Lawyers sign petition to strip the AGF, Abubakar Malami of SAN title

Lawyers sign petition to strip the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami of the SAN title
EJ
Emeh Joy

Some lawyers have signed a petition asking that the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, be stripped of the title of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria following his recent unilateral amendments to the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners 2007.

The petition was registered by a lawyer, Izu Aniagu, on change.org and is titled, "Sign to strip Nigeria's AGF, Abubakar Malami, the title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria". It had received over 380 signatures.

Aniagu, among other claims, said that Malami unilaterally deleted the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practice fee for government lawyers.

According to him, the unilateral amendment poses a threat to the rule of law. This was in addition to Malami's other alleged wrongdoings such as disobedience to court orders, lacklustre prosecution, failure to prosecute as well as allegations of corruption, shielding of suspects and usurpation of office.

The petition read:

"This time, the AGF has decided to take his imprudence to top-notch by unilaterally deleting the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practising fee fro government lawyers.

"The AGF does not have such power. Section 12(4) of the LPA gives the General Council of the Bar power to make any such amendment and make other decisions concerning the NBA.

"There is no record of any meeting convened by the Attorney-General of the Federation, who is the President of the Bar Council.

"The AGF took the decision alone, and his actions constitute a threat to the rule of law. His action is totally shameful and is undeserving of a lawyer in the rank of a Senior Advocate, let alone a chief law officer of the federation".

The SAN rank was conferred on Malami in 2008, 16 years after he was called to the Bar.

He triggered controversial talks last week when he purportedly amended the RPC for Legal Practitioners 2007, removing the requirement for the Nigerian Bar Association stamp and seal on court processes.

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