The Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Lagos Branch, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna, has congratulated 14 members of the branch who were yesterday conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

A similar message by Mrs. Josephine Akinwunmi (FCIArb), the Branch Secretary of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Nigeria Branch noted that 20 members of the global body were also conferred with the coveted rank.

Meanwhile, the pioneer Chairman of the NBA Section on Public Interest and Development Law (SPIDEL), Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) has congratulated the former Head of Chambers of J-K Gadzama LLP, Mr. Fred Itula SAN and other awardees on their elevation to the new rank.

Below are the statements:


The Chairman of the NBA Lagos Branch, Mr. Ikechukwu Uwanna, on behalf of all Executive Committee members and all members of the Branch, congratulates the 14 members of the Branch conferred with the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria today, 8th December, 2021. They include:

  1. Prof Bankole Akintoye Sodipo SAN
  2. Prof Abiola Olaitan Sanni SAN
  3. Ayo Abraham Olorunfemi SAN
  4. Mathew Gwar Bukka SAN
  5. Philip Ndubuisi Umeh SAN
  6. Ikenna Okoli SAN
  7. Chijioke Ogugua Precious Emeka SAN
  8. Charles Dumbiri Mekwunye SAN
  9. Mark Okebuinor Mordi SAN
  10. Olaotan Olusegun Ajose-Adeogun SAN
  11. Olukayode Oluwole Adeluola SAN
  12. Afolabi Fatai Kuti SAN
  13. Adeleke Olaniyi Agboola SAN
  14. James Akingbola Akinola SAN

Their elevation is a testament to their hardwork, leadership and contributions to the development of legal practice in Nigeria. We wish them well in all their future endeavors.

Ikechukwu Uwanna


Dear Member,

The Executive Committee, Staff and entire members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, (CIArb) Nigeria Branch congratulate our Branch Chairman, Chief J. Akingbola Akinola, SAN, C.Arb and twenty (20) of our members on their elevation to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria, (SAN). They are Ikenna Okoli, SAN, FCIArb, Emeka Jude-Philip Obegolu, SAN, FCIArb, Mark Okebuinor Mordi, SAN, FCIArb, Marcellous Eguvwe Oru, SAN, FCIArb, Charles Dumbiri Mekwunye, SAN, FCIArb, Kazeem Adekunle Gbadamosi, SAN, MCIArb, Bolarinwa Olotu, SAN, MCIArb, Olaotan Olusegun Ajose-Adeogun, SAN, MCIArb, Rotimi Sheriff Seriki, SAN, MCIArb, Ayodeji Adedipe, SAN, MCIArb and Eko Ejembi Eko, SAN, MCIArb. Others include Eyitayo Ayokunle Fatogun, SAN, MCIArb and Mohammed Ndayako, SAN, MCIArb, Chijioke Ogugua Precious Emeka, SAN, MCIArb, Charles Udoka Ihua-Maduenyi, SAN, ACIArb, Sammie Abiye Somiari, SAN, ACIArb, Ogaga Ovrawah, SAN, ACIArb, Ikeazor Ajovi Akaraiwe, SAN, ACIArb, Muritala Oladimeji Abdul-Rasheed, SAN, ACIArb and Dr. Josephine Aladi Achor Agbonika, SAN, ACIArb.

We believe that their elevation is a result of their hard work and dedication.

Once again, we congratulate them on their elevation to the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN).

Kind regards

Mrs. Josephine Akinwunmi, FCIArb
Branch Secretary


The apex court on Wednesday, 8th of December, 2021 conferred the revered status of Senior Advocate of Nigeria on seventy-two candidates who emerged successful from the screening exercise. Amongst these, ten were from the academics whilst sixty-two were advocates.

Fred Itula, SAN who was formerly the Head of Chambers in the Maiduguri Office of J-K Gadzama LLP where he worked assiduously and handled a plethora of high profile cases on behalf of the firm, was one of the advocate conferees.

In view of this, the Principal Founding Partner of J-K Gadzama LLP, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, OFR, MFR, SAN on Wednesday, 8th of December, 2021 extended warm congratulations to his former Head of Chambers, Maiduguri Office, Fred Itula, SAN and other distinguished Learned Silks upon their elevation into the coveted rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.

Learned Silk, Joe-Kyari Gadzama, heartily welcomed the new Silks to the Inner Bar and wished them a fruitful and purposeful experience in their respective career pursuits whilst urging them to continue to elicit aspirations towards maintaining the nobility and eminence of the exalted rank. He further wished them higher heights and greater accomplishments in their future professional and personal endeavors.

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Encomiums have continued to pour in for Nigerian Bar Association President-elect, Mr. Olumide Akpata over his victory at the just concluded NBA National Officers Elections.

In his congratulatory message, President Muhammadu Buhari said: “I congratulate Olumide Akpata on his election as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), a crucial stakeholder in our democracy. I wish him every success in the new position, and assure the new leadership of the continued cooperation of our administration.”

Replying, Akpata said he was especially delighted that the president acknowledged NBA as a “crucial stakeholder in our democracy.” His words: “Your Excellency, thank you for your kind words, and in particular the acknowledgement of the @NigBarAssoc as a crucial stakeholder in our democracy and the assurance of your administration’s cooperation. It is a partnership that can only be beneficial to the Nigerian populace.”

Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar said: “@OlumideAkpata’s victory at the just concluded @NigBarAssoc’s elections is proof that real power lies with the people. Congratulations, I am confident you will do well and also deliver convincingly on the mandate of which you now carry. –AA”

In his response, Akpata wrote: “Thank you Your Excellency @atiku. Indeed the people [lawyers] spoke, and in very clear terms too. Thank you for the vote of confidence. The real work starts now and it is my pledge that the mandate will be fulfilled and posterity will judge us well.”

Former Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki also felicitated with the NBA President-elect on his verified Twitter handle, saying: “I offer my congratulations to @OlumideAkpata on his emergence as President of the
@NigBarAssoc. His was a blistering campaign which promised to revolutionise and reposition the NBA, not only for the benefit of its members but for the generality of the Nigerian society.”

Replying, Akpata wrote: “Your Excellency Dr @bukolasaraki Floreat! It was truly a blistering campaign and one which soon became obviously not about any one individual but a cause for the majority of Nigerian lawyers (both young and old). I commit to not letting them down. KC did not teach us that.”

Next in line was the Governor of Edo State, Akpata’s home State. He wrote: ” Congratulations to @OlumideAkpata on his emergence as the President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA). He brings with him years of enviable success as a distinguished lawyer and is sure to steer the NBA to glorious heights. Congratulations, once more!”

“My Governor @GovernorObaseki,” Akpata wrote, “thank you for your kind wishes. It will be a thing of pride for us to be able to steer the @NigBarAssoc to glorious heights and make it value adding for our members and the general society. That is our minimum target.”

Also not left out is the Governor of Delat State, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, who tweeted thus: “I congratulate my friend and brother, Barrister @OlumideAkpata, on his emergence as the next President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA). Over the years, Barrister Akpata has worked to strengthen the legal profession and empower a new generation of Nigerian lawyers.

“As he prepares to steer the affairs of the NBA, it is my fervent hope that lawyers across Nigeria work with the new leadership of the NBA and Barrister Akpata to provide more efficient and effective access to justice for all Nigerians.”

In his response, Akpata tweeted: “Your Excellency @IAOkowa I appreciate the glowing endorsement. Indeed the hardwork is just about to start. We are optimistic of a new dawn for the @NigBarAssoc.”

Popular social media influencer, Dr. Joe Abah was not left out of the outpouring of encomiums. He tweeted: “Congratulations, my brother @OlumideAkpata, on your election as NBA President. Please celebrate tonight because there’s a lot of work ahead. The noble profession can be a real force for change in this country. You can count on my continuing support.”

Akpata responded thus: “My brother @DrJoeAbah thank you. The amount of work to be done has never been lost on me. Indeed the unprecedented interest in the election even among the wider populace lends credence to your point. I will be counting on you on this journey. Thank you again, Ezemmuo.”

Akpata also found favour in the eyes of Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, a strident critic of the current NBA leadership. Having reviewed Akpata’s acceptance speech, Odinkalu tweeted: “Olu, this is a balanced statement. I’m particularly gratified by what you say about the #electoralprocess in @NigBarAssoc. In that, you’ll find lots of willing supporters. Welcome to the world of work,

Replying, Akpata wrote: “Thank you Prof @ChidiOdinkalu. My message about the electoral process remained consistent, before and after the poll. Indeed we can do better. With the support of the likes of you, we will approach the coming months and years with confidence.”

The NBA President-elect also received a congratulatory message from erstwhile NBA presidential aspirant and former NBA Ikeja Branch Chairman, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana and his group, Radical Agenda Movement in the NBA (RAMINBA ). Tracing the debacle that attended his quest, the group wrote: “However the indisputable fact is that a Leader has emerged and it is one Leader, who, right from the onset, has always had a formidable presence in the field and a constant leading contestant.”

Akpata also acknowledged receipt of congratulatory telephone call from his closest rival and former NBA presidential candidate, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN, saying: “This morning, I received a call from Dr. @BAjibadeSAN and I have also read his congratulatory message both of which were quintessential Tunde, the gentleman who I have known for a long time who is my brother & friend and will always remain so. As I said in my thank you message, I will count on his support and counsel as we work towards Securing a United Bar that Works for All.”

On his part, Nigerian Law School teacher, Mr. Sylvester Udemezue said that while he had called Akpata to congratulate him on his victory, “I have also chosen this medium to, again, heartily congratulate the NBA President-elect, Mr. Akpata, on his victory. It was a keenly contested election, but someone had to win. The term ‘election’ itself suggests a contest between two or more persons at the end of which one person must win and another or others must lose, while all must thereafter continue as one. Dear sir, I urge you to be high-minded in victory; to reach out to the other contestants, indeed to all camps and also to endeavour to carry everyone along in your leadership of the NBA, during the next two years. This you should do in order to succeed, and make the NBA better, because your camp or supporters alone cannot make you succeed; they can only make you remain for only one side! I sincerely hope you be guided by the words of Michael Watson who once advised, ‘true winners and strong people don’t put others down, they lift them up.’ ”

In its congratulatory message signed by its Convener, Mr. Chuma Akana, Innovation and Technology Lawyers Network wrote: “We believe the NBA is properly positioned to navigate the intersection of law and technology, as we look forward to a technology driven NBA. We also look forward to a Nigerian Bar Association that will encourage interested members to build capacity and jurisprudence in emerging areas of tech law including Fintech, blockchain, data privacy, artificial intelligence etc.”

Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. Please send emails to Join us on Facebook at and on TWITTER at 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 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.