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Published On: Wed, Sep 9th, 2020

NBA not a political party, lawyer cautions splinter group

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By Vivian Okejeme, Abuja

An Abuja based legal practitioner, Oluwaleke Atolagbe, has cautioned colleagues behind the formation of a splinter group, saying ‘NBA is not a political party’.
Atolagbe who is a Notary Public and Assistant Counsel-International Criminal Court in The Hague observed further that the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) there cannot be multiple or alternative NBAs.
The lawyer who noted that although every Nigerian citizen has a right to freedom of association as enshrined in the Constitution nevertheless, however, expressed confidence that the issue would be resolved amicably.
He said, “One thing that I find most disturbing is the incident that triggered the formation of the association. For me, the reversal of the invitation of a speaker at a conference should not generate the kind of reactions it did.
“If there are grievances, the persons concerned are supposed to seek redress within the organization and not to seek to balkanize it.
“Commentators appeared to bring ethnic and religious colorations into the issue. Thus, coming up with a professional association that is intended to be an alternative to or supplant a well-established, multi-ethnic and multi-religious association under these circumstances cannot be healthy in any way for the legal profession.
Atolagbe thereafter reminded the body that a judgment of appellate courts that have already established that all lawyers in Nigeria must belong to the NBA, adding that it would be difficult for the promoters to succeed in creating any rival or parallel body to the NBA.

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