Several lawyers have signed an online petition seeking to strip Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation (AGF), of the rank of senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN)- the highest rank for lawyers in Nigeria.
The petition follows the amendments the AGF made to the rules of professional conduct for legal practitioners (RPC), 2007.
The requirement for the NBA stamp and seal on court processes was removed in the amendment, creating room for non-lawyers to submit court processes.
The online petition at www.change.org, was initiated by Izu Aniagu accused Malami of taking the decision alone, thereby constituting a threat to the rule of law.
“Since assumption of office, the Attorney General of the Federation has continued to go rogue, from his disobedience to court order, to his lackluster prosecution, to his outright failure to prosecute, to allegations of corruption and bias against his person, to usurpation of office, to shielding of suspects, to his general dereliction of duty,” the petition read.
“This time, the AGF has decided to take his imprudence to top notch by unilaterally deleting the provisions of the Rules of Professional Conduct which provide for stamp and seal as well as bar practicing fee for government lawyers. The AGF does not have such power. Section 12 (4) of the LPA gives the General Council of the Bar power to make any such amendment and make other decisions concerning the NBA.
“There is no record of any meeting convened by the The Attorney General of the Federation who is the president of The Bar Council. The AGF took the decision alone and his actions constitute a threat to the rule of law. His action is totally shameful and is underserving of a lawyer in the rank of a Senio Advocate, let alone a Chief Law Officer of the federation.”
More than a thousand lawyers are said to have signed the petition.