Abia: From Kidnapping to War of Words
The recent comments credited to the President of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) at the height of the insecurity in Abia State , which called for the declaration of ' state of emergency ' in the state have continued to generate reactions counter-reactions. In a press release by the Chief Press Secretary to Gov.Theodore Orji, Mr.Kingsley Emeruwa and aired by in the state radio corporation, Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA), the Chief press Secretary in no reservation condemned the statement of the Bar President. In another press statement, the Attorney-General of Abia State, Chief Umeh Kalu, also condemned the comment.
But in a recent press statement by the Nigeria bar Association (NBA), Aba Branch, the association noted 'the attention of the Nigerian Bar association , Aba Branch has been drawn to a press release by the Chief press secretary to the Governor of Abia State and broadcast in the Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State radio, over the world press conference addressed by the President of Nigerian bar Association (NBA),J.B Daudu Esq,SAN in Abuja , where in he among other isssues,called for the declaration of a state of emergency in Abia State. As well as the reaction of the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Abia State, Chief Umeh Kalu (who is a lawyer) on same issue as widely reported in the press.'
The statement continued 'while not trying to join issues with the aforesaid Chie Press Secretary and the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Abia State , we wish to state unequivocally that the Nigerian Bar Association, Aba Branch, stands the call made by its national president in the said World press conference. The very unfortunate facts, upon which the said call was made, are verifiable and are common knowledge to every resident of Abia State, especially Aba residents. '
According to the association, the NBA President is the spokesperson of Association and any person properly admitted into the noble profession recognizes the holder of that office as such. The comments by the Honourable Attorney-general show their considered view his lack of understanding of the workings of the NBA, an organization he is supposed to be a member. His comments ascribing the call by the President of NBA, J.B Daudu, Esq., SAN as a personal opinion of the President shows clearly that the Honourable Attorney-General is not abreast with the clear provisions of the constitution of the Nigerian bar Association ( NBA).
The Association further noted that 'the time has come when public office appointees should stop playing politics at the expense of the lives and well being of the honest and hard working citizenry of Abia State whose public trust they claim to be holding. The time has come to pull down this veil of deception and declare that the basis for confidence in the security of Aba simply does not exist. Prompting the deployment of the soldiers who have so far tried their level best to restore confidence in the ability of the Federal Government to restore law and order in Aba. It finally declared 'we call on the Abia State Governor, His Excellency , Chief Theodore Orji , to call his Chief Press Secretary and Attorney-General to order, and to avoid an unnecessary press war with the Nigerian Bar Association.
In a related development, the Chairman of NBA, Aba, Barr. Uche Awa has reacted to the recent press statement credited to one Mr. James Kubiri Okpara, Senior Special Assistant (SSA),legal, to Gov.Theodore Orji in reaction to calls made by imminent Nigerians , including the President of NBA,J.B Daudu ( SAN) for the declaration of state of emergency in Abia State as ' irresponsible and frivolous.'
According to him, the Bar at the NEC meeting recently reiterated that the president speaks for the whole lawyers.' It is only NEC of the Nigerian Bar or the annual conference that can qualify the statement of the President.
According to him, NBA, Aba views bothering on misconduct, in respect of their professional etiquette. Also, as at the time the statement was made, that was the proper statement and the entire Bar endorses it. According to him, events subsequently support that call. Joe keshi