BY INNOCENT ANABA
The crisis rocking the South-west caucus of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Egbe Amofin, worsened, at the weekend, with parallel meetings held by the group in Lagos and Ibadan, Oyo State, respectively.
The Interim Publicity Secretary of the group had denied that any gathering of the lawyers was called for Ibadan.
The meetings were in furtherance of the group’s effort to produce the next president of the NBA, to take over from the incumbent, Mr. Okey Wali, SAN, who will complete his two years tenure on August 31, 2014.
Major contestants for the position are Mrs Funke Adekoya, SAN; Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN; Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, and Osas Erhabor.
Another candidate who is not from the core South-west, but in the race is Chief Austine Alegeh, SAN, of the Mid West bar.
It was alleged that the Ibadan meeting was held by an executive of the group that had been removed from office.
Sunday Vanguard learnt that while the Ibadan meeting had in attendance five sitting chairmen, the Lagos meeting, which, it was gathered, is sympathetic to the candidacy of Adesina, had in attendance 10 sitting branch chairmen, while four others were represented by their secretaries. Five other chairmen, who could not attend the Lagos meeting, sent their apologies.
It was also learnt that the Ibadan meeting ended without adopting any candidate, which was the major aim of the meeting, but rather set up a reconciliation committee, which was interpreted to mean that it failed to live up to the bidding of the conveners.
The Lagos meeting, christened the Central Working Committee of Egbe Amo Ofin, backed Adesina for the NBA presidency.
Chairman of the Egbe Amo Ofin, Mr Adebayo Ayodele, who addressed newsmen after the Lagos meeting, insisted that 17 branches out of the 23 that make up the South-west Bar, in attendance, were in support of the candidacy of Adesina.