The Nigerian Bar Association , however, threw its weight behind the decision by PUNCH to begin prefixing the President ’ s name by his last military rank , major general .

The National Publicity Secretary of the association, Mr Kunle Edun , in an interview with The PUNCH , said the newspaper did not violate any law by its decision .

He noted that the newspaper was only expressing its right to freedom of expression in reaction to the acts of the regime .

Edun stated , “ We all know that military regimes have no respect for the rule of law and the judiciary is usually under attack ,” he stated .

Edun said referring to Buhari as a major general was not defamatory since it was his last rank in the military .

He said, “ I am not aware of any law that expressly states how the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria should be addressed or prefixed ; whether as Mr President , a General or simply as Alhaji , is of no consequence at the moment because it is a fact that Buhari is a retired military general and someone who has undergone the mandatory hajj.

“ Moreso , the appellations used are not defamatory .

Punch has just decided how to express its fundamental right to freedom of expression in conveying its reactions about certain actions of this government . ”

Copyright PUNCH.

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