By Innocent Anaba
Incoming President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olumide Akpata, has been presented with Certificate of Return, alongside other newly-elected national officers of the association.
Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, ECNBA, Mr. Tawo Tawo(SAN), in his opening remarks on the occasion, said that over 29,000 lawyers were verified voters and noted that the election result was declared few hours after the conclusion of the process on July 30.
He expressed concerns over the disunity in the Bar, as he charged all members to embrace unity, noting that a house divided against itself is bound to fall.
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He said: “The essence of NBA elections or the essence of every election is service. And if the purpose is service, why should there be ill-will and disaffection?
“Let us try as much as possible to be united. Let me warn that the house divided against itself cannot stand and shall fall.
“All these perceived divisions must stop. Within the NBA there are many sub-divisions. One day we may find the association of non-car owners among lawyers. Let us retrace our steps.”
In addition, he charged the newly-elected officials: “Let us work together for the betterment of the NBA.”
Outgoing President of NBA, Mr. Paul Usoro(SAN), represented by the outgoing General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Taidi, at the event, noted that the election process was very transparent and called on the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to copy from the concluded NBA elections.
He said when elections can be monitored electronically, it would reduce the attendant litigations that come after the process in Nigeria.
He said: “I want them (INEC) to take the positive statements from this election and deliver them to Nigeria.
“The situation, whereby, as you are voting you see your votes count as we saw in the NBA election, will reduce post-election litigation.
“NBA is able to speak very loud that it is time. We have shown that we can conduct a free and fair election in this country.”