The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has withdrawn its Annual General Conference invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, following protests from some lawyers over the inclusion of his name among guest speakers at the event.
The NBA announced this in a tweet on Thursday.
The tweet read: “The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association at its ongoing meeting resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir El-Rufai by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning committee be withdrawn and a decision communicated to the Governor.”
A petition to stop the governor from attending the Annual General Conference was started by a lawyer, Usani Odum and it had got over 3,150 signatures on Change.Org as of 4pm on Thursday.
In a separate letter titled, ‘Request to Withdraw the Offer of Platform at the 2020 Annual General Conference of the NBA to Mallam Nasir El-Rufai’ addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee on Conference Planning, NBA, Prof Koyinsola Ajayi, some lawyers said the governor must not be allowed to speak at the conference.
The letter, which was signed by Mr Silas Onu and Mr Auta Nyada, listed 10 allegations against El-Rufai and his son, Bello, who is a Special Adviser to Kaduna Central lawmaker, Senator Uba Sani.
They faulted the NBA for inviting el-Rufai, citing his poor human rights record and his inability to stop the killings, particularly in southern Kaduna.
The lawyers also referenced many controversial utterances of the governor including a threat during the run-up to the general elections in 2019 that any foreigner that interfered in the poll would leave Nigeria in body bags.
The NBA virtual conference, which holds from August 24 to August 26, 2020, is expected to have Vice-President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), in attendance.
Others expected to speak at the event include former Governor, Dr Peter Obi of Anambra State, Governor Wike of Rivers State and a former Minister of Education, Mrs Oby Ezekwesili.