A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Chinonye Obiagwu, believes it is unnecessary for the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to apologise to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, after he was disinvited as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the lawyers’ conference.
Obiagwu, who is also a member of the NBA National Executive Council (NEC), stated this.
In addition to this, he recommended that the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice and some other government officials should be barred from attending the event.
“I must say that the apology of the present NBA is completely unnecessary because NEC has taken a decision; making an apology does not arise at all,” the senior lawyer said.
He added, “I will have gone further to disinvite people like the Attorney General of the Federation because we have on record more than 50 orders of the court that have been disobeyed by this government and how will you get the Attorney General of that nation to come to NBA conference; the Attorney-General that says national security takes precedence over the rule of law and human rights.”
According to Obiagwu, NBA is a pressure group and the motto of the association is to promote the rule of law.
He explained that the NEC did not just disinvite Governor El-Rufai because of the killings in Southern Kaduna, but the decision was taken also because of his alleged consistent disobedience to court orders.
The legal practitioner insisted that it was the right step to take, stressing that NBA should not allow in its fold, any government official that consistently disobeys court orders.
On the lingering crisis that has claimed many lives in Southern Kaduna, he stressed that the basis for disinviting the governor was ‘very substantial’.
He stated that the situation could be considered as genocide, wondering why the government, in its second term, and “has done little or nothing to curtail the killings”.
Obiagwu said, “We don’t have records of people who have been properly investigated or prosecuted for huge, massive, and systematic massacre going on in Southern Kaduna.”
“It is very appalling that a village will be razed down in a state where a Chief Executive is the Chief Executive Officer and we don’t see the concerted effort, a commitment to bringing to justice those responsible for those massacres.
“So, how will NBA, as a pressure group, justify bringing a Chief Executive that has taken no stand?” he questioned.