*Block Entrance To N’ Assembly Over Financial Autonomy
*Say States Must Comply With Financial Autonomy Law
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Monday blocked the entrance of the National Assembly in their bid to take their protest against the non-implementation of financial autonomy of the Judiciary to the leadership of the Senate.
The NBA, over the weekend, said it would join the protest march of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) against the refusal of states to obey the financial autonomy law.
NBA, which noted that whatever affects the judiciary also affects it, on Monday, started the protest from its Head office at Central Area in Abuja and moved to the National Assembly complex but were however prevented from entering the complex.
A police officer, who attended to the group, explained that without a formal notification, they would not be allowed access to the National Assembly, adding that there is also no official on ground to attend to them.
As they stood their grounds at the entrance blocking vehicular entry, light music was played to entertain the people.
The protesting lawyers led by the First Vice-President of NBA, Mr John Aikpokpo-Martins, however stood at the entrance of the National Assembly after 2 hours of waiting without meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly, decided to leave.
The Vice President of the NBA was about leaving when he was informed that the Deputy Clerk of the Assembly was out to meet with them. NBA members insisted that they only want to meet with the leadership of the Assembly and it will not be on the street of Abuja that they will meet to state their grievances.
Aikpokpo-Martins said that they are on the mission because it tallies with the NBA motto which is promoting the rule of law and independence of the Judiciary.
He lamented that the governors have refused despite all entreaties to obey the provisions of the constitution on financial autonomy, adding that all attempt to make them see reasons have failed hence the protest.
Aikpokpo-Martins while noting that the federal government has already complied with the constitutional provisions, said that they decided to come to the National Assembly to urge the leadership to prevail on the governors to comply and obey various courts decisions in favour of financial autonomy of the Judiciary.
Y.C Maikyau, SAN, J.K Gadzama, SAN, NBA National Welfare Secretary, Kunle Edun, NBA Abuja branch Chairmen Atsen Bulus and Dr., Hauwa E. Shekarau are also in the peace protest march.