By Innocent Anaba
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has constituted a COVID-19 pandemic welfare committee, chaired by Dr. Olawale Babalakin(SAN).
NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro(SAN), in a statement, said: “Further to my COVID-19 pandemic NBA release, I am pleased to unveil the NBA Welfare Committee, chaired by Babalakin, and constituted pursuant to Section 12 of the NBA Constitution, 2015 (as amended).
“Other members are Chief Bolaji Ayorinde(SAN), Vice Chairman; Miannaya Essien(SAN), Yakubu Maikyau(SAN), Solomon Umoh(SAN), Dr. Garba Tertengi(SAN), Mrs. Victoria Awomolo(SAN), Sylva Ogwemoh(SAN).”
Others members of the COVID-19 welfare committee are “Ibrahim Muhammed(SAN), Emeka Etiaba(SAN), Mba Ukweni(SAN), Steven Adehi(SAN), Olabode Olanipekun(SAN), Tuduru Ede(SAN), Theophilus Igba (3rd Vice President), Emeka Anosike (National Financial Secretary), Joshua Usman(National Welfare Secretary) and Ewenode Onoriode (1st National Assistant Secretary)” and the COVID-19 Committee Secretary.
Usoro said the broad functions of the Welfare Committee as set out in Section 2(h) of the NBA Constitution are as follows:
“Shall be responsible for the administration of any welfare scheme established by the Association; shall be responsible for other welfare matters; shall carry out any other function that may be assigned to it by the President or the National Executive Committee.
“Without prejudice to these broad functions, I have, in exercising the powers given to the NBA President by sub-paragraph (c) afore-quoted, mandated the Welfare Committee to focus its immediate attention and activities on raising funds from our members and other public-spirited persons and institutions.”
The funds, he said, “would be utilised in providing succor to our most vulnerable and deprived members who are worsted by the economic hardships occasioned by the ongoing national lockdown consequent upon the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic.
“Apart from raising the funds, the Committee will work with me in designing the most equitable and integrity-proof model for identifying the genuinely needy beneficiaries of the relief materials.
“Part of the Committee’s responsibility would also be to determine the form that the reliefs should take e.g. cash or kind (illustratively, food items and the like) or a combination of the two or any other form.
“I must thank all the members of the COVID-19 Welfare Committee for accepting so graciously to serve the Association and our members in these rather difficult times.
“I must in particular thank my friend, brother and Call-mate, Babalakin(SAN) who, not surprisingly, has been consistently supportive of my NBA administration from inception.
“I spoke with all the members of the Committee prior to their appointment, and, just like Dr. Babalakin, they all readily accepted to serve. I know each of them personally and can attest to their extremely busy schedules even in this period of national lockdown and I therefore do not take their service for granted howsoever.
“Indeed, I owe them a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Association.”