Saturday, 4 July, 2020

NBA DUTSE MEMBERS DEFY USORO, INAUGURATE NEW EXCO

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dutse Branch has inaugurated a new Executive Committee to pilot its affairs, notwithstanding the appointment of a Caretaker Committee for the branch by NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN. With Mr. Garba Abubakar as the newly elected Chairman, the new Executive Committee was sworn-in by Mr. Sule Umar, a Notary Public.

Speaking after assuming office as the incumbent branch chairman, Abubakar alleged that acolytes of an influential Bar Leader and former Jigawa State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice have been destabilizing the branch, adding that the branch would no longer tolerate such meddlesomeness. Abubakar warned the Bar Leader to stay away from the branch or risk having legal action taken against him.

Noting that the peaceful disposition of the outgone Executive Committee – of which he was the Secretary – must not be taken for cowardice, Abubakar alleged that the Bar Leader is not a member of the branch by virtue of Article 13 (4) of the NBA Unified Bye Law for branches, adding that he has “no visible place of practice and residence in the whole Jigawa State.”

The Dutse Branch helmsman warned that the branch would henceforth take steps to stem the alleged meddlesomeness of the Bar chieftain, adding that “In the very unlikely event that he refuses or rather neglects to stop tempering with the peaceful nature and wellbeing of the branch, I would have no further option than to activate the provisions of the relevant laws with a view to restoring the peaceful nature of the branch, and when that is done, the whole world will know where the truth lies as the truth is always on the side of the oppressed.”

He however extended an olive branch to all branch members to join his administration in moving the branch forward, saying: “I am using this medium to extend the hand of friendship and cooperation to those who have any issue or feel offended by any activities of the Branch Executive. It is indeed time to forget our past and go ahead for the progress of our Branch.”

Reeling out his roadmap for the next two years, Abubakar said he would “continue from where my predecessor stopped in the area of fostering unity among members, mentorship for young lawyers as well as capacity building. I will further continue from where the former Executive stopped in the area of partnership with various government agencies and other development partners for the benefit of our branch.

“We will in particular pay much attention to the following areas:

  • Human Capital Development and Welfare Programs.
  • Promoting of All-inclusive Bar.
  • Promoting mandatory continuing legal education.
  • Mentorship scheme and capacity building for young lawyers.
  • Promoting rule of law and good governance.
  • Provision for pro bono legal service for indigent, aged and victims of rape.
  • Creating synergy and collaboration between the branch and any development partners for the development of the branch.”

Speaking earlier, the former branch chairman, Mr. Bashir Usaini outlined the achievements of his administration, noting that while he met only N300,00 in the branch coffers, “I am leaving NBA GTB Account with the sum Two Million Five Hundred and Twenty Five Thousand Naira (N2, 502,500) only.” He urged the members “to support the incoming executive for collective success and peaceful relationship.”

Usoro had in a statement by NBA General Secretary, Mr. Jonathan Gunu Taidi, dissolved the Election Committee set up by the NBA Dutse Branch and constituted a three-member Caretaker Committee to handle the affairs of the branch upon the expiration of the tenure of the branch Executive Committee on 29th June, 2020.

But the branch members argue that the letter appointing the Caretaker Committee was belated and of no consequence, having been delivered after conclusion of the branch elections, with certificates of return issued to the winners.

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DEMOCRACY DAY: ‘ELECTORAL BANDITRY FUELS INSECURITY, POVERTY’ – OJUKWU

Leading lawyer and former Deputy Director of the Nigerian Law School, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN has take a hard look at Nigeria’s democractic journey, warning that “We can only celebrate the 2020 democracy day as democracy aspirations, dreams and hopes for Nigeria.”

In a press statement made available to CITY LAWYER to mark this year’s Democracy Day, the former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate observed that “electoral banditry has provided the impetus for seriously failed governance on human rights, damaged judiciary, poverty and insecurity,” adding that “What plays out especially at our State and local government levels are massive corruption and executive lawlessness.”

The full text of the statement is below:

We have not done well as a nation with regards to elections and rule of law. Our leaders and politicians have paid lip service to the tenets of democratic principles. There has not been any general elections that has not been hijacked by individuals and groups backed by governments through massive rigging, thuggery and brigandage. The same scenario plays out at party primaries. That culture of stealing and rigging elections has also permeated our other segments of society such as the Nigerian Bar Association at both the National and branch elections.

Many organisations and professional groups have also been enmeshed in rigging election as a way of life in Nigeria including elections of students unions. The Nation has not bled so much as it has in terms of failed democracy as we have witnessed especially since 2004 when we made the first effort to conduct a civilian to civilian transition elections. Our electoral umpire has largely colluded with our bandit political leaders and party men to foist on Nigeria a culture of dishonesty and fraud in the electoral process. We can hardly say that the leaders that emerge through these fraudulent elections were chosen by the people. And that is why they have hardly represented our interests. And because the electoral system and processes were stolen as a matter of course, it has been impossible to use democratic platforms provided in the constitution to check the excesses of mis-governance including recall of elected representatives at all levels.

This singular act of electoral banditry has provided the impetus for seriously failed governance on human rights, damaged judiciary, poverty and insecurity. What plays out especially at our State and local government levels are massive corruption and executive lawlessness. It is a shame that governance has not worked well in Nigeria since the return to civilian rule in 1999. We can only celebrate the 2020 democracy day as democracy aspirations, dreams and hopes for Nigeria.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

‘REUBEN JAMES WAS A DOGGED FIGHTER,’ SAYS OBI OKAFOR

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Chief Arthur Obi Okafor SAN has described erstwhile NBA Third Vice President, Late Reuben James as “a dogged fighter for the downtrodden.” Continue Reading

FOI: ‘EITHER NBA GIVES ME INFORMATION OR…’ – OJUKWU

Former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) presidential candidate, Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN has faulted the bar leadership for its reaction to his suit aimed to compel the NBA to accede to his Freedom of Information (FOI) Act request. Continue Reading

KILLINGS: NBA BLASTS FG, SECURITY AGENCIES

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has criticized the Federal Government and security agencies for the killings that have bedeviled the legal profession and the judiciary. The NBA was responding to recent killing of a magistrate and two lawyers. Continue Reading

NBA NEC MEETING HOLDS DECEMBER 6

The first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting under the leadership of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Mr. Paul Usoro SAN will hold at NBA House, Abuja on Thursday, December 6, 2018. Continue Reading

NBA DEBT OVERHANG: PROBE MAHMOUD, MURRAY DARES CRITICS

Mr. Muritala Oladimeji Abdul-Rasheed, Chief of Staff to former Nigerian Bar Association President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN, has asked critics to probe the outgone administration, saying the regime has nothing to hide. Continue Reading

Pa Tunji Gomez Goes Home Today

Legendary Pa Fortunatus Olatunji Gomez will be laid to rest today at the Ikoyi Cemetery Annex after a funeral service at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina. The service will hold at 11 am.

Reception of guests is scheduled for 3 pm at City Hall, Lagos.

A Service of Songs was held last Wednesday for the deceased at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina while a Wake Keep was held yesterday at Kings College, his beloved alma mater.

Pa Gomez, as he is fondly called, died on July 17, 2018 after a brief illness. A veteran and consummate Bar-man, Pa Gomez was a regular feature at Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch meetings even in the twilight of his life.

Announcing his demise, Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch Chairman, Mr. Chukwuka Ikwuazom said in a statement:“It is with a heavy heart that I announce the passing of Pa Tunji Gomez. Pa Gomez was until his death yesterday night, the oldest practicing lawyer in Nigeria and a deeply loved member of the Premier Bar. “The Branch had, in recognition of his excellent service and uncommon devotion to the Branch, celebrated his 90th birthday in style a few months ago.

“Our deepest condolences go to his immediate family. We will greatly miss Pa Gomez and pray that his soul will rest in perfect peace.”

Popularly known by his sobriquet, “It’s a matter of conscience,” Pa Gomez was Nigeria’s oldest practising lawyer prior to his demise. He was considered as the Conscience of the Bar, always pointing the association towards a path of moral rectitude. He was also passionate about the plight especially of young lawyers.

He was born in 1928 and enrolled into King’s College, Lagos in 1944. His activism manifested early in his eventful life, as he is reputed to have led the 1948 strike at the College which significantly turned around the fortunes of the students.

Pa Gomez was part of the legal team that defended late Chief Obafemi Awolowo during his celebrated treason trial in 1962. He is also reputed as the first lawyer to sue the Military Government in Nigeria in the celebrated case of Madam Shapara vs. Lagos State Government.

An avid yoga practitioner, Pa Gomez is a longstanding advocate for the welfare especially of young lawyers. He is the author of two books, including “Guide to Happy Marriage.” He was married with children.

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Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.

LAWYERS’ BANK: Committee Submits Report

The Adhoc Committee on the Acquisition of Lawyers Microfinance Bank chaired by Mr. Femi Olubanwo, a Founding Partner at Banwo & Ighodalo, yesterday submitted its report to NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud SAN.

Present at the occasion were the three presidential candidates in the forthcoming NBA National Officers Elections now slated to hold on August 19 and 20, 2018. The event took place on the sidelines of the press conference on the elections. Continue Reading

INSURGENCY: NBA to Launch Support Fund for Lawyers

The Nigerian Bar Association is set to launch a fund to support members affected by violence in the North East.

Below is an NBA statement on the matter:

INVITATION TO THE LAUNCH OF NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION SUPPORT FUND FOR LAWYERS AFFECTED BY INSURGENCY IN THE NORTH EAST NIGERIA

The NBA will be launching a Support Fund for our colleagues who were affected by insurgency in the North East.

The Launch is slated to hold by 10:00am on Friday 10th August 2018 at the Auditorium of NBA National Secretariat, Plot 1101, Cadastral Zone AOO, Central Business District Abuja. H.E. Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR the Executive Governor of Sokoto State will Chair the occasion. Other notable dignitaries will also be in attendance.

Kindly confirm your participation via email to : folake.peters@nigerianbar.org.ng

We urge you to support this worthy cause.

For enquiries, please contact Folake on 08035568537.

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Copyright 2018 CITY LAWYER. All materials available on this Website are protected by copyright, trade mark and other proprietary and intellectual property laws. You may not use any of our intellectual property rights without our express written consent or attribution to www.citylawyermag.com. However, you are permitted to print or save to your individual PC, tablet or storage extracts from this Website for your own personal non-commercial use.