By Bayo Akinlade
Statutory positions for NBA
At the state level, the NBA is considered a stakeholder in nearly every sphere of society and governance structure, so you can be rest assured of being invited by the government, private sector and NGOs/Civil Society to every event that has to do with law, governance and justice. The Executive arm of government has committees set up that have seats for representatives of the NBA, so does the Judiciary and sometimes the Legislative arm. Being part of these committees come with perks and advantages. Some in monetary compensation (sitting allowances), honorarium for attending 2 to 3 day retreats in a fancy hotel, while some come with just being exposed to powerful politicians and civil servants
The chairman of a branch decides who to nominate to these external government committees. So if you are a branch godfather or a committed follower, you may be rewarded in this way while those in your branch who are skilled and can provide more knowledge in those committees are sidelined because they have no political affiliation within the NBA. The NBA politicians have the field;lining their pockets and professional careers. That is why they viciously ensure that their stooges win elections in NBA branches.
Nomination of Judges, Senior Advocates Of Nigeria and Letters OF Good Standing
Another powerful responsibility of a branch chairman that has become heavily monetized and corrupted is in the recommendation a chairman must make in the appointment of Judges and SANs. If you have a branch chairman that is corrupt or who has godfathers, you can be sure to be asked for a “gift” if you want a good recommendation from him/her if you want to be appointed a judge or become a SAN.
A letter of good standing is randomly required by certain organizations, educational institutions (both home and abroad). So, approaching a branch chairman for this letter can cost you a pretty penny or you may have to do some “favours” for the branch chairman in return for this letter.
A letter of good standing is also required for the purposes of contesting NBA national offices, so being a Branch Chairman is very important because without it, you can’t even become the president of NBA.
NBA national elections, annual general conferences and NBA national committees
Being a branch chairman is important during national elections because most candidates will deal directly with you and try to woo you to their corner. The process of course obliges the contestant for national office to make contributions to your branch programs and sometimes just making contributions to your personal purse. It is then you will see contributions towards branch law weeks (in cash and in kind) and contestants will offer to pay AGC registration fees for selected branch members, pay for their accommodation and even for their feeding during NBA national events.
The Branch Chairmen also have a lot to say about who is appointed into national committees where the NBA also foots the bill for travel,accommodation and feeding.
There is so much our NBA at the branch level is used for that brings shame to us all. A look at the aims and objectives of our NBA will give us an idea of how far we have strayed from the path that was set before us. I can go on and on to expose more of the corruption that is within the NBA but I take note to stop here and start to think more of what we need.