By Onozure Dania
Former Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, General Secretary, Chief Emeka Obegolu has urged lawyers to elect Chief Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN, as the next NBA President.
In a statement entitled: A New Bar Beckons, Obegolu who is also the Vice- President of Pan-Africa Lawyers Union, PALU, said: “In two days’ time, the voting members of the NBA will vote to elect national officers that will conduct the affairs of the association for the next two years. This year’s election is not only unique for the challenges encountered by the electoral committee in choosing the service provider for the election platforms for verification, accreditation and voting, it is unique because it comes at a time when there appears to be a consensus among members that there is need for paradigm shift to a more responsive member-oriented and vibrant Bar that will, in addition to propagating the fundamental objectives of NBA, also represent the interest of majority of members.
“I am excited that Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN, not only made promises but also identified the roadmap and strategic milestones which are verifiable and clearly attainable. These visions include: Independence of the judiciary; Support for electoral reforms; A progressive and inclusive Bar; Bridging the gap between young and old members; Professionalisation of NBA Secretariat; Strengthening the sections and fora of NBA; Comprehensive mentorship programme; Expanding opportunities in legal practice; Advocating free legal trade in Africa; Regulated remuneration for legal documentation; Electronic library services for members; Combating unauthorised practice of law; Refocus the Continuing Legal Education programme to deliver cutting edge knowledge; Discipline and Ethics at the Bar; Digitalisation of NBA Secretariat; Legal partnership advisory; International Young Lawyers exchange programme; and Accountability and transparency.
“These are, to my mind, very much achievable within two years and it is always better for the visioner to be elected to drive the vision. I therefore, appeal to all well-meaning members of NBA to vote in the overall interest of the Bar to elect a leader we can trust. I will vote for Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN as that man that the NBA needs at this time. We all need an all-inclusive Bar.”