By Uzair Adam Imam
The Muslim Lawyers’ Association of Nigeria (MULAN) has lambasted the leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for treating the Muslim members of the association with ignominy and reckless abandon.
MULAN also blamed NBA for treating members with regional and religious bias, adding that the association is working against the interest of her Muslim members and Islam in Nigeria as a whole.
A statement jointly signed Thursday by Prof. Abdulqadir Ibrahim Abikan, the MULAN President and Adam Olori-Aje Esq, the Secretary-General, disclosed.
The statement decried that over the years, Muslim lawyers have had to bear the pains of participating in NBA programmes without due regard for their collective sensibility.
MULAN also condemned, in an intensely vitriolic tenor, the blasphemy of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) by Deborah Yakubu, as her act offends not only her Creator but also the sensibility of the Muslims world over.
The statement reads in part: “In December 2021, the Olumide Akpata-led Administration of the NBA announced the establishment of NBA Stabilisation Fund and Access to finance for Lawyers. The laudable and much celebrated multibillion-naira project was financed from our collective patrimony.
“However, it was structured on interest orientation that puts-off Muslim members that would not want to have anything to do with interest financing. The fact that the NBA did not think about the exclusion of those members, who are in thousands, alone, shows her high level of insensitivity.
“Without minding the insensitivity, the leadership of MULAN called the attention of the NBA to the implications of the exclusion vide a letter received at the NBA House on 23rd December 2021, addressed to the President and offered to assist her in the architecture of an inclusive alternative. Despite the fact that the letter was received, the President arrogantly ignored it till date.
“The purpose of the exclusion cannot be excused from premeditated impoverishment of a target group. NBA is a multi-billion-naira association in terms of her annual income from Practicing Fees, donations and local and multi-national partners’ funding. The quantum of Muslim Lawyers’ contributions to the fund is not mean.
“The funds are expended vide execution of projects and organization of programmes and events through her various statutory and ad-hoc committees. Along with the services rendered by members of the committees, they, in turn, become more exposed and developed in personal skills and human capacity. It is however curious that appointment into these committees has always been awkwardly lopsided that at no time would Muslim members of the NBA form more than ten to twenty per cent (10-20%) of any of her committees.
“For instance, a survey conducted by MULAN in November 2021 revealed the following percentage of Muslims in various committees set up by the current NBA administration: Judiciary Committee – 13%, Welfare Committee – 13%, Remuneration Committee – 7%, Legal Education Committee – 13%, Human Right Committee – 20%, Disciplinary Committee – 7%, Technical Committee on Conference Planning (2022) – 6% etc. the total number and percentage in the whole committees published by the NBA are graphically represented hereunder,” the statement added.
The leadership of MULAN also decried that NBA reverts to her default Sealed Lips Mode on the killing of Harira and her Children in Anambra State.
“It is not surprising that after insulting the sensibility of the Muslims on Deborah killing, NBA reverted to her default sealed lips mode when the news broke out of the barbaric killing of the pregnant Harira and her four children in Anambra State. Was it because it was Muslim lives that were involved or because it happened in Anambra, not Sokoto State or because the dastardly act was allegedly carried out by IPOB, not the Muslim mob that NBA kept sealed lip? While we await what event of the NBA would be cancelled
“in memory of Harira and her Children or staged in celebration of their killing, as the case may be, we at MULAN condemn in strongest terms, extra-judicial killing of any soul be it Muslim’s or non-Muslim.”