NBA DUTSE MEMBERS DEFY USORO, INAUGURATE NEW EXCO

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dutse Branch has inaugurated a new Executive Committee to pilot its affairs, notwithstanding the appointment of a Caretaker Committee for the branch by NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN. With Mr. Garba Abubakar as the newly elected Chairman, the new Executive Committee was sworn-in by Mr. Sule Umar, a Notary Public.

Speaking after assuming office as the incumbent branch chairman, Abubakar alleged that acolytes of an influential Bar Leader and former Jigawa State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice have been destabilizing the branch, adding that the branch would no longer tolerate such meddlesomeness. Abubakar warned the Bar Leader to stay away from the branch or risk having legal action taken against him.

Noting that the peaceful disposition of the outgone Executive Committee – of which he was the Secretary – must not be taken for cowardice, Abubakar alleged that the Bar Leader is not a member of the branch by virtue of Article 13 (4) of the NBA Unified Bye Law for branches, adding that he has “no visible place of practice and residence in the whole Jigawa State.”

The Dutse Branch helmsman warned that the branch would henceforth take steps to stem the alleged meddlesomeness of the Bar chieftain, adding that “In the very unlikely event that he refuses or rather neglects to stop tempering with the peaceful nature and wellbeing of the branch, I would have no further option than to activate the provisions of the relevant laws with a view to restoring the peaceful nature of the branch, and when that is done, the whole world will know where the truth lies as the truth is always on the side of the oppressed.”

He however extended an olive branch to all branch members to join his administration in moving the branch forward, saying: “I am using this medium to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation to those who have any issue or feel offended by any activities of the Branch Executive. It is indeed time to forget our past and go ahead for the progress of our Branch.”

Reeling out his roadmap for the next two years, Abubakar said he would “continue from where my predecessor stopped in the area of fostering unity among members, mentorship for young lawyers as well as capacity building. I will further continue from where the former Executive stopped in the area of partnership with various government agencies and other development partners for the benefit of our branch.

“We will in particular pay much attention to the following areas:

  • Human Capital Development and Welfare Programs.
  • Promoting of All-inclusive Bar.
  • Promoting mandatory continuing legal education.
  • Mentorship scheme and capacity building for young lawyers.
  • Promoting rule of law and good governance.
  • Provision for pro bono legal service for indigent, aged and victims of rape.
  • Creating synergy and collaboration between the branch and any development partners for the development of the branch.”

Speaking earlier, the former branch chairman, Mr. Bashir Usaini outlined the achievements of his administration, noting that while he met only N300,00 in the branch coffers, “I am leaving NBA GTB Account with the sum Two Million Five Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Naira (N2, 502,500) only.” He urged the members “to support the incoming executive for collective success and peaceful relationship.”

Usoro had in a statement by NBA General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi, dissolved the Election Committee set up by the NBA Dutse Branch and constituted a three-member Caretaker Committee to handle the affairs of the branch upon the expiration of the tenure of the branch Executive Committee on 29th June, 2020.

But the branch members argue that the letter appointing the Caretaker Committee was belated and of no consequence, having been delivered after conclusion of the branch elections, with certificates of return issued to the winners.

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