The immediate past Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akure Branch, Mr. Rotimi Olorunfemi has stated that “recent happenings at the Bar” has made him resolve to return the N100,000 paid to him as accommodation allowance for the recently concluded NBA Annual General Conference (AGC).
In a letter made available to CITY LAWYER, the former branch helmsman noted that though he had availed his account details to receive the fund and “had no objection to this gesture as it is customary of the National body to provide hotel accommodation for Branch Chairmen and Secretaries during NEC meetings,” “my conscience will not know rest if I accept the payment.”
He urged NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN to avail him the association’s account details to enable him refund the money, adding that “If however I do not receive any response from the national body as herein requested within the next 14 working days of the receipt of this letter by you sir, I shall draw a Bank Draft in this sum and send same to the President via this same medium.”
The full text of the letter is below.
29th August, 2022
Nigerian Bar Association,
Plot 1101, Muhammadu Buhari Way,
Central Business District
REFUND OF THE SUM OF N100,000.00K TRANSFERRED TO MY
ACCOUNT BY THE NATIONAL SECRETARIAT.
Permit me sir, to use this medium to congratulate you on your recent assumption of office as the President of our noble association, the Nigerian Bar Association, the foremost, the biggest and the noblest of all professional associations not only in Nigeria but in Africa.
Mr President, I woke on Sunday 28th day of August, 2022 to receive an alert of the sum of N100,000.00k (One Hundred Thousand Naira only) from the Nigerian Bar Association which was described in the narration as “accommodation”.
Sir, I am sure this payment to my account was in fulfilment of the promise of the immediate past President, Mr Olumide Akpata, to reimburse Chairmen and Secretaries of Branches for accommodation expenses incurred during the just concluded AGC.
Initially, I had no objection to this gesture as it is customary of the National body to provide hotel accommodation for Branch Chairmen and Secretaries during NEC meetings, so I forwarded my account details as requested and in anticipation of receiving this money.
However, in view of the recent happenings at the Bar starting with the kill-the-chicken-and-break-the-egg handling of the issue involving our revered Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN’s Law Firm, the purported illegal suspension of the immediate Past General Secretary of the association, Mrs Joyce Oduah, which culminated in a Federal High Court lampooning the National Executive Council (of which I was a member until last week when my tenure expired as Chairman, Akure Branch) for the shoddy manner it handled the matter and the very ugly incident during the recently concluded AGC which portrayed our very noble association in very bad light before the whole world due largely to the very poor and selfish planning by the nepotically selected Technical Committee on Conference Planning, TCCP, of this year Conference, I have decided that I cannot in good conscience keep and/or expend this money for my personal benefit.
Aside the above, I have been attending Bar Conferences since year 2002, one year after I was called to the Bar and I have self-funded myself to attend conferences all these years and the 2022 Bar Conference should not be an exception just because of my privileged position as a Branch Chairman.
It is on the above premises, that I therefore humbly request Mr. President to instruct the National Treasurer to kindly forward the Association’s account details to me with a view to refunding the money quickly to the Association’s coffers. IN THE ALTERNATIVE if I have Mr President’s approval I can pay the money into my Branch account for the benefit of my Branch and I will forward the teller to the National Secretariat.
If however I do not receive any response from the national body as herein requested within the next 14 working days of the receipt of this letter by you sir, I shall draw a Bank Draft in this sum and send same to the President via this same medium.
While I thank and appreciate the immediate past administration led by Mr Olumide Akpata, who I hold and continue to hold in very high esteem, for this harmless gesture of reimbursing my accommodation expenses during the AGC, my conscience will not know rest if I accept the payment.
I once again congratulate the President and members of the new National Executive Committee and wish you all a successful tenure of office.
Yours very sincerely,
Rotimi Olorunfemi Esq.
Immediate Past Chairman NBA, Akure.
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