By Kayode Matthew / Innocent Anaba
President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN), said yesterday that there is no crack in its leadership following divergent views expressed by its president and secretary-general on the insistence by the Federal Government that the Lagos State Government should revert to the old 20 local government areas and abolish the 37 local council development areas (LCDAs).
Following the threat by the Federal Attorney-General, Mr Michael Aondoaaka, to seal off the LCDAs, the NBA president had argued that the Supreme Court’s decision was clear on the matter and that Aondoaaka should not provoke constitutional crisis by his actions. He further warned that NBA will not stand by and watch the rule of law trampled upon.
NBA’s General Secretary, Mr. Ibrahim Mark, however, issued a statement, stressing that the associationâ€™s president argument on the matter was his personal views as the association has not taken any position on the matter.
At a media briefing yesterday on the Annual NBA Conference (Lagos 2009) which Lagos is hosting from August 17 to 21, the president, Akeredolu, said, â€œthere is no crack in the leadership of the Bar. I speak for the NBA and any other person speaks for himself/herself.
“We know the interests which individuals represent but the Bar will always represent the interests of the people. The leadership must remain focused and not be bothered by irritants.
“Section 13 of the NBA constitution says the president is the only chief spokesman of the association,” Akeredolu noted.
He added that the association will take a position on the matter tomorrow.
Outlining the programme of events for the conference, the chairman of the Conference Planning Committee, Mrs Olufunke Adekoya (SAN), said only accredited lawyers and journalists will be allowed into the conference hall at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
“She added that the Lagos State Government has provided branded air-conditioned BRT buses to convey participants from the premises of the Nigerian Law School and Tafawa Balewa Square to the conference venue.
According to her, Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State will deliver the keynote address at the opening ceremony.
Other events lined up for the conference include forum programmes involving women, young lawyers, academic, corporate counsel; section programmes; cultural nite; tourism day; novelty match between the governor and his team and the NBA 11 as well as friendship centre, among others.