NBA, Anaocha Branch as the 108th branch of the Nigerian Bar Association is amongst the youngest, yet one of the most vibrant branches.

Anaocha Branch was created at the twilight of the administration of Chief Okey Wali, SAN in April, 2014 while Chief Emeka Obegolu, SAN held sway as the then General Secretary of NBA.

At the official inauguration of NBA Anaocha Branch on 1st May, 2014, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN was amongst the retinue of guests who honoured our branch with their esteemed presence. From the days of our humble beginning at the Chief Magistrate Court, Neni, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN has been very consistent in fostering a cordial relationship with NBA, Anaocha Branch. The list of all guests and attendees who graced the said inauguration ceremony is still available till date as it forms a part of our history as a Branch.

NBA Anaocha Branch has immensely benefited from the wealth of knowledge/experience of Mazi Osigwe, SAN. I would illustrate this with just one example. Sometime in the year 2017, barely 3 years after the inauguration of Anaocha branch, we had this inclination to embark on the construction of our Bar Center Project. Then we had 2 options: either to approach the Chief Judge of Anambra State for a free parcel of Land within the then High Court Complex which was under construction at Agulu; or to source/purchase a fresh parcel of land independent of the High Court/Judiciary. Of course the first option (approaching the Chief Judge) was far easier to accomplish and some of our bar leaders also reckoned that it would be a thing of prestige to have our Bar Center appointed within the court precinct as obtainable in other older branches. The argument as to where to cite the Bar Center coalesced into a very tensed debate which lingered for months and almost threatened the peace of our fledgling branch. As fate would have it, in one of our monthly meetings then in the year 2017, Providence brought Mazi Osigwe, SAN to our meeting at the Neni Magistrate Court and thereupon, Mazi became privy to the raging “Bar-Center debate”. Mazi Osigwe SAN gave us a very simple advice to the effect that: an efficient Bar must be divorced from the control of the State; that citing our bar Center within the Court premises would be tantamount to submitting our independence to the judiciary. Shortly after this episode there was a JUSUN strike and the Chief Magistrate Court, Neni (Our meeting Venue) was locked up by the striking judiciary staff. This singular event made us to fully appreciate the advise of Mazi Osigwe SAN.

NBA Anaocha Branch would later cite her Bar Center on a privately acquired parcel of land generously donated to the Branch by Chief Emeka Obegolu, SAN. In his usual manner, Mazi Afam Osigwe was physically present in Obeledu, Anaocha Local Government Council in the year 2018, when the ground breaking ceremony of the bar Center was undertaken.

Upon completion of the project;s on 11th February, 2022 when the Bar Center (Chief Charles E.N Obegolu Bar Center) was commissioned by Mr. Olumide Akpata, the 30th President of the NBA, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN again honoured our branch with his dignified presence. Though he may have forgotten the advice he gave to us in 2017, but the accruing benefits are profound, far reaching and enduring till this day.

The friendship between with Mazi Osigwe SAN and NBA, Anaocha Branch goes beyond “bar politics” as Mazi has not only attended, but also actively participated in nearly all the special events organized by our branch to which he was invited.

Very recently, precisely on 19th October, 2023, NBA Anaocha Branch had a memorial lecture in honour of Chief Charles E.N Obegolu (the gentleman in whose name our Bar Center was christened); Mazi Afam Osigwe alongside other eminent senior lawyers of Anambra extraction were invited to X-ray and discuss practice and procedures on how to leverage the new Multi Door Court House Law of Anambra state, 2022 towards a time-efficient justice delivery in our jurisdiction. While some other invited guests/discussants preferred to send proxies and apologies, Mazi Afam Osigwe, SAN attended by himself and made a robust presentation and recommendations which were highly commended by the Chief Judge of Anambra State alongside other guests and participants.

During my time as the Chairman of The Committee of Chairmen of NBA Branches in Anambra State (October- December, 2021), I was opportune to interact with my other Chairmen of the respective NBA Branches in Anambra State, then I learnt that Mazi Osigwe, SAN also enjoys a formidable goodwill from the other 7 Branches of NBA in Anambra State. In the words of Mazi Osigwe, SAN, “no NBA Branch is a small Branch”; he accords respect and due recognition to all the branches and nurtures the friendly relationship he has built with the respective branches over the years. Hence he is a household name that needs no introduction.

One of the indelible reasons why Mazi Afam Osigwe would forever be remembered and cherished by all is the fact that his tenure under the administration of Augustine Alegeh, SAN gave a voice and a vote to every practicing lawyer in Nigeria. The universal suffrage which we all enjoy in the NBA was made possible by the Alegeh/Osigwe Administration (2014-2016).

  • KAINE ANANWUNE, ESQ. was Chairman of NBA Anaocha Branch between 2020 and 2022

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