ADEGBORUWA OKAYS ADESINA, AJIBADE, AKPATA FOR NBA PRESIDENCY

Firebrand human rights activist, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN has declared that the three presidential candidates in the race for the coveted NBA Presidency are qualified to mount the saddle.

In a statement released today titled “NBA ELECTIONS 2020,” the prominent senior lawyer therefore urged eligible voters to vote “purely in the fear of God and according to your conscience.”

The statement reads:

NBA ELECTIONS 2020

Dear learned colleagues,

As we approach the final lap of the 2020 elections of the Nigerian Bar Association, I wish to make the following statements.

In alphabetical order with no specific preference,

I ENDORSE

ADESINA DELE, SAN:

He has SERVED the legal profession MERITORIOUSLY, as Chairman of NBA, Ikeja Branch and as General Secretary, NBA, at the national office.

I ENDORSE

AJIBADE BABATUNDE, SAN:

He has SERVED the legal profession CREDITABLY, in seeking fundamental reforms in justice administration, through The Justice Reform Project and also in helping to raise leaders for the Bar, through the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee.

I ENDORSE

AKPATA OLUMIDE:

He has SERVED the legal profession SELFLESSLY, through the Section on Business Law and also in various other capacities, through the Conference Planning Committees.

They all have many more positive attributes, which I may not have stated. Any of these three, is qualified to lead the Bar, if voted in as President of the NBA, in any free, fair, peaceful and credible contest.

I therefore urge you to VOTE for ANY of these three candidates, purely in the fear of God and according to your conscience.

God bless Nigerian Bar Association
God bless Nigeria.

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN
Lekki, Lagos.
26/07/2020

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NBA PRESIDENCY: OLUJINMI, CLARKE, PINHEIRO BACK ADESINA TO WIN

A leading presidential candidate in the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Elections, Mr. Dele Adesina SAN has received double endorsements by key senior lawyers, including a former Attorney General & Minister of Justice.

Throwing his weight behind Adesina, former Nigeria’s chief law officer, Chief Akin Olujinmi SAN described him as “a dynamic, well-informed, focused, respectable and above all, courageous hardworking individual.”

On his part, Chief Robert Clarke SAN observed that the “leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association is very key to the fundamental issues of independence of the Judiciary, the advancement of the Legal Profession itself, and the sustenance of Constitutional Democracy In Nigeria.”

Delivering his verdict on the candidates, Clarke declared that the former NBA General Secretary “towers above the other candidates and that is why I recommend him as “

Popular litigator, Mr. Kemi Pinheiro SAN described Adesina as a “passionate human being with demonstrable commitment to whatever he believes in,” adding that he has a “strong and assertive personality.”

Below are the full texts of the statements:

I rise to join my other colleagues who have endorsed Dele Adesina SAN for election as President of the NBA. At this time of vanishing respect for the rule of law by those who govern us, challenges confronting the administration of justice, the need to make the juniors upward mobile in our noble profession and a host of other matters, it is indisputable that we need in the saddle, a dynamic, well – informed, focused, respectable and above all, courageous hardworking individual.

The individual is Dele Adesina SAN, a strong and committed member of the NBA, who has served our association meritoriously in various capacities and evidently parades rich experiential credential for service at a higher level. I can confirm from my interaction with Dele that he is pulsating with a lot of fresh ideas, fresh thinking and fresh vision that will take our dear NBA to a higher level. Vote Dele Adesina for President.

Chief Akin Olujinmi, CON, SAN

“Another round of Election of the Nigerian Bar Association is less than a month ahead and interested candidates are already jostling for the Office of the President of the Association.

“These include Mr. Dele Adesina SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and Olumide Akpata ESQ. The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association is very key to the fundamental issues of independence of the Judiciary, the advancement of the Legal Profession itself, and the sustenance of Constitutional Democracy In Nigeria.

“Recently, the general administration of justice in Nigeria has also faced contending issues of serious dimensions capable of eroding the trust and confidence of the people in our justice system.

“This Election should produce the best that is available among these candidates in terms of experience, firm understanding of the issues of our judicial system, including leadership courage to speak truth to power. Rhetoric and promises should be of no value, but knowledge, antecedents, and experience of what the candidates have done in the past in the above areas must constitute the principal considerations.

“It is my opinion that Mr. DELE ADESINA SAN, whom I have seen at close quarters, listened to at several fora and more importantly, a past General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association in an administration adjudged to be dynamic and progressive in the defence of Rule of Law, towers above the other candidates and that is why I recommend him.”

Chief Robert Clarke SAN

I knew Dele Adesina SAN a long time ago. How did we meet each-other? We appeared against each-other in a matter at the Federal High Court. About four Senior Advocates were involved in that matter.

Heated and prolonged arguments had taken place at two different court sessions. At the end of each session, Mr. Adesina and I will appreciate each other for the candour and passion demonstrated in the course of advancing our respective client’s interest in court. One thing led to the other, we became close friends and of course we started paying attention to each-other’s advancement in the Profession.

I found in him a strong and assertive personality. A passionate human being with demonstrable commitment to whatever he believes in. Mr Adesina is a Bar man per excellence, a gentleman to the core. As Chairman, he raised the bar of NBA Ikeja Branch to an unprecedented level.

As General Secretary of the Bar, during the Presidency of Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN OFR, the Executive left a foot-print and verifiable legacy for the Bar. As the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Rule of Law Action Committee during Okey Wali’s Presidency, he brought tremendous focus and attention into the issues of Rule of Law in the nation.

It is for these reasons and many more that I am supporting him for the Office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association. He is a performer who will effectively bring his great experience in leadership to bear not only on the affairs of the Association but also on the Profession.

I have no doubt that he will promote the interest and welfare of young Lawyers. His capacity and courage to defend the Rule of Law and independence of the judiciary is well-known. The Nigerian Bar Association needs him at this period.

Kemi Pinheiro SAN

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NBA ELECTION: AJIBADE, AKPATA SPLIT TOP LAW FIRM’S PARTNERS

* PARTNERS DISAGREE ON ENDORSEMENT

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The gale of endorsements pervading the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Elections has turn apart a tier-one law firm, with leading Partners going their separate ways in pitching tent with the presidential aspirants.

Aspirants for the election are being endorsed by high-profile Bar leaders in order to better position themselves to clinch coveted positions at the polls.

While Mr. Ebun Sofunde SAN, one of the oldest surviving senior advocates, has thrown his weight behind Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN, his Partner in the top law firm, Mr. Muhammad Dele Belgore SAN has gone in the opposite direction, endorsing the candidature of Mr. Olumide Akpata. Both are Partners in the top law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe & Belgore.

Giving reasons for his endorsement, Sofunde said: “In these trying times for the Bar and Bench, I see Dr. AJIBADE, SAN, as a person who will do his utmost to restore pride and dignity to the Bar and Bench by ensuring that such virtues as (a) integrity, (b) diligence and (c) merit, are enthroned at all times.

“I see him also as a person who will fight for the welfare of the Bar and Bench and promote a smooth relationship between the Bar and Bench.”

Apparently disagreeing with the judgement of his Founding Partner, Belgore said: “The relevance of the NBA must be to its members, the consumers of legal services, the profession and society at large, in that order of priority. How members cope in this fast-changing world of technology, cross-border trade, increasing local challenges, external threats from estate agents, accountants, foreign lawyers and the like, disproportionate growth of the profession in the face of dwindling opportunities and income, are matters of grave concern to all of us. And they are obviously of greater concern to our younger colleagues, who as it happens, are the majority of the Bar.

“Consequently, the task of leadership right now must be on how to equip the majority with knowledge driven capacity and drive policies that will enable every lawyer to favourably compete against these challenges. This should be the central focus of our choice for leadership – a look to the future.

“The biggest folly of a candidate in any election is a focus on who is he as opposed to what he is offering. For a long time, the Bar has talked down at junior colleagues, its majority, and not to them. Successive leaderships have served up what they believe is good for them as opposed to engaging them in that determination. Even at this time with elections looming, it seems to me that only one candidate is effectively engaging its majority and talking about the real issues. That candidate is Olumide Akpata and for this reason he gets my vote and endorsement.”

In a frontal attack on the notion that only senior advocates should aspire for the presidency of the Bar, Belgore said: “Finally, I should ask where is it written that the privilege of leading the NBA is the exclusive preserve of Senior Advocates of Nigeria? That ‘exclusivity’ is untenable, undeserved and un-egalitarian.”

The divergent positions of the leading senior advocates have set tongues wagging in legal circles. Some watchers of NBA politics however believe it would have been anathema for Sofunde to have endorsed a non-senior advocate, especially as he is one of the leading lights of the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (BOSAN), an entity he has occasionally led as acting Chairman. His endorsement may however go beyond his BOSAN commitments, as he is also listed alongside Mr. Tunde Busari SAN as Ajibade’s nominator.

There is an unwritten understanding among many senior advocates that a non-SAN should not superintend the affairs of the Bar. However, some senior advocates have broken ranks with BOSAN by endorsing Akpata.

Sofunde, regarded as highly cerebral and often taciturn, is listed as the 61st lawyer to be conferred with the coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, having been conferred with the rank on May 3, 1988. On his part, Belgore, who has flirted with politics in his failed bids to become the governor of Kwara State, took silk on September 10, 2001.

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