Lawyers hailing from northern Nigeria have clarified that they have taken no sides in the rivalry between two of their members, J.K. Gadzama and A.B. Mahmoud, who are eyeing the presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). 

In a statement released yesterday in Kano, the Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) stated that it had not endorsed either of the two aspirants for the NBA president in a national election scheduled for July 2016. 

Mamman Lawan Yusufari, the chairman of the NBA’s Kano branch and a staunch member of ALF, signed the ALF’s statement. The press release described as false, a publication that the ALF decided to back Mr. Gadzama after its January 30, 2016, meeting in Kaduna. 

The ALF’s statement, which also bore the names of eight branch chairmen of the Forum, declared that the organization wished “to state categorically that the Forum never backed Gadzama. Neither the meeting of January 30, 2016, nor any other meeting of the Forum resolved to back him.” 

The ALF remarked that the ALF, “at its inappropriately rescheduled meeting in October 2015 in Bauchi constituted a committee to screen members intending to contest for various national offices in the 2016 NBA elections and to submit a report. 

“The Committee’s report (which was not printed and circulated to members prior to or at the meeting of January 30) was verbally read out by the Committee chairman at the Kaduna meeting and was tabled for discussion and/or approval by the forum. 

“The report received severe criticisms and disapproval from [a] majority of members present at the meeting. This, therefore, led to calls for caution in treating the report. 

“Further discussion was suspended, the report was altogether set aside, and a Committee of seven elders was resolved to be constituted with A.B. Mahmoud (SAN) and J.K. Gadzama (SAN) appointing three members each and the leadership of the Forum appointing the chairman of the Committee. 

“The Elders’ Committee was mandated to reconcile between the two aspirants, Gadzama and Mahmoud, and to report back at the next meeting for deliberation. The report of the screening Committee was not accepted and therefore, no person vying for any office was adopted by the Forum,” the statement concluded. 

ALF leaders who endorsed the statement included Salisu Hamisu Danjida, Nuhu Suleiman Tafida, Waziri Alhaji Bukar, A.Y. Musa, Murtala Kassim, Liman Salihu, Y.Latong, Bello Idris Galadi, and A.Y. Abubakar.

 

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