Leading candidates for the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch Elections were at the May Monthly Meeting of Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum (ELF) to woo its members.

A press statement made available to CITY LAWYER on the interactive session indicated that the event, which was attended by the three chairmanship candidates among others, was laced with rancour-free exchanges between the candidates.

Below is the full text of the statement.



Indications have emerged that the acrimonious and mudslinging political culture in Nigeria may soon shift towards mutual understanding, peace and cooperation going by the conduct of contestants in the forthcoming elections into the Executive Council of the Lagos Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).

Hints about the new culture came to light during a Knowledge Sharing Session (KSS) titled “Administration of NBA Branches, Between Politics and Professionalism: Are we Balancing the Acts?,” and hosted by the Eti-Osa Lawyers’ Forum (ELF) at the Justice Christopher Olatunde Segun Court Complex on Ado-Ajah Road, Lekki, Lagos.

Contrary to the bitter and mudslinging which usually characterize electoral debates in the country, including the NBA, the three contestants for the Chairmanship position – Adebola Lema, Bisi Makanjuola and Mayowa Owolabi freely complimented one another, exchanged friendly banters and openly announced their mutual resolve not only to conduct peaceful campaigns and electoral process, but to also rally round whoever amongst them that clinched the topmost Office of the premier branch of the NBA which boasts of the highest number of lawyers and huge financial resources.

The contestants who agreed that the NBA had deviated from its primary purpose of promoting the welfare of all lawyers and professionalism advocated the need to restore selfless service and camaraderie among them.

While Adebola Lema regretted that the administration of the NBA had been politicised, Bisi Makanjuola warned against placing undue emphasis on godfathers, age at the bar and the novel ‘emilokan” (entitlement) syndrome in the contest for offices in the Association. In his own presentation, Mayowa Owolabi condemned the zoning of offices and the huge financial resources wasted on electioneering at the expense of the welfare of impoverished members. To ensure peace and reduce costs, he suggested the introduction of the succession system as practised in the Ibadan kingship tradition.

The Chairman of Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum, Mr. Adewale Sanni also inaugurated two committees during the meeting. These were the Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Committee which has Mr. Olawale Ajia as Chairman while Mr. Clifford Atakere is the Alternate Chairman. The Secretary is Mrs. Grace Ajayi. The Welfare Committee is chaired by Chinelo Okonkwo with Mr. Akeem Makinde as the Secretary.

* Eti-Osa Lawyers Forum Chairman, Mr. Adewale Sanni flanked by NBA Lagos Branch chairmanship candidates and other Executive Committee members during the monthly meeting

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