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SANs Divided As Malami Weakens NBA Powers In New Gazette

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images 38 2 SANs Divided As Malami Weakens NBA Powers In New Gazette

A new gazette by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), which supposedly weakens the powers of the Nigerian Bar Association has caused division among some Senior Advocates of Nigeria and lawyers in the country.
Malami had amended the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, removing the requirement for the NBA stamp and seal on court processes.
Before now, membership of the NBA was compulsory for all lawyers and the stamps and seals were sold at N4,000 for 72 pieces and were given upon payment of NBA dues.
Without the stamp, a lawyer could not submit any document or letter to the court and the sale of the stamp and seal was one of the major sources of NBA’s revenue.
However, with the amendment of the process by Malami, the use of the stamps is no longer necessary. This also implies that persons who are not members of the NBA, including non-lawyers, are allowed to submit court processes.
The development occurred less than a week after a splinter group known as the New NBA, wrote a petition to Malami asking to be recognised by the Federal Government.
The gazette – marked S.I N0.15 of 2020 issued by AGF and dated September 3, 2020, which was obtained by Sunday PUNCH – reads in part, “In exercise of the powers conferred on me by section 12(4) of the Legal Practitioners Act Cap L11, LFN 2004 and of all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Abubakar Malami, SAN, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and President, General Council of the Bar, make the following rules:
“The Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners, 2007 is amended by deleting the following rules, namely: 9(2), 10, 11, 12 and 13.
“These rules may be cited as the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Rules, 2020.”
The NBA had become factionalised last month following the decision of the association to withdraw its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, who had been billed to speak at its Annual General Conference.
Thousands of persons, mostly lawyers, had called on the NBA to rescind its invitation to El-Rufai, who was accused of several cases of human rights abuse and being unable to address the killings in southern Kaduna.
Following the decision of the NBA to rescind its invitation to the governor, several northern branches of the NBA boycotted the conference and interpreted the act as one based on religious and tribal considerations.
A group of mostly northern lawyers led by Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman subsequently set up the New NBA, otherwise known as the NNBA, and wrote a letter to the AGF asking the nation’s chief law officer to recognise the splinter group as a new association.
However, while some senior advocates and lawyers described Malami’s action as illegal, others disagreed.
The NBA spokesperson, Dr Rapulu Nduka, told one of our correspondents that the development was surprising, adding that the association was not carried along.
“We were not carried along and we will definitely ensure that it is reversed. We just woke up to the news of the amendment like every other person. We are consulting with stakeholders and we will make a decision on the next step,” he said.
A human rights lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), said Malami ought to have consulted widely before making the move, which he said would greatly affect the revenues of the NBA. He, however, said it was unlikely that the AGF had taken sides with the splinter NBA group.
Adegboruwa also said once the seal and stamp were no longer used, the development could lead to an increase in the number of fake lawyers in the country.
He said, “The issue of stamp and seal has helped in removing fake lawyers from our midst and I think it will serve as a setback if you go back to that regime when you cannot identify a lawyer through his processes. As we speak, other professionals like engineers, surveyors are embracing stamp and seal as a way of identifying their members.
“The stamp, which is a means of generating funds, helps in making the NBA self-sufficient so that it will not be running to politicians and non-lawyers to raise funds. Even though I agree that the AGF as the President of the General Council of the Bar has powers to make regulations, but he ought to consult with those who are affected, namely the NBA, the Body of Senior Advocates and even judges because we are all in the same profession.”
Also, a former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, described the AGF’s action as illegal.
In a series of tweets, Odinkalu said he was not surprised that Malami, “who has a penchant for disobeying court orders,” would not take such illegal action.
He said, “The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, claims to have amended Rules of Professional Conduct in the legal profession under powers conferred by S.12(4l) of Legal Practitioners Act. We have a HAGF who can’t do basic due diligence.
“The only way to go is to totally disregard and ignore this alleged amendment by Malami. It does not exist and did not happen. It seems clear that Malami decided to go rogue on this – as on other things as he has on the disobedience of court orders – because he knows that he can’t get his proposal through the bar council. Few tragedies are as awful as an attorney general with no regard for the law.”
Also, a human rights lawyer, Inibehe Effiong, said the AGF’s action was “blatantly” illegal because the power to amend the rules was the exclusive preserve of the general council of the bar and not of one person.
“For him to unilaterally do this is outrageous. In any event, it seems no consultation was done. Leaders of the NBA were not properly consulted. For the AGF to do this just shortly after some renegade members of the bar petitioned him smacks of ill-motive and conspiracy. He is the worst AGF in history,” he said.
Effiong said, indeed, the NBA ought not to have commercialised the stamp and seal as it was exploitative. He, however, said the AGF should stop acting as if he was above the law.
Another lawyer, Oliver Omoredia, said in an article published on barristerng.com that the move by the AGF could spell doom for the NBA.
“In the wake of the controversies rocking the NBA, with a splinter group and strong attempts to divide the NBA, the amendments of the RPC to remove what is perhaps the most significant influence of the NBA in the affairs of all legal practitioners, is perhaps the last straw that broke the camel’s back,” he said.
However, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), said although he agreed that the AGF’s action was illegal, “it is good riddance to bad rubbish.”
He said, “The NBA is a victim of impunity it nurtured to grow and develop. I have always opposed the stamp and seal because it was meant to restrict access to the temple of justice. Why must every court process be stamped by a lawyer when litigants have the constitutional rights to either appear for themselves or be defended by legal practitioners of their choice? In the Second Republic, the late Professor Ayodele Awojobi, a mechanical engineer, was the leading public litigator in the country. As a layman, he prepared and argued his own cases from the High Court up to the Supreme Court.
“However, I agree with some of my colleagues who have argued that the amendment is illegal as it was not enacted by the General Council of the Bar. With respect, the argument is rather contradictory because the NBA was very happy when the 2007 Rules of Professional Conduct were enacted by the then AGF on behalf of the General Council of the Bar without any meeting. That was how every lawyer was compelled to affix the stamp and seal to all processes signed by lawyers. It had nothing to do with enhancing the quality of justice but designed to enrich the NBA.”
Falana added that “our colleagues must stop playing the ethnic card of the reactionary elite.”
Also, Mr Jubrin Okutepa (SAN) said both the manner of introduction of the stamp and seal through the amendment of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners by the then AGF in 2007 and the removal of the same provisions via another amendment by the incumbent AGF in 2020 followed the due process of law.
“If in 2007, the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation issued the Rules of Professional Conduct without passing through the General Council of the Bar, which is the body that is statutorily empowered to make rules, and lawyers opened their eyes wide and accepted it, because the rules benefitted the Nigerian Bar Association, because of the money that was to be paid for stamp and seal, how do they now wake up to condemn an amendment by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation removing the payment of money and say it is illegal?” he asked.
On his part, Chief Adeniyi Akintola (SAN) said there were consultations leading to the amendment carried out by the AGF.
He said, “There were consultations. I know that there were consultations. But whether the consultations were wide enough is what I don’t know.
“He (the AGF) is the Chairman of the General Council of the Bar and I am a member. If you are a member and you don’t attend meetings, can you blame the other members who take decisions? You can consult members of the General Council of the Bar.
“It (removal of stamp and seal) was a good intention but it was making too much money available to the national and branch officers. Because of the money, some lawyers have stopped going to court. If there is anything that will stem this tide, at least it should be welcomed.”
Meanwhile, Malami’s spokesperson, Umar Gwandu, had yet to respond to an inquiry from this newspaper as of press time.
We may go to court over removal of stamp and seal – NBA
The Nigerian Bar Association said on Saturday that the removal of the stamp-and-seal from the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners by the Attorney-General of the Federation did not follow due process.
The National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Dr Rapuluchukwu Nduka, said the leadership of the association had no fore-knowledge of the amendment of the RPC carried out by the AGF and only read about it like every other person.
Faulting the amendment as illegal, Nduka said there was no evidence that the amendment had the approval of the bar council.
He said the NBA would take any step within the ambit of the law including going to court to ensure the reversal.
Nduka said, “Concerning the publication about the amendment of the RPC (Rules of Professional Conduct), we saw it the way every other person saw it. I woke up this morning to see the publication. We want to believe that some things are not right. One of the things that is that it cannot be amended just that way. The law gives the power to the Bar Council to do the amendment. From what we hear, no member of the Bar Council who is a member of the NBA was aware. There was no meeting of the Bar Council when such decision was made.
“Up till now we also don’t have any official communication to that effect.
“We will be asking that some clarifications be made. Once we have the clarification I can tell you that any other steps including going to court to ensure the right thing is done will be taken. We are a law-abiding institutional body, we can’t just do anything outside the ambit of the law. We will take every step within the ambit of the law to ensure that the proper things are done. Even if it means going to court, we won’t be constrained to do that.”

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A Brief History of the Late Emir of Zazzau Alh Shehu Idris from 1936 to 2020

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38c2d3371672415fb4cd6b6b60d0a5bd 1600609977891 A Brief History of the Late Emir of Zazzau Alh Shehu Idris from 1936 to 2020

The late Emir of Zazzau His Highness Shehu Idris was born on September 20, 1936 in Zaria.

His father’s name was Malam Idris Auta, better known as Autan Sambo, and his mother’s name was Malama Aminatu Idris.

Malam Idris’ father was Muhammad Sambo who ruled as Sarkin Zazzau from 1879 to 1888, and Sambon’s father was Sarkin Zazzau Abdulkarimi who ruled from 1834 to 1846.

The late Sarkin Zazzau Shehu Idris started his religious studies in Zaria before joining the Elementary School from 1947 to 1950, during which time he lost his father when he was only 12 years old.

In 1950 he joined the Middle School in Zaria where he graduated in 1955 and then transferred to the Katsina Training College.

In 1958, he started teaching at Hurakuyi Primary School, where he taught in several schools in the Zazzau region.

He also served as the King’s Secretary in 1960, during the reign of Sarkin Zazzau Muhammadu Aminu.

In 1965. [9] to 1973 he was appointed Dan Madamin Zaria, and later he was appointed Head of Zaria.

The late Emir of Zazzau Shehu Idris became the Emir of Zazzau in 1975 after the death of the Emir of Zazzau Muhammadu Aminu.

On January 10, 2015, he organized a grand celebration to celebrate his 40th year on the throne, and on February 8, 2020, he celebrated another 45th anniversary on the throne of Zazzau.

In short he was the 18th King of Zazzau since the Jihad of Dan Fodiyo and came from the Katsina royal family, as it is known that there are three royal houses in Zazzau, the Katsina palace and the Mallawa palace and then the Barebari palace.

The emir died at the age of 84 on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at about 11am at the 44 Army Barack Hospital in Kaduna.

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Buhari, ministers in FEC meeting

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images 77 2 Buhari, ministers in FEC meeting

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd .) , ministers and some other top government officials are currently meeting.
They are meeting under the auspices of the Federal Executive Council .
Buhari is presiding over the virtual meeting from the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja .
While some members of the council are with him at the venue , some others are participating in their offices .
Details later …

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Without effective response to COVID-19, UN would have failed —Buhari

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images 74 2 Without effective response to COVID-19, UN would have failed —Buhari

The President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari ( retd . ) , says if the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out an effective response to the COVID- 19 pandemic , then the organisation would have failed in its core mission .
Buhari said this late Tuesday while delivering Nigeria ’s National Statement via video -message , on the first day of the 75 th session of the UN General Assembly Debate .
The theme of this year ’ s General Assembly is ” The Future We Want , The United Nations We Need : Reaffirming Our Collective Commitment to Multilateralism – Confronting Coronavirus Through Effective Multilateral Action . ”
Buhari promised that Nigeria will continue to partner with the World Health Organisation and some countries to ensure accelerated development and manufacturing, as well as the uninhibited supply of safe and effective Coronavirus vaccines to all .
He also pledged Nigeria ’ s commitment to working with member states in the spirit of global cooperation and solidarity to promote human health and general well – being.
He said , ” As we reflect on the future we want and the United Nations we need , we must realise that the people of the world not only look up to us : they count on us .
” If the United Nations system cannot mobilise the world to marshal out a truly effective and inclusive response to the coronavirus pandemic , then the United Nations would have failed in the core mission of giving expression, direction and solution to the yearnings of the international community.
” The future we want must guarantee human rights , human dignity , human prospects and prosperity. The principles of ‘Leaving No One Behind and Doing No Harm ’ must be expressed through accountability , strategic growth initiatives and elimination of threats of all kinds. ”
Buhari boasted that his regime had come up with different measures to provide a future of hope for Nigerians. He mentioned the implementation of the Economic Sustainability Plan and the Medium Term National Development for the period 2020- 2025 and 2026 – 2030 as parts of the measures put in place by his regime .
” We expect that these ambitious initiatives will deliver sustainable economic growth and development to Nigeria , ” he said .
Buhari expressed concern that the COVID- 19 pandemic has devastated the world economy , straining the capabilities of the health systems of many countries , including Nigeria .
He said , “ In the aftermath of the Coronavirus outbreak in Nigeria , we prioritised vulnerable groups , including women , children , older persons and the unemployed , in our efforts to provide medical and social assistance to cushion the socio- economic effects of the disease .
” Accordingly , we have expanded our National Social Register , to include an additional one million Nigerians. Our National Social Investment Programme has been the vehicle for reaching out to the poor and vulnerable members of the Nigerian population, as well as providing cover for over 12 million households . ”
The President lauded the efforts of the UN and the WHO in combating the pandemic . He applauded the $2 bn Global Response Plan launched by the UN Secretary- General to fund the coronavirus response in the poorest countries .
The President also commended the Secretary -General ’ s call for a cease – fire in conflict areas to enable humanitarian assistance reach groups vulnerable to Coronavirus.
He said his regime had commenced the disbursement of N 10. 9bn to households on Micro , Small and Medium Enterprises as palliatives as part of measures to reduce poverty.
He added that N 500bn fiscal stimulus package and sustained delivery of humanitarian and social interventions to poor and vulnerable households have been established , while the Central Bank of Nigeria launched a N 3. 5trn stimulus package to boost manufacturing and facilitate import substitution .
He urged the international community to cooperate in addressing the scourge of poverty, particularly in developing countries . The President said Nigeria remained concerned over the illicit trade, transfer and circulation of small arms and light weapons , particularly in Africa. He called on the international community to renew efforts to stem this traffic and promote the Arms Trade Treaty in order to codify accountability in the battle against trans – border crimes, including terrorism and acts of piracy.
He also urged world leaders to redouble efforts to ensure collective security. Buhari described terrorist attacks across the globe as a harsh reality of the challenges the world is facing today.
” In Nigeria , we are still facing violent extremism from the insurgency of Boko Haram and bandits .
” We continue to count on our strong cooperation with UN Counter – Terrorism bodies and neighbouring countries to overcome the terrorists in the Lake Chad Basin and the wider Sahel region.
” We will vigorously sustain the rehabilitation , reconstruction and resettlement of victims of terrorism and insurgency in the North East . The North – East Development Commission has been established for that purpose, ” he said .
On illicit financial flows , the President Buhari declared that the global aspiration to recover from the impact of COVID – 19 will not be fully met without addressing structures that make it more difficult for countries to generate and retain their financial resources .
In this regard , the President again thanked Prof . Muhammad – Bande as well as the immediate past President of the Economic and Social Council , Ambassador Mona Jul , for jointly launching the High – Level Panel on International Financial Accountability , Transparency and Integrity ( FACTI ) for Achieving the 2030 Agenda .
On climate change , the President reiterated Nigeria ’s commitment to the revitalisation of Lake Chad. He said , “ We are convinced that recharging the Lake will improve the living conditions of our people in the area , promote inter – state cooperation, strengthen community resilience and assist in addressing environmental and security challenges threatening the region and its resources .”
Buhari renewed his call for international support for the regional efforts to raise $50 bn required to actualise the initiative.
On education , Buhari announced that Nigeria will be hosting the 4 th International Conference on Safe Schools in 2021. ‘
‘ Quality education for all is the cornerstone of sustainable development .
” I invite you all to Nigeria to participate in the Conference which aims to advocate for the protection of education from attack as we work together towards the future we want , ” he said .

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