Muslim lawyers bemoan dis-invitation of El-Rufai
The Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has frowned at the dis-invitation of the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a speaker in a Panel Session at the forthcoming 2020 Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Annual General Conference (AGC).
The Association stated that the leadership and critical stakeholders of MULAN had seriously constrained itself to downplay the religious, tribal and political undertone of the petition upon which NBA NEC placed its decision.
President of MULAN, Professor Abdul Qadir Ibrahim Abikan, in a statement, said that the decision seems not properly thought-out, reeked of unwarranted sentiments, antithetical to rule of law and inconsistent with the aims and objectives of the NBA.
He noted that NBA couldn’t claim ignorance of the complexity of the over four decades Southern Kaduna ethno-religious crisis upon which the petition was based.
“Its fact-finding mission (FFM) of 16th and 17th of January 2017 to the region produced a comprehensive report (2) that could help to provide a solution than allowing herself to be used to worsen the situation. Ironically, one of the petitioners was a critical expert participant in the FFM. That leaves one to wonder if this is not a case of the Nigerian elites feeding fat from our adversity”.
He said MULAN had carefully gone through the proceedings as reported by those who attended the NEC meeting held on 20 August 2020 and critically studied the petition upon which the convoluted decision was based.
“The review revealed that few individuals who have personal and political differences with Mallam El-Rufai allied with some of the leaders of the Bar and took advantage of the eminent NEC platform to actualize their personal pursuit
“How else would one explain the hurried passage given to a petition signed by an avowed critic of Mallam El-Rufai, targeting him alone, when, as a revered body of learned people, the NEC does not need to be prompted to know that the rationale of the petition suits a number of other invited Speakers who are former or serving political office holders.”
He said rather than having a holistic view of the petition, the NEC was simply railroaded and ambushed by not being afforded foreknowledge of the petition and its contents. Yet, it unwittingly submitted to the entrapment. Aside from the fundamental breach of the established procedure of publishing the agenda to members before NEC meetings, the decision was irregularly taken without calling for a vote, not even a voice vote, on an issue of such importance and controversy.
He implored the leadership and well-meaning stakeholders of the NBA to intervene and ensure that few individuals are not allowed to take the association back to its inglorious past.