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Olumide Akpata Writes Nigerian Lawyers, Assures Them of Leadership that Promotes the Interests of All

Olumide Akpata
Frontline Presidential candidate in the NBA national elections 2020, Olumide Akpata has written to Nigerian lawyers everywhere, assuring them of his commitment to running an inclusive Bar. In a statement he provided to newsmen this morning, he set out items he is committed to achieving if elected as President of the NBA.

His statement reads as follows:

“I have chosen to write you today on a subject that is very dear to me, and hopefully, important to you too. This is about running a Bar that is inclusive and where every member has a sense of belonging.

I am focused on building a Bar that not only has value for its members, but one that would also work for all. The exclusion, discrimination and less than equal treatment meted out on some members of different segments of our profession, is to my mind, unjustifiable.

To this end, should I, with your support, have the privilege of leading as the President of the NBA, I pledge to work with you towards achieving the following on inclusiveness:

Champion an amendment of those sections of the NBA Constitution (particularly, section 8(3)) that allow only our colleagues in private practice to hold elective offices in the NBA.

Empower the NBA Law Officers’ Forum to adequately represent the interest of the law officers and give institutional backing for the Law Officers Association of Nigeria (LOAN) to be registered as a body at the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Champion the creation of the Corporate Counsel Forum and the Lawyers with Disabilities Forum by October 2020 and ensure that representatives of each the Fora are given statutory slots on the NBA-NEC. We achieved a similar feat during my time as Chairman of the NBA-SBL when we inaugurated the Corporate Counsel Committee of the SBL to ensure that the interests of corporate counsel are adequately catered for.

Empower the NBA Women Forum, ensure adequate representation of female lawyers in all appointments made in the two years of my administration, and maintain a cordial relationship with FIDA with to view to giving our women a firmer voice and representation in the affairs of the NBA.
Identify and keep an updated database of aged and incapacitated members of the Bar by December 2020 and make adequate provisions for the recognition and welfare of such members through their branches.

Establish/strengthen other important fora like the Law Teachers Forum; Lawyers in Police, Military and Other Forces Forum; and the Lawyers in Legislature Forum. This would empower them, with our institutional support, to drive action in achieving their objectives to the benefit of their members.

Create an avenue for maintain a close relationship with right standing members of our Association who are in diaspora for further studies, or other professional endeavours. We will also continuously provide them with all the support that they will require from us in a seamless and efficient manner.

Actively engage the relevant authorities to address the anomaly of our colleagues in the Police Force and other public establishments who are not upgraded in recognition of their status as lawyers. These engagements will begin in October 2020.

Extend my proposed NBA mentorship programme for young lawyers to also include the law students through their national association. We will equally introduce an NBA all-expense paid scholarship for 30 law students across universities in the six geopolitical zones in Nigeria by December 2020 to attend NBA events and the 2021 and 2022 NBA Annual General Conference as student delegates. The essence of this is to expand their horizon and enable them, at a foundational level, to enlarge their network, learn the art of business development and increase their commercial awareness.

We can achieve these laudable plans together and like Hillel the Elder asked “If not us, who? and if not now, when? My full manifesto provides further details on how we will achieve these and other plans. Please read more by clicking on this LINK.

Meanwhile, if you haven’t already done so, kindly complete your verification exercise today by clicking HERE. Completing the verification exercise is a pre-condition for participating at the polls.

Please accept the assurances of my best regards, even as I urge you to continue to stay safe.



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