing head of the Executive.
The rest, they say, is history.
Here we are!
So why is both Falana and the NBA now expressing orgasmic outrage over the DSS invasion of justice Ijeoma Ojukwu’s court in a violent bid to re-arrest citizen Sowore as though the Buhari govt became lawless just two days ago???
I think there is an important lesson to learn from this current reign of terror:
Tyrants always start by testing their limit. Once they take one tyrannical step, they listen and watch for people’s reactions. And once notable people like Falana and bodies like the NBA support their tyranny, they enter the next level. From there, they continue nonstop until they find their way home because make no mistake, tyranny always find its way home.
Democracy is nothing without due processes and procedures. And it can’t exist without an Independent judiciary and a free Press (none of which we have at the moment). If some Tyrant masquerading as a democrat violates a laid down process under the guise of fighting corruption, supporting that Tyrant while chanting “corruption” like some robot simply because you don’t like the face of his current victim is foolishness. You should look beyond what the Tyrant is saying and try to see what he’s leaving unsaid but which his body language and past record is pointing at. Most importantly, and this is for those against Sowore for his role in bringing Buhari, please guys, we have a common enemy and existential threat here, and it is certainly not Sowore. If we don’t put 2015 behind us, we might not make it through the remaining part of this very loooooooong night filled with terror.
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President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Paul Usoro, on Friday appeared before Justice Rilwan Aikawa of the Federal High Court, Lagos, to answer to the 10 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
He pleaded not guilty to all the charges.
Meanwhile, the court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest and production in court of four others named in the body of the charge, who are said to be at large.
They are: Uwemedimo Nwoko, Margaret Ukpe, Linus Nsikn and Mfot Udomah.
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