El-Rufai is listed as one of the key speakers for the conference which is scheduled to take place between August 26 and August 29, 2020.
An online campaign against the governor’s participation started to gather steam on Monday, August 17.
Many lawyers who have registered for the conference, which will take place online due to the physical limitations enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, said the Kaduna governor is a bad fit for the NBA’s image.
A lot of the accusations against El-Rufai, serving his second term as governor, revolved around his general attitude towards the rule of law, as well as his handling of the insecurity crisis in his state.
Lugard Tare-Otu, a lawyer and partner at Assangha Tare-Otu, a law firm with offices in Lagos and Port Harcourt, told Pulse that the former minister lacks compassion and a sense of justice which are values the NBA stands for.
He said, “In my opinion, Governor El-Rufai stands for everything which is against the rule of law.
“There are at least two to three court judgments which have held that he wrongfully caused the arrest and incarceration of people, in violation of their rights, and damages were awarded in favor of the people who were incarcerated.”
The lawyer also noted that the governor has done a less than exemplary job in his handling of the killings that have taken place in Southern Kaduna under his watch, accusing him of dereliction of duty.
El-Rufai recently raised eyebrows when he claimed Southern Kaduna leaders were fueling the killings in the region to get government invitations to collect ‘brown envelopes’.
“The governments before us were paying them money every month, they called it peace money. We stopped it,” he said on Sunday, August 16.
The governor’s sometimes brash comments about the crisis, tainted by ethnoreligious undertones, have earned him public backlash and accusations that he tacitly supports the killings, or gives a free pass to the killers.
Tare-Otu said the NBA must remain a beacon of justice and foster a culture of accountability that holds leaders like El-Rufai to account.
Itong Washington, another lawyer, also told Pulse that the NBA must starve El-Rufai of its platform, and hold him accountable instead.