Unic Press UK: Olumide Akpata, who became the 30th president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on 28 August 2020, has weighed in on the crisis in the Bar, appealing for unity.
During a meeting with most of the branch chairpersons of the NBA and other Bar leaders, Akpata reiterated the need for a unified Bar, reiterating in clear terms that the NBA remains one indivisible body.
On the Statutory Instrument No 15 of 2020, which purports to amend part of the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC), the NBA president said the position is that the RPC has not been amended as no authority was given for its amendment. Akpata appealed for calm as the Bar continues to engage with the Honorable Attorney General of the Federation.
The NBA president’s timely appeal to Nigerian lawyers’ follows the purported formation of a controversial parallel body of lawyers named the New Nigerian Bar Association (NNBA).
The so-called NNBA was purportedly formed by a few lawyers after the removal last month of the Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, from the initial list of speakers at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the NBA.
I am delighted that the meeting ended on a unanimous note with the Bar leaders pledging their allegiance to one NBA and urging all aggrieved members to sheath their sword and join hands with us as we build a United Bar that we will be proud to bequeath to the next generation. pic.twitter.com/dFdolP9i0I
— Olumide Akpata (@OlumideAkpata) September 2, 2020
I have seen and read Statutory Instrument No 15 of 2020 making the rounds on social media and which purports to amend the RPC. I am engaging with the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation on this issue and will provide further updates on our next steps in the coming days. pic.twitter.com/KB1dnVAyLn
— Olumide Akpata (@OlumideAkpata) September 13, 2020