The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has defended its decision to invite President Bola Tinubu to give the opening speech at its just-concluded conference, saying that he is the president of Nigeria as of today, whether people like it or not.
POLITICS NIGERIA reports that NBA President Yakubu Maikyau said in an interview that Tinubu’s victory in the February 25 presidential election has been declared by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and that there is a presumption that all the requirements for his election have been met.
“That Tinubu is president today is a function of the laws,” Maikyau said. “It’s a function of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is a function of the Electoral Act. What I’ve done is simply to recognise the position of the law.”
Maikyau said that the NBA is not a political organization and that it does not take sides in political matters. He said that the invitation to Tinubu was made in recognition of his position as the president of Nigeria.
“As far as the law is concerned today in this country, without prejudice to the tendency of petition against the election and declaration of President Tinubu, he is the president and commander-in-chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,” Maikyau said.
“Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is the president of this country, and I went to him because I defer to the law, not to the whims and caprices of individuals. This is not a function of anybody’s sentiment or whims and caprices.”
Mr Maikyau said, “when anything had been declared by a public officer, there is a presumption, rebuttable though, that all that needed to be done, had been so done and that the person who made that declaring has the authority to make the declaration.”
Then, he asked, “Did the INEC chairman have the authority to make the declaration that he did?”
“Yes,” said the NBA leader. “When he declared Tinubu as president, there is a presumption that enured in favour of Tinubu as the candidate at that time, now president under the auspices of the APC, that all that needed to be done, that all the requirements that needed to be declared as president has been satisfied.”
The presidential election petition tribunal is expected to rule on the petitions on Wednesday, September 6.