RPC Amendment: NBA Membership No longer Compulsory for Lawyers – Buhari’s Aide, Onochie gloats in #SaiBaba post
The federal government’s amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for lawyers has sparked serious reactions from the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
The office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) recently unilaterally amended the rules of professional conduct of lawyer.
Confirming this development in a tweet is Lauretta Onochie, a special assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on new media. Onochie in a post on twitter with a hashtag #SaiBaba, gloated that the new amendment removed the requirement for NBA stamp and Seal on Court processes.
She also announced that the new amendment has removed the compulsory membership of NBA for Lawyers.
A new gazette by the Federal Government
has amended the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007, removing the requirement for the NBA stamp and seal on court processes.
Before now, membership of the NBA was compulsory for all lawyers.
Not Anymore! #SaiBaba
— Lauretta Onochie (@Laurestar) September 13, 2020
However, the decision from the office of AGF Abubakar Malami was on Sunday, September 13, vehemently rejected by the new national president of the NBA, Olumide Akpata.
Arguing that due process was not followed prior to the development, Akpata called on lawyers across the country to stick to standing RPC.
In his explanation, the NBA boss pointed out this decision can only be made by the General council of the bar, otherwise known as the Bar Council which comprises the AGF, the honourable Attorneys-General of all states in the country and twenty members of the NBA.
Akpata noted: “…Consequently, the RPC and any amendments thereto may only be validly issued after it has been deliberated upon and approved at a properly convened meeting of the Bar Council.
“As far as the NBA is aware, no notice convening a meeting of the Bar Council was issued to its elected representatives on the Bar Council and no meeting of the Bar Council was convened and/or held to deliberate on the Instrument.
“To that extent, our position is that no authority or approval was given for the amendment of the RPC. Consequently, the NBA maintains that the RPC has not been amended and enjoins all legal practitioners to remain calm and continue to conduct their affairs in the same manner as they did prior to the issuance of the Instrument.”
Akpata stressed that he is engaging Malami on the controversial issue and will inform the public on the NBA’s next line of actions.
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