Tag Archives: Olumide Akpata

Olumide Akpata describes ‘Parallel NBA’ Move As Unfortunate.

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President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has described the formation of a parallel NBA as unfortunate, calling for a united body at a time when the country needs them the most.

Mr Akpata who was sworn in as NBA’s 30th President, while giving his inaugural speech on Friday, faulted the move to establish a regional bar.

“I am not unaware of very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our Bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian Association like ours. The Bar that I want to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and that recognises that our diversity is, perhaps, our greatest strength. I plead with all Nigerian lawyers to bear this philosophy of unity in mind as we commence a new journey together today.

“This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice. We must be kind, magnanimous, respectful, and sensitive in our words and actions, as doing otherwise would be a great disservice to our vision of building a stronger and formidable bar. Now is the time to come together because a divided Bar is a defeated Bar.”

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Following the withdrawal of the invitation extended by the Bar to the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, some lawyers had alleged discrimination against the governor.

Two lawyers based in Kaduna, Nuhu Ibrahim and Abdulbasit Suleiman, describing themselves as Convener 1 and 2, on Thursday, announced that they and others of like minds had formed a ‘New Nigerian Bar Association’ NNBA.

In a statement released on social media, the lawyers said: “The New Nigerian Bar Association members feel that their interests are no longer taken into consideration in major decisions of the NBA hence the formation of this Association.

According to them, membership of the NBA is not mandatory, adding that Section 40 of the Constitution permits freedom of association.

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The new NBA members said they were in consultations with “very Senior Lawyers of Northern Nigeria extraction and those practicing therein with a view to constituting the Trustees and for purposes of fixing a date for the formal inauguration of the Association.”

The NNBA also claimed that the NBA offices were lopsided against Northern lawyers.

“A cursory chronicle of the membership composition of major organs of the NBA would reveal lopsided representation despite having large numbers of Lawyers from all parts of the country and especially Northern Nigeria who have diligently paid their Bar practicing fees and have distinguished themselves in the legal profession.

“The New Nigerian Bar Association feels that Lawyers, as professionals like Doctors and Accountants should have more than one Association regulated by the General Council of the Bar.”

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Senior Lawyers Fault Move, Call For Caution
The news of a parallel body of the Nigerian Bar Association has elicited mixed reactions from lawyers across the country.

While some are opposed to the move, others say it is within the rights of the conveners to do the same.

Mike Ozekhome, SAN, who spoke at the handover ceremony of the NBA leadership on Friday, advised aggrieved members against forming an alternative association.

Ozekhome said, “drop all these issues of trying to form an alternative Bar, whether you call it new NBA or progressive NBA, it’s not going to work.

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“The reason is that when you begin to create a different Bar, calling it, for example, Northern Bar or new Bar, then people, very soon, are going to start calling for Southern Nigerian Army, Southern Nigerian Navy, Western Nigerian Air Force, Eastern Nigeria Tax Authority, etc; where are we heading to? That is nothing but balkanisation of Nigeria and God forbid.”

Meanwhile, another senior lawyer, Yusuf Ali SAN, said, “Nobody has contacted me about the formation of any parallel organisation. I’ve not been consulted, I’ve not been contacted, but I want to advise caution on all the sides.

“Our elders have a saying that beheading is not the answer for headache. We are better off with our numbers and diversity of the Association.”

He also said that if in the future such a split becomes necessary, “it shouldn’t be borne out of disagreement. It should be something that comes because our numbers have become so huge and that there are needs. It should also be a pan-Nigerian thing.

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“So, for me, this is just an event; it is quite unfortunate, but I think it is a matter that we should address at a conference table.

“I don’t think we should join Nigerian politicians to behave the way they normally do; you’re dissatisfied, form your own party. I’m dissatisfied, I form my own party. That’s not the best way to go, and as leaders in the country, by virtue of our training, we should show a good example and provide leadership to others to emulate us. We should not because we have issues within ourselves, balkanise our association.

“Some of us have our reservations about the decision of the NBA excluding Mallam El-Rufai, from the conference, but, that notwithstanding, we should still keep our heads and take rational decisions in the interest of our Association, our profession, and our country. I ask for understanding and caution.”

In his own reaction, Jibrin Okutepa SAN said the New NBA’s move was not surprising considering recent happenings in the Bar.

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He argued that many honest lawyers were disenchanted because the NBA had lost its values, and the New NBA members had the constitutional right to form another association.

“If you have read me in several papers – myself, Femi Falana and several others – we have spoken sufficiently to the Constitutional iniquities of making Nigerian lawyers be members of the NBA, particularly that the NBA has lost it value. “So, if any lawyer feels aggrieved that he wants to form a new association, what stops them from doing so?

That is within their rights under Section 49 of the Constitution. So, I do not share the views of those who say you must be forced to be a member of the NBA. I don’t share that view. We have chosen to be members of the NBA because we believe that the NBA will live up to the standard of its motto, which is promoting the rule of law.

“But in the past years have you seen NBA promoting rule of law? Or the rule of personal aggrandisement?, he asked.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Olumide Akpata Sworn In As 30th NBA President.

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has sworn in its 30th President, Mr Olumide Akpata.

He was sworn-in at a short ceremony held at the NBA National Secretariat in Abuja.

The ceremony which was streamed live online marked the end of the tenure of the Paul Usoro administration.

Mr. Akpata immediately thanked the past executive for ensuring that the Association was held together after which he swore in members of his executives.

In his inaugural address after his swearing-in, Mr Akpata called on lawyers to unite as the work ahead of the Association is enormous

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Akpata, said he considers it a great honour and privilege on the epochal 60th anniversary of the NBA, “to be sworn in as the 30th President of the foremost professional membership association in Nigeria and the most influential network of legal practitioners in Africa.”

Akpata who was declared the winner of the keenly contested poll by NBA Electoral Committee on July 31, will lead the Affairs of the bar for the next two years.

The inaugural speech reads in part:

“It is apposite to begin the formal part of the address by tackling two major issues arising from the 2020 NBA election – the seeds of discord that were sown during the election campaigns and the issues pertaining to the election process itself.

The Need for Unity at the Bar

“I am not oblivious of the cleavages that emerged during the campaign and the attempt to pitch senior members of the bar against their younger counterparts. We were all witnesses to the widespread agitations against the holders of the enviable rank of Senior Advocates of Nigeria to the extent that some people were eagerly anticipating a revolution. In some ways, this was understandable, having regard to the issues that characterised the election and the uniqueness of my candidacy, being the first non-Senior Advocate of Nigeria to win an election as NBA President in thirty years. However, the elections are now over, and we must, of necessity, retrace our steps.

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“One of the cardinal pillars of my campaign and on the basis of which I made myself available to run for this high office, was the promise to run an all-inclusive Bar. There is no gainsaying the fact that this necessarily includes giving due recognition and deference to the senior members of the Bar who are the builders of, and significant contributors to, our noble Association. Even as a candidate, I never saw myself as a harbinger of division between senior and young members of the Bar, but as bridge candidate to build better rapport between young and senior lawyers. This is a role I will approach will all seriousness.

“One of the first things I did after the result declaration was to call on my supporters to desist from joining issues or otherwise attacking other lawyers, especially senior members of the Bar, but instead to be magnanimous in victory. Permit me to repeat what I said in that publication. Ours is a noble profession that prides itself on a high sense of discipline, learning, respect for seniority and character for which its members are reputed. Let us therefore join hands to move the NBA forward. The mandate that I have from Nigerian lawyers is to work for all members of the Bar irrespective of who they voted for. There is so much work to be done to revitalise our Bar and make it work for everyone without discrimination.

“I am also not unaware of very recent events and agitations that have tended to divide our Bar along regional and religious lines. This is rather unfortunate for an egalitarian Association like ours. The Bar that I want to lead henceforth is one that is united on all fronts and that recognises that our diversity is, perhaps, our greatest strength. I plead with all Nigerian lawyers to bear this philosophy of unity in mind as we commence a new journey together today.

“This enormous task cannot be achieved if we continue to fan the embers of division at a time when we desperately need to unite and speak with one firm voice. We must be kind, magnanimous, respectful, and sensitive in our words and actions, as doing otherwise would be a great disservice to our vision of building a stronger and formidable Bar. Now is the time to come together because a divided Bar is a defeated Bar.

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Electoral Reform

“It is pertinent to state categorically that, in my view, the 2020 Election – the voting and result of which were monitored live by a significant proportion of Nigerian lawyers and non-lawyers alike – was ultimately free and fair, and the result was, by all estimation, truly reflective of the will of Nigerian lawyers. The above notwithstanding, it would be remiss of me not to acknowledge that there were several glitches in the build up to the Election. As Nigeria’s foremost professional Association, our electoral process ought to be the standard for others to follow and should, to the extent humanly possible, be devoid of the glitches that we witnessed. It was with this in mind that I personally wrote two separate letters to the ECNBA Chairman on 20th July 2020 and 29th July 2020 to highlight the issues that threatened the conduct of a credible election and to recommend measures to immediately address those concerns.

“The consensus is that there is need to urgently review the 2020 elections and to institute urgent reforms of our electoral systems. Indeed, the Board of Trustees of the NBA in their letter of 19 August 2020 to Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN called for a major transformation of our electoral process and framework. Let me repeat what I said to the Board of Trustees in my letter to them in response to the petition of Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN; “as an Association that prides itself as Nigeria’s foremost and oldest professional membership organisation, we need to manage our electoral processes better. I pledged during the electioneering period to introduce an efficient data management system for the NBA and to follow that up with other institutional and structural reforms that would enable NBA to serve the benefit of its members and the Society. In the wake of the criticisms that trailed the Election, this is now a top priority issue for me.”

“One major complaint about the last election was the issue of the database of lawyers and resultant difficulties in coming up with a credible voters’ register. To address this, my administration will improve upon the membership portal introduced by the President Paul Usoro administration. Additionally, I am immediately constituting an Electoral Audit and Reforms Committee, comprising distinguished practitioners of the highest standards to audit our 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections and recommend reforms for our electoral systems and processes.


#Newsworthy…

NBA holds annual general conference.

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The Nigerian Bar Association is currently holding its Annual General Conference.

According to NBA President, Paul Usoro, the 60th edition of the conference represents a novel platform for knowledge exchange on the continent.

It hopes to bring together world leaders, political icons, judges, leading lawyers, thought leaders, policy makers, business icons, and civil society.

The participants will not just discuss but produce an implementation plan to foster the adoption of policies, standards and practices leading to socio-political stability, economic growth, sustainable and infrastructural development for accelerated regional and economic integration.

The conference is being held at the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victoria Island, Lagos State.


#Newsworthy…

VP, Osinbajo advocates 12 to 15 month time limit for court cases.

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The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has challenged the Nigeria Bar Association to work towards reforming the Nigerian judicial processes to ensure the speedy dispensation of justice in the country.

Professor Osinbajo posed the challenge on Wednesday when he virtually declared open the Annual National Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association in Lagos, where he represented President Muhammadu Buhari.

The vice president wants to see judicial reforms that will fast track all court cases so that the longest will be a maximum of 15 months.

Besides speedy dispensation of court case, Osinbajo noted that multiple and conflicting court orders are making a mockery of the judicial process, while highlighting the need for reforms in that area.

“Reform is urgent because the fabric of our society is stitched together by our system of justice and law enforcement.

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“We cannot afford to have the stitches come undone. The first issue I would like to commend to your consideration is the terribly slow pace of trials in our courts.

“My question then is that why can’t we have timeliness on all cases? Why can’t we put in place the rules that will state that a criminal trial all the way to the Supreme Court must not exceed 12 months in duration?

“Why can’t we do the same for civil cases even if we say it that civil cases must not go beyond 15 months – between 12 and 15 months? I think that for me will be stepping forward.

“The question of speed raises a related concern in the context of a competitive global economy, a speed of our legal institutions and processes must match up with the global pace of transactions,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

NBA 60th Annual General Conference | Video

Watch video here – Yemi Osinbajo – Noble Reporters tv

El Rufai NBA Disinvite Matter | Video

Watch video here – NBA – Noble Reporters tv

NBA conference: Our reasons for cancelling El Rufai’s invite not based on ethnicity – Usoro

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the controversy triggered by the decision to disinvite Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, as a speaker in one of the panel sessions at the forthcoming conference of its members.

NBA President, Paul Usoro, who is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), explained the rationale behind the decision of the National Executive Council of the association in a statement on Friday.

He stressed that the disinvitation of the governor from the event had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation as being claimed.

Usoro revealed that some of those who spoke against the governor’s attendance share the same faith with him while others came from the northern part of the country.

A file photo of Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

According to him, NBA NEC is not passing any judgment on Governor El-Rufai by its decision and is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides.

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The NBA chairman state that the NEC did not discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being disinvited, although there was “very considerable clamour” in that regard.

He insisted that the claims that the NEC decision was based on religion and ethnicity were not correct, stressing that they were far from the truth.

Usoro, who stated that neither the NBA nor its NEC belonged to any religious or ethnic group, urged the members of the association to remain united.

A file photo of NBA President, Mr Paul Usoro, addressing a press conference in Abuja. (Noble Reporters Media / Adigun Michael Olamide)

This year’s NBA Annual General Conference, which is the 60th, has been scheduled to take place between August 26 to 29.

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Read the full statement below:

NBAAGC 2020 – NBA’S NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE’S (“NEC”) DECISION TO DIS-INVITE HIS EXCELLENCY MALLAM NASIR EL-RUFAI AS A SPEAKER IN A PANEL SESSION

1 At its meeting that was held yesterday, 20 August 2020, NEC took the decision to dis-invite HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai as a Speaker in one of the Panel Sessions that is planned for the NBA 2020 AGC holding from 26-29 August 2020. This morning, I have had telephone discussions with the Director-General of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, Mr Asishana Okauru, on the issue and have tendered through him, to HE Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, my sincere apologies and regrets for any unintended embarrassment that he may have been caused by the NBA NEC’s decision.

2 I followed up our telephone discussions with the attached letter which explains the circumstances of the decision by NEC. The letter has been sent to Mr. Okauru, both in hard and soft copies. It is apropos that I reproduce in this Release, paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of the letter for ease of reference by our members:

“5. In concluding, I must clarify two critical issues. First, NEC’s decision yesterday had no ethnic or religious coloration or connotation howsoever and whatsoever. In discussing the issue at NEC, nobody talked about religion or ethnicity. As I recall, there were no more than 3 (three) advocates for retaining the invitation of the NBA to HE Nasir El-Rufai(not including me) and two of these three gentlemen are from the South of Nigeria and one is a reverend gentleman. Conversely, some of those who spoke against his attendance share the same faith with Mallam Nasir El-Rufai and some others come from the Northern part of Nigeria.

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“6. The second point that I must clarify is that, NBA NEC, by its decision was not passing any judgment on Mallam Nasir El-Rufai. NBA NEC is not in a position to pass such judgments without having all the facts and hearing from all the sides and it did not set out to pass any such judgment. NEC merely made a judgment that it was not in the best interest of the Association to be engulfed in the controversy that trailed the invitation of Mallam El-Rufai for the Conference and that it was best if the safety-valve of dis-inviting the Governor was applied. Indeed, NEC did not howsoever or at all discuss the substance of the issues that have been raised against the Governor by the different groups and persons who clamored for his being dis-invited – and there was very considerable clamor in that regard. I perhaps need to mention that, prior to the NEC meeting I had personally taken urgent and strident steps, working with the TCCP, to douse the clamor, but we had no success.

“7. I truly would appreciate your bringing this letter to the attention not just of HE Nasir El-Rufai but also to all the other members of the esteemed Nigerian Governors’ Forum and in particular, the Chairman of the Forum, HE (Dr) Kayode Fayemi. Please, assure Their Excellencies that the Nigerian Bar Association holds all our Governors, including HE Nasir El-Rufai, in the highest esteem and would do nothing intentionally to embarrass them collectively or individually. Once again, I offer my sincere and deepest apologies and regrets for the unintended embarrassment that may have been caused to HE Nasir El-Rufai by the afore-referenced decision of the NBA NEC and would appreciate your passing on my regrets and apologies to him personally.”

3 I draw attention to those paragraphs of my letter in particular in order to douse the ethnic and religious passions that seem to have been inflamed amongst our members by the NEC decision. I have received several messages from our members that have attributed ethnic and religious considerations to the decision. That is not correct and is very far from the truth. Neither the NBA nor NEC belong to any religious or ethnic group. We are lawyers and professionals dedicated to the ideals and the promotion and preservation of the Rule of Law and we belong to one indivisible family of the NBA.

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4 Did NEC infringe the audi alteram partem principle – a cardinal principle of the Rule of the Law – by dis-inviting HE Mallam Nasir El-Rufai? No, it did not. As I point out in my letter, neither the NBA nor NEC set out to sit in judgment against Mallam El-Rufai and even from that prism, the principle of fair hearing does not apply. None of the persons or parties who are opposed to the invitation of Mallam El- Rufai to the AGC has been offered the NBA or AGC platform to advocate or propagate their viewpoints and positions and so, the principle of not hearing the other side does not arise.

5 Indeed, as at date, neither the NBA as a body nor NEC has interrogated the issues raised by persons who are opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation to the AGC and, therefore, the issues of fair hearing do not also arise. NBA is not even equipped to play that role of an arbiter or court in respect of the issues raised by persons opposed to HE El-Rufai’s invitation and has never pretended to be so equipped and/or mandated.

6 I am hoping that this Release would assist in clarifying issues for our members and placing the NEC decision in its correct perspective. I implore all our members to please not view this issue howsoever from an ethnic or religious perspective. Those were not the issues considered by NEC yesterday. We are one united Nigerian Bar Association with no religious or ethnic bias or predisposition and shall ever so remain.

Paul Usoro, SAN

NBA President


#Newsworthy…

NBA’s 2020 conference invitation cancellation trigger El Rufai’s reaction.

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Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State says he is not deterred by the decision of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to remove him as one of its speakers for the body’s 2020 Conference.

The NBA had, following a petition against the governor by some lawyers – due to security issues in Kaduna – removed El-Rufai as a speaker in the event scheduled to hold virtually from August 24-26, 2020.

But in a statement on behalf of the governor, Special Adviser to the former Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Muyiwa Adekeye said his principal will continue to speak on matters of national importance.

“When lawyer friends requested Malam Nasir El-Rufai to accept the invitation of the NBA to participate in a panel discussion on national identity, he accepted as part of his commitment to having a national conversation and the evolution of a national consensus,” Muyiwa said.

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“NBA platform or not, these worthy conversations must continue. He will continue to make his voice heard on the things our country needs to do for its progress.”

‘Not Agitated’
While the NBA has the right to determine who speaks at its event, El-Rufai says he did not seek the lawyers’ platform and do not see the development as enough reason to be agitated.

El-Rufai believes with happenings in the lead up to the NBA’s decision, there is a need to clear the air just as he accused the lawyers’ body of following what he described as a “one-sided narrative.”

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The NBA leadership, as far as the Kaduna leader is concerned, have by removing him as a speaker in the conference, embraced injustice, unfairness and an indifference to the rule of law.

“For an association, whose bread and butter is about justice to make a ruling based on the stridency of people who lampoon judicial processes against certain individuals without hearing the other side is odd,” the statement explained.

“It bears noting that in its response to pressure, the NBA leadership has signalled an unfortunate embrace of injustice, unfairness, absence of fair hearing and total disregard for the rule of law.”

Although he claims there are several defamatory statements in the petition that led to his withdrawal from the conference, the statement noted that it is a matter that will be treated differently.

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‘Constituency For Peace’
While reeling out his principal’s efforts in peace-building and his development strides, El-Rufai’s aide said Kaduna is not the only state experiencing security challenges in the country and assured that in spite of the challenges, the Kaduna governor will not be deterred in his quest to address the situation.

“His investments in building a constituency for peace, anchored on the rule of law, respect for the citizenship rights of everyone and an embrace of the obligations of a common humanity will continue,” he added.

“Those who have chosen to pretend that it is only Kaduna State that is experiencing the security challenges in North-West, or that it is only one part of the state that is affected can enjoy the illusion.

“Malam El-Rufai remains focused on the tough and hard work of stopping the bleeding and the needless breaking of bones.”


#Newsworthy…

NBA cancels invitation of El Rufai for 2020 conference.

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has withdrawn its invitation to Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai as one of its speakers for the 2020 Annual General Conference.

The NBA disclosed this in a tweet on its official handle on Thursday and said the decision has been communicated to the Governor.

“The National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association at its ongoing meeting resolves that the invitation to the Kaduna State Governor, H.E. Nasir El-Rufai by the 2020 Annual General Conference Planning committee be withdrawn and [the] decision communicated to the Governor,” the NBA said.

Prior to El-Rufai’s withdrawal, a petition had been filed to stop the Kaduna leader from attending the Conference.

“The senseless killings in southern Kaduna must stop. The political correctness of Governor El-Rufai on national TV is diversionary,” the petition read.

“It is a reversal to have him speak to lawyers on security when Governor (Babagana) Zulum of Borno a better person can do so.

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“We may not be able to do anything to stop the killings, but we can stop the governor from speaking at the NBA-AGC to show our disapproval of the manner he has handled the situation!!”

The petition which was started by a lawyer, Usani Odum has generated about 3,150 signatures on Change.Org as of 4 pm on Thursday, August 20th, 2020.

Southern Kaduna Crisis
Equally, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) had called for the removal of the Governor from the list of speakers for the event.

In a letter addressed to the Chairman, Technical Committee, Conference Planning Committee (NBA), Konyinsola Ajayi (SAN), Falana based his decision on the crisis in Southern Kaduna.

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According to him, the committee should not allow someone who allegedly has a penchant for promoting impunity to mount its platform.

This year’s NBA conference which takes place from August 24-26, 2020, will have several dignitaries including Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in attendance.

The event will also see the former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi; Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and a former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili speaking.

According to the NBA, the theme of this year’s conference is: ‘Am I a Nigerian – A Debate on National Identity, the Indigeneship-Citizenship Conundrum.”


#Newsworthy..

NBA elections: Dele Adesina disagrees with Olumide’s win, calls for fresh votes

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One of the presidential candidates in the 2020 elections of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dele Adesina, has asked the Body of Trustees of the association to cancel the just concluded polls.

In his 11 page petition to the body, Adesina described the election as “electronic fraud, illegal and unconstitutional.”

The elections were conducted electronically on July 29th to July 30th at the end of which, the immediate past chairman of the NBA’s Section on Business Law, Olumide Akpata emerged the winner.

He defeated Dr. Babatunde Ajibade and Mr Dele Adesina.

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But reacting to the outcome, Adesina called on the Chairman of NBA Board of Trustees, Olisa Agbakoba to “rise up and save the Association by cancelling the elections and conducting a fresh one.”

Adesina said he was one of the builders of the association and his call was driven by the members’ interest.

He cited some pre-election concerns and agitations which were studiedly neglected and disregarded by the electoral committee and alleged among other things that the Voters’ Register used in the 2020 Election was a sham, illegal, doctored and manipulated.

The candidate also alleged that the data in the election results monitoring site was programmed to produce a premeditated result and many voters were also disenfranchised.


#Newsworthy…

Update: Buhari congratulate Olumide Akpata as he emerges NBA president

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Saturday felicitated with the newly elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata.

Mr. Akpata was, on Friday, announced the winner of the NBA election, which was conducted electronic voting and began at 11 pm on Wednesday and ended by 11 pm on Thursday.

The President wishes “him every success in the new position of leading Nigerian lawyers to chart a path of professional development and fulfilment,” a statement by Presidency spokesman, Femi Adesina said.

“As a lawyer of over two decades who has held several strategic positions in the legal association, President Buhari trusts that Mr Akpata’s vast knowledge and experience in litigation, corporate world and engaging with government at different levels, will greatly benefit the Bar and indeed all Nigerians, who look up to the learned fellows as crucial stakeholders in a modern democracy.

“President Buhari assures the new leadership of the NBA of the continued cooperation of his administration in addressing the broad range of challenges and opportunities facing the legal profession and the country.”


#Newsworthy…

NBA elections: Opposition, Babatunde congratulates Olumide Akpata

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A contestant in the Nigerian Bar Association elections, Mr Babatunde Ajibade, has congratulated Mr Olumide Akpata who emerged as the 30th President of our association.

In a statement personally signed by him on Friday, Ajibade said he was proud of the level of the debate and the quality of the ideas that were brought forth during the elections which held on the 29th and 30th of July, for the improvement of our association, the welfare of its members and the good of our society.

He, however, pointed out that the processes leading up to and during the election itself have not been devoid of controversy, while also expressing hope that the repeated challenges with conducting objectively free and fair elections in the association will be resolved.

“It is unfortunate that the process leading up to and during the election itself have, once again, not been devoid of controversy. It is my fervent hope that we will get over these repeated challenges with conducting objectively free and fair elections into the leadership positions in the association.

“I remain resolute in my belief that we cannot succeed in addressing the challenges confronting our profession unless we unite and I urge the incoming President and his executive to take deliberate and proactive steps to unite the Bar,” Ajibade said.

Speaking further, he thanked all those who supported his aspiration to be elected President of the association, noting that although they did not achieve the desired goal, the experience was rewarding and fulfilling.

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“I say a heartfelt thank you to all the persons too numerous to mention, who supported my aspiration to be elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“Though we did not get the result we wanted, the experience has been rewarding and fulfilling. I have met and established lasting bonds of friendship with colleagues from different parts of our great country Nigeria who share my values and aspirations for a better, stronger and united legal profession.

“To all those who sacrificed their time and resources, both material and otherwise, I owe a lasting debt of gratitude. I pray that God will reward each and every one of you.

“Thank you and God bless,” the statement read in part.


#Newsworthy…

Just in: Olumide Akpata emerges NBA president

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A former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Section on Business Law, Olumide Akpata, has been declared the president-elect of the Association.

The Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN), who made the declaration around 12:52am on Friday says, Akpata scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the NBA constitution.

“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association,” Tawo said.

The election which were conducted via electronic voting began at 11pm on Wednesday and ended by 11pm on Thursday.

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Akpata scored 9,891 votes out of a total of 18,256 voters who participated in the elections, representing 54.3% of the votes.

He defeated Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) who scored 4,328 and Dele Adesina (SAN) who scored 3,982.

Other winners who emerged in the elections are: John O Aikpokpo-Martins as the first Vice President with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo as second Vice President with 8,794.

NBA president-elect, Olumide Akpata. Photo: Twitter@Olumide Akpata

Others are Joyce Oduah as General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, Treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, Welfare Secretary.

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Anagor Raphael Nnamdi emerged as Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) as Publicity Secretary; and Naza Ferdinand Afam as Assistant Publicity Secretary.

The new officers of the association are expected to be sworn in at the forthcoming 60th annual general conference of the NBA holding virtually from the 26th to the 29th of August.

In a swift reaction to his victory at the polls, Mr. Olumide Akpata thanked his supporters and assured them that by the grace of God, transformational leadership would be witnessed in his administration.

In his words, “In 2 years from now, we would look back to this day with gratitude. We would say thank God that Olu became President. We would never regret this day. We would transform our association and the Bar will work for all”.


#Newsworthy…