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NBA NETS N63 MILLION AT THE LAUNCH OF ENDOWMENT FUND IN SUPPORT OF NBA ACCESS TO JUSTICE INTERVENTION IN NORTHEAST NIGERIA
Over N63 million was realized at the launch ceremony of the endowment fund in support of NBA’s access to justice intervention in Northeast Nigeria, which held on Friday, August 10, 2018 inside the brand-new ultramodern auditorium of the Nigerian Bar Association situated within the National Secretariat, Abuja.
The chief launcher of the endowment fund, Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, opened the floodgate of donations with N10 million, and this was followed by Sokoto State Governor, who was the Chairman of the occasion, His Excellency Aminu Waziri Tambuwal (CFR) who made a pledge of N10 million on behalf of himself and his friends and another N10 million pledge on behalf of the Sokoto State Government. Bauchi State Government donated N7 million into the endowment fund. Other donors include; Borno State Government with a pledge of N5 million, an anonymous donor paid N2 million, Former Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Kanu Agabi SAN, N1 million, Paul Usoro SAN, N1million and Major General Shallangwa, Dirctor of Army Legal Service N500,000 amongst other donors.
President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud OON, SAN told the august occasion that NBA’s intervention into Northeast crisis was motivated by the need for restoration of rule of law and defence of human rights. He said that legal practice was adversely affected by the catastrophic Boko Haram insurgency in which some lawyers were killed and many chambers and courts were wrecked while the institution of justice was comprehensively annihilated. He said the urgent need for the rehabilitation of these judicial institutions necessitated the establishment of NBA’s Task Force which was inaugurated on October 31, 2016, with Professor Muhammad Tabiu, SAN as Chairman.
He informed the audience that NBA entered into partnership with the Human Rights Committee of the Bar Council of England and Wales for the provision of pro bono legal services to internally displaced people of the region. This, he said, had necessitated training of lawyers with funding support from UK Aid, Role UK and the Aliko Dangote Foundation, specifically to deepen the skills and knowledge of lawyers in the delivery of legal protection to internally displace persons and other vulnerable groups through the use of domestic and international legal instruments and mechanisms.
He explained that a similar Task Force was set up on the Niger Delta, on the same day, for similar reasons. He also narrated his administration’s intervention in the crises-ridden areas of Southern Kaduna, Benue and Plateau States, in line with NBA’s public interest engagements.
He thanked the Chief Launcher Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Sokoto State Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, and representative of Secretary to the Government of the Fderation, Boss Mustapha, Attorneys General of Kogi, Bauchi and Borno States and the Director of Legal Services in the Nigerian Army Major General Shallangwa.
Professor Muhammad Tabiu SAN, Chairman of the Northeast Task Force said NBA is primarily concerned with issues of protection of human rights which were flagrantly abused, restoration of rule of law and the welfare of the 1.7 million internally displaced persons in the Northeast.
Chief launcher Dr. Wale Babalakin,SAN recalled that Maiduguri, capital of Borno State gave him a platform to launch his legal practice in those peaceful days and it is now pay-back time especially at such a trying period that the place is in dire need of rehabilitation. He regarded NBA’s President’s invitation for him to coordinate the launching as a call to duty which should be diligently done.
His Excellency, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who chaired the occasion, regarded the Northeast as “a neighbor in distress” and said that lending a helping hand was a gesture of good neighborliness.
The occasion was witnessed by UNHCR representative in Nigeria, civil society groups, NBA Presidential Candidates, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, development partners and lawyers.
Communications Team, Office of the President of the NBA (OPNBA)
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