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Shame! Nigerian Bar Association seeks stay of execution on declaratory judgment

*NBA 2015 Constitution illegal, invalid, null and void

*Abubakar Mahmoud’s leadership sacked

By Olajide Fashikun

With the declaratory judgement of Justice John Tsoho of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja which voided the 2015 constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), it is sad to note that the sacked leadership are talking of a stay of execution. This will be a legal feat!

The court gave the order on Thursday in a suit filed by Supo Ojo, a lawyer, challenging the procedure of amending the said Constitution.

Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) was elected president of the association in July 2016 on the strength of the voided constitution.

The court order de-legitimises his leadership because he emerged president of the Nigerian Bar Association on the voided constitution. By implication, It also means that all appointments he has made are invalid.

This court order will also sweep away the recommendation of senior lawyers his tenure had nominated to the National Judicial Council (NJC) for appointment as judges.

In the history of the NBA, this is the first time such a monumental vectoral dislocation is happening. In view of the foregoing, the general council of the bar will now have to take over the administration of the association pending when a fresh election may now be conducted under a Constitution passed by a resolution of members in 2001.

The court order also by further eduction means that the Abubakar Mahmud cannot be counted as a former Nigerian Bar Association president. If the court order affects all decisions the body had taken since 2010 – and not the just the election of the president, it is a deletion of that era.

The comic relief coming out of the corridors of the sacked Executive is that they want to seek for a Stay of Execution. It is however trite in law that declaratory judgements cannot be stayed. How they will get the said order is being watched. The Nigerian Bar Association is yet to issue a statement on the development.

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