The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Olumide Akpata has said the statements attributed to the 1st Vice President of the NBA Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins that the President of Nigeria is constitutionally bound to crush secessionists like Nnamdi Kanu and Sunday Adeyemo, alias Sunday Igboho are his personal views that do not represent the position of the NBA.
Mr. Akpata stated this in a statement issued today under the title; Nigerian Bar Association Restates Commitment to Rule of Law and Right to Civic Expression”
In the statement he noted that the NBA is an association founded to defend the Rule of Law and as such, would continue to champion and defend the rights of every Nigerian citizen and/or group.
“My attention has been drawn to news reports, currently making the rounds, in which the 1st Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. John Aikpokpo-Martins, was quoted as saying that the President of Nigeria is constitutionally bound to “crush” secessionist agitators in Nigeria.
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.
For the avoidance of doubt, the NBA, as an Association founded to defend the Rule of Law, 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.”