By Innocent Anaba
Lawyers in the country have elected Mr. Olumide Akpata as next President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA.
The announcement was made at 12:56a.m., on Thursday, by Chairman of the NBA Electoral Committee, Taiwo Taiwo(SAN). Akpata won the election with over 50 percent of the total votes cast.
His rivals for the office of NBA President were Deacon Dele Adesina(SAN) and Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN).
Other winners are Mr. John Martin for NBA first Vice President; Second Vice President, Mr. Adeyemo Kazeem; General Secretary, Mrs Joyce Oduah; Assistant Secretary, Uchenna Nwadialo; Mr. Olukunle Edun, Welfare Secretary; Dr. Rapulu Nduka, Publicity Secretary and Assistant Publicity Secretary, Mr. Naza Afam.
Olumide Akpata is a Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group at Templars Law Firm.
He had said: “Should I become President, I will fashion out policies that will significantly improve the welfare and well-being of young lawyers and lawyers generally.
“Issues around welfare in terms of better remuneration, health insurance, protection from sexual and other forms of harassment at the workplace and access to finance for those seeking to set up their own practices, will be front-burner issues for me.”
Meanwhile, Adesina has called for the cancellation of the exercise, describing it as “a sham”.
His campaign group, Dele Adesina Support Group, DASAN, also expressed dissatisfaction with the electoral process.
In the petition addressed to Taiwo Taiwo, Adesina claimed that the process was marred by over-voting, disenfranchisement of some eligible voters and non-compliance with the provisions of the NBA Constitution.
One of his grouses is that the verified voters’ list was only published about five hours to the commencement of voting contrary to the provision of the NBA constitution (2015), as amended.
He noted that the constitution provided that the list be released not later than 28 days before the election.