NBA insists on Rule of Law, oppose “crushing” self determination protesters as professed by Bar’s top official
By Moshe Odu
The Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) has disown views expressed by his Ist Vice President, Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins who wrote on his facebook that President Mohammadu Buhari has the right to crush protesters.
In a statement made available to Irohinoodua, NBA President, Olumide Akpata said the view does not represent that of the age long association of lawyers.
He said “My attention has been drawn to news reports, currently making the rounds, in which the 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), was quoted as saying that the President of Nigeria is constitutionally bound to “crush” secessionist agitators in Nigeria.”
He said since the statement was made his office has been inundated with request for clarity by Nigerians.
He said “In response to the many enquiries I have so far received from members of the Association and indeed the general public, it has become necessary to state categorically that, as was affirmed in the said news report, the views expressed by the 1st Vice President are his personal views which he posted on his Facebook account in the course of an online exchange, and that the said views do not represent the position of the NBA on the subject.”
He said the NBA was founded to defend the Rule of Law, and will continue to champion and defend the rights of every Nigerian citizen and/or group including, inter-alia, the right to lawful and peaceful protest; the right to make lawful demands recognized under the Nigerian Constitution or international charters applicable to Nigeria; and the right to enjoy the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise by a Court of Law in a free and fair trial that accords with the basic principles of natural justice.