Nigerian Bar Association President, Maikyau, Says Tinubu Is Legitimate President Until Court Says Otherwise

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He, therefore, called for respect for the government and its policies and programmes.

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau says that Bola Tinubu is not an illegitimate president as being tagged by some Nigerians, especially supporters of opposition parties and candidates in the 2023 presidential election.

He, therefore, called for respect for the government and its policies and programmes.

Speaking during the presentation of the communique of the 63rd annual NBA conference in Abuja on Sunday, the NBA President noted that Tinubu was the one declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) as the winner of the election and the president-elect.

According to him, Tinubu is constitutionally the President until a court sets aside the declaration made by the electoral body, noting that “there is only one president and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces in the person of President Bola Tinubu”.

He noted that the position is predicated on the “provisions of the Constitution and the relevant extant laws promulgated by the National Assembly”.

According to him, going by the Nigerian Constitution and Electoral Act, Tinubu remains the President until a court of competent jurisdiction says otherwise.

“There is nowhere you will find any law that says because an election is being challenged, then a person’s election that is being challenged is an illegal government; it’s unconstitutional.

“That is wrong; that is absolutely an abdication of our responsibility to give direction to the people of the country.

“We are misleading the people. And let me tell you, we (lawyers) are very influential because of the position we hold because the people of this country expect us to guide them on the provisions of the law.

“That is why we must be measured in the way we speak. We can’t afford to speak anyhow because of that responsibility,” he said.

Responding to criticisms from some people that he invited President Tinubu to the NBA Annual General Conference in Abuja, Maikyau reiterated that Tinubu was the president of Nigeria irrespective of the petitions in court challenging his victory at the poll.

For instance, a lawyer and former chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Chidi Odinkalu, had accused Maikyau of being partisan.

Odinkalu stated this following the invitation of Tinubu to the conference on Sunday.

Maikyau said, “So, please, I went to the president because today, there is only one president and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic. If you are a petitioner in the Election Petition Tribunal, the law calls you a petitioner, not president.

“And that is the law. If there’s anybody who questions this position of the law, let me know. So, that is why we went to him. We are very cultured people, if the law says this is what it is, we will follow it.”

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