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NBA opposes hike in lawmakers’ allowance

By Innocent ANABA
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has condemned the proposed increase in  allowances of federal lawmakers, describing it as unconscionable, self-seeking and insensitive.

NBA, in a communique by its Secretary General, Mr  Ibrahim Mark and Mr Murtala Abdul-Rasheed, National Publicity Secretary, respectively after its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting in Jigawa State, yesterday said ,“NBA condemns in no uncertain terms,  the proposed increase in quarterly allowances of federal legislators at a time of economic depression and national anxiety as unconscionable, self-seeking and insensitive.”

The association also said that the forthcoming 2011 general elections would make or break the country, adding that all hands must be on deck to ensure they are free and fair.

It further said that the delay by the Federal Government in appointing a new Chairman for the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, premised upon the need to appoint a credible person was unacceptable, even as it called on government to appoint the Chairman and other national commissioners immediately as further delay was inimical,  having regard to the time frame within which the elections must hold.

On the voters register, NBA said, “we observe that the Voters’ Register as presently constituted was error_ridden and unreliable and therefore call for its cancellation and consequential compilation of a new Voters’ Register.”

On delay in hearing election petitions, the NBA said, “we deprecated the delays in hearing election petitions and declared them to be unfortunate and unconscionable. In this regard, NEC called on counsel who are involved in election petitions to pursue as a matter of professional ethics and expeditious disposal of election petitions.”

On abduction of  Justice Anka Ibrahim of Zamfara State by the State Security Service, SSS, NBA said, “we observed that judicial officers are citizens and should cooperate with security services whenever their cooperation is required.

NEC, however, cautioned that security officers must follow due process at all times when dealing with citizens and the forcible removal of a Judge with gun shots, even if he had resisted SSS personnel in the performance of their duties as alleged was excessive, uncivilised and unacceptable. NEC also declared that the NBA has a zero_tolerance for corruption in the judiciary and that no one should stand in the way of investigations into allegations of corruption against judicial officers so long as due process is followed.”


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