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SPIDEL Chairman Responds To NBA President’s Suspension Order

The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Public Interest and Development Law section (SPIDEL), John Aikpokpo-Martins has responded to the NBA President’s directives to suspend activities.

Below is the full text of his response to the NBA President.

Good morning, Mr. President.

I received your email late yesterday, and i have duly informed the members of the executive committee of SPIDEL of the time of the meeting and I know that some of them will be in Abuja physically.

Permit me, sir, to correct a misunderstanding on the information about the meeting. It is true that you directed me on Monday to inform the members of the executive committee to a meeting on Thursday. However, when I enquired from you the kind of meeting, you said that it would be a hybrid meeting. But however, that I should be physically present at the meeting. I was the one who sought to know the time of the meeting to enable us to make arrangements to be physically present. You then said you would get back to me. So, immediately and duly informed the members of the executive committee of your summons on the same day, and that the time of the meeting will be communicated immediately you revert with the time of the meeting. My members and I have been patiently waiting for the time of the meeting until I saw your email in the evening yesterday. I have duly informed my executive committee members of the time of the meeting. The point is that you promised to get back to me with the time of the meeting, not my humble self getting back to you.

Sir, I observed that you took time to put our conversations and your misgivings against the activities of SPIDEL under my watch in writing and for the first time made plain your case against SPIDEL and myself. I will, therefore, seek your indulgence to appropriately respond for record purposes later in writing to put the issues in proper perspectives.

Suffice it to say Mr. President that SPIDEL and myself as its chairman and as a person have the utmost respect and high regard for the office of the Presisent of the Nigerian Bar Association and your good self. It is not possible for us, particularly me, to undermine the office in any way, however, for so many reasons. Please be assured of our respect at all times, sir.

Lastly sir, due to the short notice, I was not unfortunately able to get an available flight from Warri to Abuja at this very short notice in as much as I desire to be physically present at this meeting. May I kindly, therefore, seek your understanding that I be granted the concession to attend the meeting virtually. I am also ready to meet with you on a more convenient date to enable me to get on a flight to Abuja.

Good morning, Mr. President.

John Aikpokpo-Martins
Chairman, NBA-SPIDEL.

NB: my attention has just been drawn to the fact that your mail to me, which was not on an official letterhead and which was addressed to me in my private capacity as “dear Aikpokpo-Martins” and NOT as “Chairman SPIDEL” is now in the public domain and on the letterhead of the Association and addressed to me officially. I am a bit taken aback.

Anyway, sir,it is past 9 am, and I am still waiting for the Zoom link.

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