NBA WANTS ORJI TO SACK ABIA ATTORNEY GENERAL

By NBF News
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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Aba branch, has risen from its two-day 2011 annual general meeting with a call on Governor Theodore Orji to, as a matter of urgency, remove Mr. Umeh Kalu as the attorney general and commissioner for justice of Abia State.

Daily Sun gathered that the attorney general had on July 7, through lawyers in his chambers at 15 Abiona Close, Off Falolu Street, Surulere, Lagos, written letters to the immediate past chairman and secretary of NBA, Aba branch, Chiefs Uche Awa and C. C. Nwachukwu respectively, demanding for apology and N500 million as damages for purported libel.

The crux of the matter was that NBA had taken a principled stand in an earlier resolution over the appointment of a substantive chief judge for the state in which it stated, among other things that, 'NBA Aba branch reasonably believes that the irregularities being committed by the government of Abia State are as a result of wrong advice from the attorney general and commissioner for justice' and called on the governor to, in future, endeavour to appoint 'a practicing legal practitioner fully equipped with legal knowledge to advice the government properly.'

In the latest resolution signed by the new Chairman and Secretary, C. U. C Eduzor and K. C. Ukaumunna, NBA Aba branch described the two letters written by Kalu to their two former officers as an affront to the Bar as co-stakeholders in the administration of justice and the promotion of the rule of law.

The statement observed that Kalu's letters were an attempt to gag the Bar and infuse timidity into the rule of law, which they said would not work. It restated its earlier submission that Kalu was not a fit and proper person to occupy the office of attorney general and commissioner of Abia State. NBA, which challenged Kalu to pursue his claim in court if he thought he had any reputation at all to protect, urged the governor to remove him from office failing which they would not take part in any state function at which Kalu attends parading himself as attorney general and commissioner for justice of Abia State.

The resolution read in part: 'That the Bar is in no way liable to Mr. Umeh Kalu and hereby challenge him to pursue his claim in any court of law if he believes he has been libelled and has any reputation at all to protect.

'That NBA Aba branch hereby state that Mr. Umeh Kalu is not a fit and proper person to occupy the exalted office of attorney general of Abia State and hereby irrevocably and unequivocally demand that the governor of Abia State should as a matter of utmost urgency, immediately remove Mr. Umeh Kalu as the attorney general and commissioner for justice, Abia State.

'That in the interim, unless and until Mr. Umeh Kalu is removed as the attorney general of Abia State, the NBA, Aba branch or any of its members shall not relate with or have anything (official or otherwise) to do with Mr. Umeh Kalu or the office of the attorney general and commissioner for justice, Abia State.

'Furthermore, the NBA, Aba branch shall not take part in any function or other activity of the state at which Mr. Umeh Kalu appears or attends parading himself as attorney general and commissioner of justice, Abia State.'

NBA, Aba branch, said it should, by its earlier resolutions that the appointment of a substantive chief judge for Abia State should be in accordance with the order of seniority.