A leading candidate for the post of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) First Vice President, Mr. Adedotun Adetunji has unveiled his plan for an “effective, dynamic, innovative and relevant” discharge of the duties of the office if elected in the forthcoming NBA Elections.
In a Manifesto published by the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) and titled “Manifesto/Action plan for superlative selfless service to the Bar of Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji, Esq for the office of First Vice President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), 2020 – 2022,” Adetunji vowed to make efforts to resuscitate the Gani Fawehinmi Award for Human Rights and Social Justice “thereby restoring the primacy of the NBA in Human Rights and Social Justice Advocacy in Nigeria.”
According to him, “The Office of FIRST VICE PRESIDENT of the NBA can be as effective, dynamic, innovative and relevant as its occupant. My Manifesto/Programme of Action is anchored on the dual provisions of: Section 3(1) – (14) particularly (1) – (8), (10) – (14) thereof and Section 5 (b)(i) – (iv) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), 2019 (as amended).”
The former NBA Ikorodu Branch Chairman and longstanding NBA-NEC Member stated that “While Section 3 (1) – (14) of the NBA Constitution (supra) articulates the aims and objectives of our great and noble Association, Section 5 (b) (i) – (iv) lucidly and meticulously outlines the four Constitutional duties of the First Vice President of the NBA.”
Listing the roles, he said: “These are: The First Vice President:
I. Shall in the absence of the president preside at all meetings in which the president is empowered to preside by the provisions of this Constitution;
II. Shall be responsible for the coordination of the activities of the group of Branches as may be assigned to him/her by the National Executive Committee or the President and shall pay periodic visits as necessary and/are required to the Branches so assigned to him/her and shall make periodic reports to the National Executive Committee on such visits;
III. Shall encourage and supervise the formation of new Branches within his/her zonal supervisory jurisdiction in line with the guidelines set out in this Constitution.
IV. Shall perform all other duties as he/she may be directed by the President or the National Executive Committee or the Annual General Meeting or which the president is unable to perform owing to ill-health, old age, absence from the country or any other reason.”
Vowing that he would diligently discharge the duties, Adetunji said: “I pledge and assure my faithful commitments to the foregoing Constitutional imperatives.”
In an indication that he has given some thought to his quest for the position of First Vice President, Adetunji also outlined other initiatives that he would pursue if elected. His words: “In addition, I look forward to convincing and moving the President, other National Officers and NEC to approve and execute the following nine (9) progressive and beneficial programmes for all Nigerian Legal Practitioners, namely:
1. Supporting or/and Standing in for the President and supporting other National Officers of the Association in the performance of their duties.
2. Effective Monitoring, Supervision and Coordination of all the Branches of the NBA to be assigned to me.
3. Promoting Healthy Competition and Partnerships among such Branches through different initiatives as may be approved by the President, other National Officers and NEC.
4. Establishment of Co-operative Societies as well as Lawyers Housing Estates in all interested branches, especially any group of Branches assigned to me.
5. Resuscitating the Gani Fawehinmi Award for Human Rights and Social Justice thereby restoring the primacy of the NBA in Human Rights and Social Justice Advocacy in Nigeria.
6. Establishing a Memorable UN International Human Rights Day observance by the NBA annually on December 10.
7. Effective Partnership and Support for all the Vice Chairmen of all the Branches to ensure effective and efficient promotion, protection and enforcement of Pro Bono Services/Schemes, Human Rights, Labour Rights, Consumer Rights and Social Justice Advocacy in Nigeria, including an all-inclusive amendment of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules by the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
8. Collaboration with the National Human Rights Commission, Civil Society Groups and other NGOs (including International Development Partners) in the promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights and social justice in our polity, and
9. Effective and Efficient Discharge of other Statutory and Allied Duties of the office of the 1st Vice President of the NBA.”
A consummate Bar-man and legal practitioner of about 25 years standing, Adetunji has been an NBA National Executive Committee (NBA-NEC) member from 2014 to date, a member of the Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy to the Governor of Lagos State, and the Principal Counsel of Dotun Adetunji & Co.
With an active practice spanning Banking, Oil and Gas, Telecommunications, Maritime, Real Estate and Aviation Industries, the firm’s practice areas include Environmental and Human Rights Law, Immigration, and Real Estate & Property Consultancy. Adetunji has substantial experience in litigation (having especially litigated criminal and civil matters up to Supreme Court), negotiation and claims settlement, debt recovery, Capital Market transactions, Joint Ventures and technical service agreements. His specialist areas are in local and international money market operations, banking and insurance arrangements, and property conveyancing.
Having attended all NBA Conferences from 1997 till date as well as the International Bar Association (IBA) Conference in Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 2013, Adetunji’s professional affiliations include membership of the Institute of Directors (IoD), International Bar Association (IBA) and Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Corporate Administration, and was a member of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law Steering Committee (SPIDEL) 2017 under the Chairmanship of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu (2017).
Adetunji has a track record of enduring service to the NBA. He was a Member of team appointed by the NBA to hold watching brief in the suit of FGN v. HON. JUSTICE RITA OFILI-AJUMOGOBIA & ORS (2017). He has held several positions in NBA Ikorodu Branch including Chairman, Membership and Allied Matters Committee (2016-2017); Chairman, Law Week Committee (2016-2017); Chairman, NBA Ikorodu, Branch (2014-2016), and Member, Extended EXCO (2012-2014). He has been Chairman, Bye Law Review Committee (2012-2013); Chairman, Legal Practitioners Remuneration Committee (2010-2012); Alternate Chairman, Disciplinary Committee (2010-2012); Chairman, Human Rights and Pro Bono Committee,(2010-2012), and Vice Chairman, NBA Ikorodu Branch (2010-2012).
Deeply involved in national and community service, Adetunji was a Member of the Lagos State Government Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy (2016- 2019); Member, Governing Council of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse (2014-2017); Legal Adviser, Community Policing Forum (CPF) for Ikorodu Division, Lagos State (2020); long-standing Ex Officio Member, Community Development Council (C.D.C.) Igbogbo/Bayeku L.C.D.A., Ikorodu, Lagos State (2014 till date) and Chairman, Agbele/Oreyo Community Development Association, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, Ikorodu, Lagos State (2007 till date).
Meanwhile, Adetunji’s political fortunes have brightened with his endorsement by vibrant Bar activist and young lawyer, Clementina E. Ukiri. Throwing her weight behind Adetunji’s bid, Ukiri said:
“The NBA President needs a 1st Vice who is loyal and can fit into the shoes of a President when the need be.
One who understands fraternity and how to carry everyone along.
One who knows the way of our courts in enforcing human rights, lawyers rights and upholding the NBA constitution.
One who have access to the right people to ensuring a smooth administration by corporate engagements and negotiations.
One who is easy going as an assistant.
One with a listening ears ready to assist others at all times.
One who understands the protocols and internal workings of the NBA as a body.
Gentlemen, that person is Adedotun Habeeb Adetunji, Esq. former Chairman, NBA Ikorodu Branch.
I endorse and stand by him.”
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