President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau (SAN), has come under fire over an allegation that bothered around the undue recognition of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami (SAN).
Rant HQ gathered that this is as the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN) expressed its disappointment in the NBA president for accusing it publicly of not giving due recognition to the AGF as the group’s chairman.
BOSAN in a statement by its Secretary, Olumide Sofowora (SAN), described Maikyau’s allegation as unfair and unfounded.
The group said the NBA president made the statement in his address during a valedictory session in honour of a retired judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Ibrahim Buba, held in Abuja on February 9, 2023.
It however didn’t take the said statement in good faith as it insist that Maikyau had several ways of bringing its attention to the issue either than going public.
It said Maikyau could also have conveyed his observations through a letter addressed directly to the Body but rather chose a public gathering.
BOSAN stated that “The attention of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria has been drawn to remarks made by your good self at a Special Court Session held at the Federal High Court in honour of Hon. Justice Ibrahim Nyaure Buba on 9th February 2023.
“In your address, you accused the Body of blatantly breaching its own Rules, regarding the Chairmanship of BOSAN, by failing to accord to the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation due recognition as Chairman of the Body.
“We are quite dismayed by the stinging criticism of the Body, as these remarks are not only unfair but quite unfounded. It is all the more disheartening that such criticisms were levelled at a public gathering when such complaints could very easily have been made at any of the meetings of the Body or even conveyed through a letter addressed directly to the Body.
“Ordinarily, as a Senior Advocate, you are very much at liberty to address such complaints or observations for the consideration of the Body. The privileged position you occupy as President of the NBA however affords you even greater access to and attention by the Body.”
It insisted that contrary to the NBA president’s assertion, Malami has never complained about been undermined in his role as Chairman of the Body.
BOSAN said: “On one occasion when he attended one of the meetings in Lagos to address the Body on the events surrounding the removal of Hon. Justice Walter Onnoghen CON, as CJN, he actually presided over that meeting, even though Prof Ben Nwabueze SAN was in attendance.
“Again the last time the Body held its meeting in Abuja, the venue of the meeting was at the Federal Ministry of Justice at his instance, though on that occasion, the Attorney General sent apologies for his absence, having concluded the arrangements for receiving members.
“Mr Abubakar Malam SAN is well regarded by the Body and has not been treated in a manner different from former occupants of the office. The Attorney General is by the Constitution of the Body, Chairman during his tenure and whenever the Attorney General is present at any meeting of the Body, he presides over the meeting as Chairman but in his absence, the most Senior of Senior Advocates in attendance presides over the meeting.
“As the Body well appreciates that the Attorney General cannot be fully immersed in the day-to-day activities of the Body in an executive capacity, whilst in office.
“The Attorney General of the Federation is routinely served with notices of our meetings and it has always been delightful to have him in attendance. Indeed it has been a matter of regret that our Attorneys Generals over time have not been as involved with the activities of the Body as members would wish.
“It is for the above reasons that the Body is piqued by the remarks made by you at the Special Court Session and it is our hope that you will at the earliest opportunity endeavour to correct the wrong impression of the Body which has been created by your speech.
“Please accept the assurances of our continued support as you continue to discharge your duties as President of the NBA.”
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