The Nigerian Bar Association has announced its withdrawal of the invitation of Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai to speak at the 2020 NBA conference
The decision was made by the executive committee of the association and announced via its official Twitter account.
NewsWireNGR reported that the Governor’s invitation to speak has been contentious with several lawyers threatening to boycott the conference and advocacy groups calling for the invitation to be rescinded.
The Open Bar Initiative, a voluntary advocacy and justice initiative for lawyers across Nigeria, had written to the NBA’s Technical Committee on Conference Planning demanding the withdrawal of Mr El-Rufai as a guest speaker at the conference.
The group listed the reasons for its decisions to include the governor’s alleged lack of “empathy” for the continued spate of killings in Kaduna State; Mr El-Rufai’s controversial statement that any invaders “will go back in body bags” ahead of the 2019 election; the threat by his son, Bello, to support gang-rape of a Twitter user’s mother, which he later apologised for; and the accusations that the governor routinely arrests and intimidates his critics, among others.
Reacting to the news of the withdrawal, Yemi Adamolekun, director of EiE Nigeria tweeted
The virtual executive meeting of the NBA is the customary Pre-AGC NEC meeting and it will be the last of the Paul Usoro, SAN led NBA administration.
With participants from all of our 125 branches, the NEC is the highest decision making organ of the NBA after the annual general meeting