Some lawyers have signed a petition demanding that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, be stripped of the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria over his recent unilateral amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.
The petition registered by a lawyer, Izu Aniagu, on change.org, is titled, “Sign to strip Nigeria’s AGF, Abubakar Malami, the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria” had received over 380 signatures.
Aniagu claimed among others that Malami unilaterally deleted the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practice fee for government lawyers.
He said the unilateral amendment was a threat to the rule of law, coupled with Malami’s other alleged wrongdoings, such as disobedience to court orders, to his lacklustre prosecution, to his outright failure to prosecute, to allegations of corruption and bias against his person, to the usurpation of office, to shielding of suspects, to his general dereliction of duty.
Malami was conferred with the SAN rank in 2008, 16 years after being called to the Bar.
The petition added, “This time, the AGF has decided to take his imprudence to top-notch by unilaterally deleting the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practicing fee for government lawyers.
“The AGF does not have such power. Section 12 (4) of the LPA gives the General Council of the Bar power to make any such amendment and make other decisions concerning the NBA.
“There is no record of any meeting convened by the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is the President of the Bar Council. The AGF took the decision alone and his actions constitute a threat to the rule of law. His action is totally shameful and is undeserving of a lawyer in the rank of a Senior Advocate, let alone a chief law officer of the federation.”
Malami courted controversy last week when he purportedly amended the RPC for Legal Practitioners 2007, removing the requirement for the Nigerian Bar Association stamp and seal on court processes.