A popular human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has said he will challenge the amendment of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007 by the Attorney-General (AG) of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), describing it as illegal.
Falana said this in a statement on Sunday titled, ‘Clarifications of My Stand on the Purported Amendment of RPC by AGF’.
Nigeria’s AG had amended the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007 by deleting sections 9(2), 10, 11, 12, and 13 thereby removing the requirement for NBA stamp and seal on court processes and giving everyone – including non-lawyers – the right to submit court processes.
The move is also expected to affect the NBA’s revenue as the sale of stamps is one of its major sources of income.
The Punch reports that Falana had in an earlier statement said the NBA failed to live up to its responsibilities when it left the General Council of the Bar in the hands of the AGF in the last 15 years.
He had said since the NBA never complained when the then AGF, Bayo Ojo (SAN), unilaterally introduced the use of stamps in 2007, then the association should not complain now that Malami has been unilaterally removed.
In a fresh statement on Sunday, however, Falana said he had sought further clarification and discovered that Ojo actually did not take the decision unilaterally but only after consulting with the general council.
He said, “My position on the 2007 RPC was anchored on the preamble wherein it is stated: ‘In the exercise of power conferred on me by section 12(4) of the Legal Practitioners Act 1990, as amended, and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I, Bayo Ojo, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice/Chairman General Council of the Bar hereby Make the following Rules.’
“However, I have read the clarifications credited to Prof. Ernest Ojukwu (SAN) and Lawal Rabal (SAN) to the effect that the 2007 RPC was properly made by the GCB. I have also spoken to both of them on phone for confirmation of their positions. I verily believe them in toto.
“Therefore, notwithstanding my opposition to the Stamp and Seal on ideological grounds I wish to reiterate my position that the 2020 RPC was illegally made by the AGF, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN). To that extent, I will take appropriate steps to fight this latest act of unpardonable impunity emanating from the office of the AGF.”
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