ELECTION: BRANCHES BACK OHAGBA AS NBA SCRIBE

The political fortunes of consummate Bar-man and former Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Assistant General Secretary, Mr. Okey Ohagba has received a major boost with his endorsement by the eight branches in Rivers State.

Rising from a stakeholders meeting last Wednesday, the Bar Leaders unanimously declared support for the candidacy of Ohagba for the office of NBA General Secretary in the forthcoming NBA General Elections.

Among the Bar Leaders who attended the meeting are Branch Chairmen and Secretaries as well as past Chairmen and Secretaries of all the NBA branches in Rivers State

A statement by the Chairman of NBA Ahoada Branch, Mr. Agent Benjamin Ihua-Maduenyi on behalf of chairmen of NBA Branches in Rivers State, read: “The meeting called on all members from the eight (8) NBA branches in Rivers State to leverage on the extended verification deadline, get verified and vote en masse for Okey Leo Ohagba as the next General Secretary of NBA in the coming elections.”

Ohagba is reputed as “a passionate member of the Nigerian Bar Association and a very committed member of Port-Harcourt Branch.” He was admitted to the Nigerian Bar in November, 2007.

“With a burning passion for litigation, Okey turned down a juicy corporate employment offer from a reputable Nigerian bank and started his legal practice career in the firm of N. H. AJIE & CO. of Portharcourt in 2008 and in 2012 he established O. L. OHAGBA and Company, a commercial litigation and ADR consultancy firm, wherein he remains the principal partner till date.

“In his quest for a broadened knowledge of the law and expertise, Okey had prior to his legal practice career, obtained a certificate of proficiency in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) after an intensive professional course at the Settlement House Abuja. Thereafter he was awarded the title of Professional Negotiator and Mediator (pnm). He is also a certified member of the Institute of Chartered Mediators and Conciliators (ICMC) as a Chartered Mediator and Conciliator (ChMC).

“Okey Ohagba, a pioneer alumnus of Madonna University, is a quintessential Bar man, a creative thinker, always eager to achieve excellence in every assignment.

“As National Secretary of NBA Young Lawyers’ Forum, Ohagba displayed exceptional competence, capacity and professionalism in the discharge of his duties while he steered the YLF Secretariat. He developed a comprehensive database of young lawyers at the time. He reinvigorated the YLF section of the NBA website and kept it up to speed throughout his tenure. He was the Chairman of the Summit Planning Committee that organized the ‘Portharcourt 2013′ NBA-YLF National Summit; which event was widely adjudged the best Summit in the YLF history due to his organisational prowess and elegance in service delivery. Same skills he exhibited when he organized perfect YLF Sessions at both Calabar and Owerri NBA AGCs 2013 and 2014 respectively. With the joint efforts of other Council Members, he midwifed the establishment of Young Lawyers’ Forums across over 70% of NBA branches nationwide.

“His culture of service excellence and intuitive passion for innovation became more prominent when he served as NBA Representative on the Board of Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); during which period, with the support of the board, he practically championed the drive for the implementation of the present day CAC-ONLINE (A full automation of CAC incorporation processes). His passion for innovation, aided the digitization of the Commission’s system. He reawakened the Commission’s interest in the age partnership with NBA at Annual General Conferences starting with the Calabar, Owerri and Abuja Conferences, 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively.

“As Chairman of sports subcommittee for the NBA AGC Owerri 2014, Okey, in his usual innovative thinking, saw the need to introduce some pecuniary rewards to winners of the tournament in order to subsidise branch expenses and increase participatory interest in the tournaments. His proposal was approved by the then NBA President, and for the first time in NBA history, winners of the football tournament received N500, 000 (Five Hundred Thousand Naira) cash prize from the NBA. 2nd and 3rd place winners also got cash prizes accordingly.

“As NBA First Assistant Secretary, 2016 to 2018, Okey Ohagba once again demonstrated capacity and service excellence when, upon the direction of the General Secretary, he delivered ‘error proof’ minutes at nearly all NBA National Executive Committee Meetings and facilitated for the first time, electronic mailing of Minutes and NEC Bundles prior to NEC Meetings, thereby affording NEC Members ample opportunity to read, digest the minutes and participate more robustly at NEC Meetings.”

 

DAUDU BACKS OKEY OHAGBA TO WIN NBA GEN SEC RACE

The political fortunes of Port Harcourt-based Bar-man and candidate for the post of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) General Secretary, Mr. Okey Ohagba brightened at the weekend following his endorsement by Mr. Paul Babatunde Daudu, scion of former NBA President, Mr. Joseph Daudu SAN. The erstwhile NBA helmsman is recognised as a major power broker in NBA politics. Continue Reading

‘WHY I’M BACKING AJIBADE TO WIN,’ BY CHIJIOKE OKOLI SAN

Frontline white collar litigator and former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (Lagos Branch), Mr. Chijioke Okoli SAN has given reasons for backing a leading presidential aspirant in the forthcoming NBA Elections, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade (SAN).

In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, the respected Bar Leader described the cerebral senior lawyer as “remarkable in many more ways than one,” adding that “he stands out as the best of the lot.”

Below is the full text of his statement:

THE MAN FOR THIS SEASON:
ENDORSEMENT OF DR. TUNDE AJIBADE, SAN-BY CHIJIOKE OKOLI, SAN.

This Nigerian Bar Association [NBA] national election year is hardly like any other. The legal profession in Nigeria and the country in general are at a momentous crossroads, with self-evidently daunting problems but behind which lies the promise of an enlivening new beginning. The situation is such that, more than ever before, we must be particularly careful with our leadership recruitment processes and choices. Luckily, the NBA is well served this year by an undoubtedly strong field of candidates for the NBA Presidency; three distinguished senior practitioners with good records of service to the legal profession.

I shall however speak of only Dr. Tunde Ajibade SAN who is remarkable in many more ways than one, especially because he stands out as the best of the lot. He brings to the table of the present NBA Presidential contest qualities which are sorely needed to tackle the present crippling problems of the legal profession and administration of justice in Nigeria in general. He epitomizes phenomenal breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise; belonging to that very rare breed of top-line litigators who are equally at home with transactional law practice. And his willingness to share and democratize legal knowledge is underscored by the annual Continuous Legal Education series organized by his law firm of which I have been privileged to attend a few times.

Perhaps most importantly, the present period of widespread anomie requires of the NBA leadership the exceptional personal and professional integrity which Dr. Ajibade exemplifies. More than at any time since the advent of our dysfunctional civilian rule, there is the urgent need for an NBA leadership capable of telling truth to power. His temperament is undoubtedly excellent for the task; possessing quiet but immense strength and courage which saw him visiting and showing solidarity with colleagues in the insurgency-ridden North East region of the country. And his instinctive courteousness and overall civility is unfailingly present in interactions with lawyers of all ranks and ages, in and out of the courtroom.

Finally, this. Whilst the generality of Nigerian lawyers owe the Austine Alegeh Presidency a debt of gratitude for the introduction of universal suffrage in NBA national elections, he was but a Paul who came to water the ground tilled by some of us Appollos; i.e., those who were appalled by the now jettisoned grossly unfair and corrupt delegates system and fought for its change. Part of the unfairness of the delegates system was that it badly shortchanged the larger branches exemplified by the Lagos Branch. Seeing it as my duty as Chairman of the NBA Lagos Branch at the time [between 2009-2011] to see to the correction of the injustice to the Branch and vast majority of lawyers, I heartily campaigned for universal lawyers’ suffrage for the election of NBA national officers.

Whilst I recollect the likes of Anselm Chidi Odinkalu and Mrs. Funke Adekoya SAN being in the trenches of the struggle, so to speak, Dr. Ajibade was one of those Lagos based senior practitioners who steadfastly encouraged me from the sides, sharing my view that the concept of equality at the Bar can hardly find more practical and appropriate expression than giving each Nigerian lawyer the right to a direct vote in the election of NBA national officers. Ultimately, the goal was achieved for the majority, properly so called, to determine who leads the NBA. And it is to this majority, all of us essentially, that I appeal to give their vote to Dr. Tunde Ajibade. I have no doubt at all that the NBA would be in very good hands with him as our President.

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NBA PRESIDENCY: 31 SANs BACK AJIBADE TO WIN

BY EMEKA NWADIOKE

The political fortunes of Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN in the forthcoming Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) National Elections received a major boost at the weekend with over 30 senior advocates throwing their illustrious weights behind his quest to lead Africa’s largest Bar. The NBA National Elections is scheduled to hold on 24th and 25th July, 2020 via electronic voting.

As at this weekend, no less than 31 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) have pitched their tent with Ajibade. Leading the pack of the first set of endorsements is eminent lawyer and former Attorney General of Lagos State, Prof. A. B. Kasunmu, SAN who described Ajibade as “someone who has a passion for both the law and the profession; a lawyer with integrity and a gentleman, who subtly but effectively upholds the true ethos of the profession.”

On his part, renowned lawyer, Mr. Ebun Sofunde SAN said of the NBA presidential aspirant: “In these trying times for the bar and bench, I see Dr. Ajibade 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 also see him as a person who will fight for the welfare of the bar and bench and promote a smooth relationship between the bar and bench.”

Said Mrs. Funke Adekoya SAN, NBA former 1st Vice-President and former presidential: “I find Dr. Ajibade to be courteous and with the personal attributes that describe a gentleman. He is known in both international and domestic legal circles and is an acknowledged leader in both. Within Nigeria he is an active member of committees of both the NBA Section on Legal Practice as well as Section on Business Law. He is a past President of the Capital Markets Solicitors Association. In the international arena he is a member of the ICC’s Africa Commission, and the IBA’s African Regional Forum Advisory Board. I support his candidacy because in my opinion he is the best bridge between the younger and older members of the profession.”

Perhaps the icing on the cake was an endorsement by Ajibade’s peers comprising a group of 14 senior advocates who were his 1989 classmates at the Nigerian Law School. In a statement made available to CITY LAWYER, the senior lawyers said they have known Ajibade “for over 30 years and can confidently attest to his character, integrity, humility, experience, brilliance and hard work in the legal profession, which led him to achieve the honour of being the first person to be elevated to the rank of SAN from the 1989 NLS Class.”

According to them, aside from the fact that he has over the years “been highly involved in Continuing Legal Education and other programmes that provide mentorship for young lawyers,” his wealth of experience in leadership “will help reposition the NBA as an effective and efficient world-class Association for the benefit of the different intra professional groups of lawyers under its membership and the growth and development of our great country, Nigeria.”

Aside from Kasunmu who took silk in 1979, other lawyers who endorsed Ajibade include Mr. Ebun Sofunde SAN, Mr. Kayode Sofola SAN, Prof. Gabriel A. Olawoyin SAN, Mrs. Funke Adekoya SAN, Mr. Bambo Adesanya SAN, Mr. Dolapo Akinrele SAN, Mr. Babatunde Fagbohunlu SAN, Prof. Andrew Chukwuemerie SAN, Mrs. Titi Akinlawon SAN, Mr. Folu Oguntade SAN, Mr. Oluwemimo Ogunde SAN, Mr. Abiodun Jelili Owonikoko SAN, Mr. Segun Ajibola SAN and Mr. Rotimi Jacobs SAN.

Others are Mr. Teslim Olatunde Busari SAN, Dr. Adewale Olawoyin SAN, Dr. Kayode Olatoke SAN, Mr. Olatunde Adejuyigbe SAN, Mr. Adeniyi Adegbonmire SAN, Dr. Muiz Banire SAN, Mr. Emeka Etiaba SAN, Mr. Olasheni Ibiwoye SAN, Mr. A. U. Mustapha SAN, Mr. Emeka Okpoko SAN, Mr. Adeyemi Kamaldeen Ajibade SAN, Mr. Olayode Delano SAN, Mr. Olumide Aju SAN, Mr. Olukayode Enitan SAN, Mr. Essien Andrew SAN, and Mr. Oladipo Olasope SAN.

Please send emails to citylawyermag@gmail.com. Copyright 2020 CITY LAWYER. 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 www.citylawyermag.com. 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.

Agbakoba Backs Ojukwu for NBA Presidency

The quest by Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN to clinch the coveted presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association has received a major boost with his endorsement by former NBA President, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN. Continue Reading