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40 Northern NBA Chairmen Pledge Allegiance To Akpata

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images 25 40 Northern NBA Chairmen Pledge Allegiance To Akpata

…distances themselves from Northern splinter group
Forty leaders of the northern geopolitical zone of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, on Wednesday, distanced themselves from moves to divide the legal body.
The chairmen, in a communique they issued at the end of a meeting they held at the NBA Headquarters in Abuja, pledged their allegiance to the National President of the association, Mr. Olumide Akpata and his executives.
While disassociating themselves from plot by some young northern lawyers to form a splintered body to be known as “New NBA”, the Chairmen, urged the aggrieved members to sheath their sword and support the Akpata-led executives to build a united Bar for legal practitioners in the country.
The communique was signed by all the Chairmen of NBA branches in the northern geopolitical zone and read by the Acting Chairman, Arewa Lawyers Forum, Mr. Elisha Yakubu Kurah, SAN.
It read: “We the undersigned individuals, who are Chairmen of the various branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) that make up the Northern Geopolitical Zone as defined in the NBA Constitution 2015, and other senior members of the Bar have today Wednesday 2nd September 2020 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, met with the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata and the National Officers of the NBA.
“We have unanimously agreed to support his leadership of the NBA, and we hereby restate our true allegiance to the NBA and disassociate ourselves from the “New NBA” or any splitter group whatsoever making the waves in recent weeks as a new association/body of lawyers in Nigeria.
“We understand that the NBA has historically and in recent times been fraught with several challenges but we are indeed assured that the NBA under the leadership of Mr. Olumide Akpata will surmount these challenges and birth an all-inclusive Bar that will work for all Lawyers in Nigeria regardless of any part of the divide one may belong.
“We were gratified to hear the NBA President during his inaugural address restate that the Bar that he wants to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and which recognises that our diversity is our greatest strength.
“At the meeting today, Mr. Akpata reassured us that his administration is very keen on ensuring that we not have only a united Bar but also an indivisible one, and we verily believe in him.
“We, therefore, urge all lawyers not only of the Northern Geopolitical Zone, including those behind the establishment of the NNBA but indeed all legal practitioners in Nigeria to please come together to support Mr. Olumide Akpata and the new national officers to ensure that they deliver on all their core mandates whilst indeed putting the rule of law, the welfare and capacity development of our members at the forefront.
“We thank the NBA President, Mr Olumide Akpata and all the national officers of the NBA for having this meeting with us as one of their first official acts after their inauguration last Friday, which is only indicative of the value they place on the need for an all-inclusive Bar and we wish them a very successful tenure and also reassure Mr President of our total support for his administration and pledge our allegiance to the NBA at large”.
Earlier in his remarks, the NBA President, Akpata, said he would reach out to all aggrieved members of the association.
“At the NBA we remain one, united and indivisible. We have not split along ethnic or religious lines.We disagree and agree as lawyers. We will learn from past mistakes.
“Only those who refuse to learn from past mistakes are doomed. Due apology to those offended. We are committed to making NBA better and to also build our nation to be stronger.
“Lawyers will not be in the vanguard to break up our country. Where our country is going wrong, we as lawyers will give the light. We are here to build Nigeria and not to destroy it. All is well with us in the NBA and we are doing well. If there is still any group aggrieved, we will reach out to the group.
“Our ability to surmount challenges make us leaders. We will remain focused because expectations are high. We in the NBA will speak loud to support the teeming people of this country on issues affecting them. 40 Chairmen from the Northern zone are here and they have spoken in one voice that our association is not polarized.
“We are one association and by extension, we are one in one Nigeria”, Akpata added.
Report had emerged last Thursday that some lawyers of Northern extraction had formed a new ‘Nigerian Bar Association’ with the aim of protecting their interests as encapsulated under Section 40 of the Constitution.
In a statement reportedly signed by arrowheads of the group, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, they claimed that recent happenings in the legal body, including the dis-invitation of Kaduna State Governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a speaker in the just-concluded conference of the NBA, exposed the inability of the association to manage and contain the heterogeneity of its members.
The duo said the new group would consult other senior lawyers from the northern extraction so as to co-opt them into the new umbrella body of lawyers from the region, adding that over 5, 000 lawyers indicated interest to join the “New NBA”.

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Fintiri Condoles With Adamawa APC Over Chieftain’s Death

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images 30 4 Fintiri Condoles With Adamawa APC Over Chieftain’s Death

Press Secretary to the Governor, Humwashi Wonosikou, made this known to press in a statement issued on Monday.Fintiri who described the demise as shocking, also sympathized with the family, Mubi Emirate over the loss, noting that Muhammad would be remembered for his tenacity and contributions to the growth and development of Adamawa state.He urged APC to take solace in Allah, describing the deceased as a great party man who used his experience towards contributing to the progress of the party and the state in general.

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EFCC Confirms Attack On Commission’s Website

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images 28 4 EFCC Confirms Attack On Commission’s Website

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), on Monday admitted that its official website was attacked by yet-to-be identified cyber criminals during the weekend.

A group of activists with a motto: ‘We are anonymous’ had last Friday announced on Twitter in a series of tweets that it had gained access into some critical federal government agencies’ websites in solidarity with #EndSARS protests going on in the country.

The agencies, as announced by the activists included websites of EFCC, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) among others.Checks revealed that the commission’s website on Friday showed it was offline due to an internal server error.

The activists also announced that they had gained access to the Twitter account of National Broadcasting Corporation via the victim-agency’s account, where they also posted #EndSARS protest materials on the agency’s Twitter timeline.

Confirming the attack, spokesperson of the commission, Wilson Uwujaren, in a tweet said the attack was successfully repelled.

He wrote, “Though there were attempts, over the weekend, to compromise the website by some cyber criminals the attacks were successfully repelled. The EFCC website is up and running.”

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Money Laundering: Court Gives Senator Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

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images 23 3 Money Laundering: Court Gives Senator Ndume 21 Days To Produce Maina

The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, gave Senator Ali Ndume who is representing Borno South, 21 days, to produce the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Abdulrasheed Maina, who has repeatedly failed to appear for continuation of his trial on money laundering charges.
The former pension boss is facing a 12-count criminal charge the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, preferred against him and a firm, Common Input Properties & Investment Limited.
Maina spent over seven months on remand at the Kuje Correctional Center before the court released on bail after Senator Ndume agreed to stand surety for him.
EFCC alleged that he used account of the firm and laundered funds to the tune of about N2billion, part of which he used to acquire landed properties in Abuja.
EFCC has already opened its case and called witnesses that included bankers and Maina’s relatives, who testified and tendered exhibits in evidence before the court.
However, the Defendant had since September 29, failed to appear in court for his trial, even as the prosecution alleged that he has jumped bail.
*Senator Ndume had on October 2 when the matter came up for trial, informed the court that he does not know the whereabouts of the Defendant.
Likewise, at the resumed proceedings on Monday, the lawmaker, lamented before the court that all his efforts to locate the 1st Defendant, proved abortive.
Ndume begged the court to issue an arrest warrant to enable security operatives to track down and apprehend Maina.
Ndume said he was willing to forfeit his own freedom to ensure that Maina is arrested and produced before the court.
Addressing the court after he was queried about Maina’s whereabouts on Monday, Ndume said: “My lord, I understand that the defendant is in Abuja and I did all I can to locate him without any definite result.
“My lord, I am constraint because I cannot take the law into my hand.
“I had reported to the DG SSS, the AIG of Police Investigation; I even wrote to police commissioner and I also reported the case to DPO of Jabi where the defendant resides.
“But my lord, even if I see Maina today, I can’t force him to come to court. I am appealing to u to issue a warrant on him.”
Trial Justice Okon Abang then reminded Ndume that the legal implication of such arrest warrant is that he would also be remanded in custody pending when Maina is apprehended.
“I don’t mind my lord. My concern is to have him in court so that I can continue my life”, Ndume responded.
He told the court he had only met Maina once in his life before he decided to stand as his surety, being the lawmaker that represents his constituency.
Besides, Ndume told the court that he was pressurized to stand surety for the Defendant by three former governors.
“As a senator serving him (Maina), his family, wife, mother and uncle appealed to me to stand as a surety.
“I went to prison to confirm for myself whether he was actually sick and the prison officers told me that he was actually sick and appealed to me to be his surety so that he could have access to medical attention.
“Orji Kalu when he was in prison then, Joshua Dariye, former Governor of Taraba, Rev. Jolly Nyame, all appealed to me in the prison to assist him.
“It took me eight months my lord to take that decision. In fact, I have to be given an indemnity by his uncle; signed by me, him and a lawyer that Maina would always be in court.
“He guaranteed but since that day, I went to Maitama Hospital to check their record, I went to Abuja Clinic, I went to the house he is purported to be living in Jabi, Abuja.
“This is one of the professional hazards we face as lawmakers, representing the good, the bad and the ugly.
“If I was not a serving senator, I wouldn’t have cause to stand as surety,” Ndume added.
He decried that Maina who claimed to be ill, had recently released a video clip which went viral on social media about his state of health, but refused to make himself available.
“I am helpless before you my lord. I appeal that such innocent citizens like me holding a public office for over one million people should not be subjected to this,” Ndume pleaded.
Earlier, EFCC’s lawyer, Farouk Abdullah, applied for leave of the court to try Maina in absentia.
He also urged the court to not only revoke Maina’s bail, but to also direct his surety, Ndume, to pay the sum of N500million, being the total bail bond.
Maina’s lawyer, Francis Oronsaye, opposed the application to revoke his client’s bail, though he also admitted not knowing his whereabouts.
“My lord, the information we have is that the Defendant is admitted in hospital after a surgery. He said he was undergoing treatment after the surgery and the location was not disclosed.

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