The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata has made a veiled reference to the crises that have dogged his tenure lately, saying that “It has been one hell of a ride, if I do say so myself.”
Akpata had taken to his verified Twitter handle (@OlumideAkpata) to announce his first official meeting with incoming NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN after the establishment of their separate transition committees.
In the post sighted by CITY LAWYER, the NBA President said: “Yesterday evening I held a meeting with the President-elect of the @NigBarAssoc, Mr. Y. C. Maikyau, SAN as our recently constituted Transition Committees brainstormed on how best to ensure a seamless handover.”
Akpata then added tersely, “It has been one hell of a ride, if I do say so myself.”
Akpata’s tenure has taken a turbulent turn lately. Aside from the controversies that arose especially with the troubled appeals process that came on the heels of the 2022 NBA Elections, Akpata has waged a running supremacy battle with the Body of Benchers (BoB) over the proposed amendment of the Legal Practitioners Act (Act).
While NBA and the Body of Benchers were still trying to carve a middle ground on the matter through the Mrs. Funke Adekoya Committee, Akpata sensationally wrote to the newly minted BoB Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, asking him to recuse himself over the Ms. Kunbi Ogunde professional misconduct saga.
CITY LAWYER had in an exclusive report cited a complaint by former Minister of Energy and Petroleum ministries, Mr. Odein Ajumogobia SAN over an email from Ogunde, a Partner in Wole Olanipekun & Co, allegedly soliciting to take over a brief his law firm was handling from his client, SAIPEM SPA. Following his demand for an apology, Wole Olanipekun & Co apologized for the debacle and disowned the Partner. NBA has since filed a petition against the embattled senior lawyer at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC).
The dust on the highly controversial matter has hardly settled when Akpata engaged in a highly publicized bust-up with the suspended NBA General Secretary, Joyce Oduah.
An attempt by Oduah to bounce back to her position has so far failed, as a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja refused to grant her prayer for interim reliefs, giving Akpata a slight breather. The matter has been adjourned to Tuesday for hearing of the Motion on Notice.
Stakeholders are divided on whether the twilight battles would signpost Akpata’s legacy as NBA President.
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