The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata has berated conferees who invaded the Accreditation Centre to cart away conference bags and other items.

Akpata, who was delivering an apology for his lateness to the President’s Dinner organized as one of the highlights of the ongoing NBA Annual General Conference, said that he was held up by the chaos that broke out yesterday evening over delivery of conference bags.

CITY LAWYER had captured the moment when the vehicle conveying the conference bags arrived to the hot embrace of the teeming conferees who had massed around the Accreditation Centre to collect the bags. A security officer told CITY LAWYER that the organisers were having a tough time with crowd control, as the conferees were blocking the access route to be used by the vehicle to deliver the bags to the Accreditation Centre.

Saying that it was not in his character to attend such events late, Akpata beamed a clip of the riot on the wide screen, adding: “It is a sad commentary. But this is really who we are. We must not delude ourselves. We are as good as our weakest link.”

He noted that the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) had explained that it insisted on top quality bags for the conferees, leading to its rejection of the low quality bags supplied by the vendor. He wondered why the conferees would not exercise patience, moreso when the quality bags had been supplied.

Fiery human rights activist and former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Chidi Odinkalu had lampooned some conferees who staged a protest earlier on the same issue.

He said: “Nigeria is nothing if not impressive. Ask these same lawyers to protest over their Governor stealing money or politicians in Abuja stealing the country into destitution & calling it fuel subsidy, they will object & tell you how respectable a bunch of lads they are. But we will protest over bags! Our situation passeth all understanding.”

CITY LAWYER recalls that the TCCP Chairman, Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe had in an update to conferees noted that the committee had rejected the bags because they did not meet the agreed standards.

His words:

Dear Colleagues,

I welcome you again to Lagos for our 62nd Annual General Conference. I hope that the registration process has been pleasant for you thus far.

Thank you for the feedback that we have received from you on various points and for the commendations too. In cases where you suggested that we make improvements, we have taken note and will continue to work towards giving you a better experience.

Regarding the ongoing collection of conference materials, I am writing to update you that we will now pause collection of conference materials (specifically the conference bags) until further notice. This is because while we have ordered more than enough bags to serve our delegates, we have now observed that the most recent batches of the bags delivered to us are less than the quality that we contracted and paid for. We have accordingly rejected them and asked our suppliers to provide conforming replacements as soon possible.

In any case, to enable our delegates continue to enjoy the conference, all other materials (particularly the tags, tickets and lanyards) will still be issued to you at the designated collection points. Collection of the bags will resume afterwards.

I thank you for your understanding and regret any inconvenience that this might cause you.

My best regards,

Tobenna Erojikwe
Chairman, NBA TCCP 2022

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