The Nigerian Bar Association, Sokoto branch has written to the National Bar Association (NBA) president to postpone the SPIDEL Annual Conference scheduled to hold in Abuja or refund their members registration fees.
This was made known in a letter written and and signed by the Chairman of Sokoto branch, Muhammad Nuhu to NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata.
The conference was earlier scheduled to hold in Sokoto state but postponed because of insecurity issues and the branch is calling for refund of money to the members.
The Letter in Full Below
26th July, 2022
Nigerian Bar Association,
Attention: Dr. Monday Onyekachi Ubani, Esq., Chairman, SPIDEL.
RE: SPIDEL CONFERENCE 2022: REQUEST FOR REFUND OF REGISTRATION FEES OF MEMBERS OF NBA SOKOTO BRANCH
Our letter to you dated …. on the above subject matter refers;
Mr. President may wish to recall that in the referred letter we expressed our displeasure over the unilateral postponement and subsequent cancellation of the SPIDEL Conference scheduled to hold in Sokoto.
Before now, our Branch treasures and holds the President in high esteem and our members have demonstrated their love and support for the President during his visit to Sokoto in February, 2022 where the President in unequivocal words promised to hold the SPIDEL Conference in Sokoto with or without sponsorship/donation from anywhere.
Immediately after the President’s visit, the Branch met and commenced preparations to give our Association a befitting hosting of the SPIDEL Conference. The Branch engaged and committed huge amounts to vendors and other services providers including the repairs and maintenance of the venue, vehicles, etc. Individual members have equally committed their funds in making personal souvenirs for the Conference. The Branch mobilized its members to register for the conference as our little way of showing appreciation for hosting right of the Conference. Therefore, the suspension and subsequent cancellation of the Conference came as a big shock and disappointment to all our members in the Branch.
While we concede that it is within the absolute discretion of the President in consultations with the Chairman of the section, to select where the SPIDEL Conference will take place, but we hold the view that no member of the association shall be compelled or coerced to register or attend the SPIDEL Conference against his wish.
The President along with some influential persons have expressed opinion against coming to Sokoto for the SPIDEL Conference on grounds of insecurity at that time. In the words of the President, in paragraph 9 of your statement dated 17th May, 2022, you stated thus:
“The NBA is deeply worried not just by the chilling news of the murder of Miss Deborah Yakubu, but also by the sudden and sad turn of events and THE DETERIORATING SECURITY SITUATION IN SOKOTO STATE. As such, having critically reviewed the current security condition in Sokoto, it has become apparent that we cannot guarantee the safety of our guest speakers, delegates and other stakeholders that have committed to attend the NBA SPIDEL’s Conference…. Accordingly, the Executive Committee of NBA-SPIDEL came to the painful decision to request, and I have approved, that the 2022 NBA-SPIDEL Annual Conference be postponed not only for the safety of our conferees and guests…..“
In view of the foregoing, therefore, our teeming members feel right now that in the light of the Kuje Prison Attack in which terrorists and other hardened criminals have been released and roaming the FCT and environ; the Brigade of Guards attack and attack on the Law School which necessitated change of venue for the call to Bar ceremonies; the Zuma Rock attack; and the elevated security threat issued by all security Agencies of the country, Abuja is no more secure than Sokoto was, at the time of the postponement and subsequent cancellation of the Sokoto Conference. Moreover, our members and members of sister Branches in the North are at peril in journeying down to Abuja for the Conference.
We, at the NBA Sokoto Branch, therefore, find it expedient to, and do hereby call for the postponement of the SPIDEL Conference in Abuja. Should you decide to forge ahead as scheduled, however, we, in the alternative, ask and demand for the immediate refund of our members’ already long paid registration fees.
Attached hereto is the list of all our members who registered for the conference earlier scheduled to hold in Sokoto and the amounts paid by each of them in the event you decide not to postpone the Conference as requested. The various and cumulative sums paid by our members should be paid into the Branch’s account as follows:
Nigerian Bar Association, Sokoto,
Muhammad Nuhu Esq.