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Only appropriate laws can guarantee free, fair polls in 2015, says NBA

BY IKECHUKWU NNOCHIRI

ABUJA—The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Tuesday, said the country was in dire need of appropriate legal framework that will trigger credible, free and fair election in 2015.

The NBA, which stated this while briefing newsmen about its upcoming annual general conference scheduled to hold in Calabar, Cross River State, next week, maintained that, henceforth, every legal practitioner in the country would be compelled to own an official stamp and seal.

It said the initiative would help to put corrupt lawyers in check and engender professionalism.

Speaking through its National President, Chief Okey Wali, SAN, the NBA, stressed that the theme of its conference, “Law Leadership and Challenges of nationhood in the 21st Century Nigeria”, was carefully chosen, in view of the current state of affairs in the country.

Wali said: “The NBA is the professional association of lawyers with over 70, 000 members in 100 branches spread across 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

“It is the biggest professional association in Africa and the South of the Sahara. Every year, the NBA holds its Annual General Conference. It is reputed to be the highest gathering of lawyers in the world.

“The theme of this year’s conference was carefully chosen in view of the current state of affairs in Nigeria.

“We believe that the challenges facing Nigeria as a nation is the absence of the appropriate legal framework that will trigger credible, free and fair elections and economic development. All this will lead to accountable and exemplary leadership.”

He maintained that President Goodluck Jonathan was expected to declare open the conference which will be chaired by former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, S.M.A Belgore, while Secretary of the Federation, Senator Pius Anyim Pius, will deliver paper on the topic, “Challenging the Giants: 100 years of Building a Nation.”


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