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Hijab: In defense of AB Mahmoud

On the campaign for #JusticeforFirdaus my learned senior Inibehe Effiong has made a comment  lambasting AB Mahmoud SAN for  his elderly stance on this whole…

On the campaign for #JusticeforFirdaus my learned senior Inibehe Effiong has made a comment  lambasting AB Mahmoud SAN for  his elderly stance on this whole issue, where he described the controversy as needless in a tweet that he attached the photo of his daughter been called to the New York Bar with her hijab. 

When I read the comment I couldn’t believe that it’s Effiong whom I hold with great respect that wrote it.

First, Effiong is only one or two years older than me at the bar, but when I saw him at the last NBA Conference in Lagos I went to greet him with all respect and told him that I am appreciating his various analytic legal write ups just as every humble fan will do to a person he respects. 

The problem I have with his comment is not just the way and manner he stooped so law to a bigot level and supported the act of denying a person his right to practice a fundamental act of his religion without citing a single law, but also the disrespectful manner in which he chose to address an SAN, and not just an SAN, but the entire President of the Nigerian Bar. I agree, learned senior Effiong has his right to his opinion even if that opinion is unreasonable or bigoted, but I don’t think he has a right to disrespect the NBA President.

I said it for uncountable times before people that AB Mahmoud SAN is one of the most intelligent lawyers I have ever met in my life. He can never attempt to subscribe to the feeble arguments of people like Effiong without legal backing. This, I believe, is one of the reasons why he made the statement he made to calm nerves about this issue but His elderly posture only caused him disrespect from people like Effiong.

 In my life as a law student and a lawyer, it is only AB Mahmoud SAN that I ever heard supporting a judgment that was given against one of his big clients saying “I believe the judge was right” after listening to report on the case. 

If you think he’s a bigot you don’t know him, and you should seek knowledge before you speak.  I’m still in surprise that the learned Effiong that I know who Analyse both National and international laws with logic will make, with all due respect, such an empty, baseless bigoted and disrespectful comment.

I once wrote an article against an alleged intended act that was purported to be done by the Hon CJN and I made my point respectfully and clearly and nobody from the entire country has called or emailed me that I was disrespectful to the Hon CJN or the people I mentioned and criticised in the article, including the NBA which my then boss, AB Mahmoud, is heading. 

In the legal profession,   it’s allowed to disagree with elders, but it’s never allowed to disrespect elders.

I have a lot to say about my disappointment with Effiong on points of law, but I don’t think I have the luxury of time now. But for now, this is my short note from.

Hussaini Hussaini, Abuja, [email protected] 


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