Making a Case for “All Lawyers” to Contest for Elective Posts in the NBA

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By the provisions of the 2015 NBA Constitution, the only set of lawyers who are qualified to contest elective post are lawyers in “private practice”. Lawyers in “private practice”? Where did we get that from? What exactly is private practice? This would be address in another post. There shouldn’t be any distractions on the serious topic.

The legal profession is a noble profession. The style and manner of the profession is unique and affords of a lot of envy from members of other profession. The envious position of the profession is however only noticeable from the outside. From within, there are so many issues that raise doubts as to the core values of the profession.

Recently, the Publicity Secretary of the NBA, John Austin Unachukwu got his mandate from the court. The Electoral Committee of the NBA had in the last election disqualified him on the grounds that he is not a lawyer in “private practice”. John Austin is a Law Reporter for The Nation Newspaper. I guess part of what worked for him was his ability to show that he has some form of “private practice”. Assuming without conceding that John Austin was just an employee of The Nation Newspaper, without more, would he not be suitably qualified to contest for the post of Publicity Secretary of the NBA.

Let’s look at it from another dimension. Our colleagues who work in the Ministries of Justice. What offence have they committed. While they are required to pay practising fees to the same NBA, they are not allowed to contest for elective post in the NBA. While they are allowed to vote and canvass for vote for NBA Elections, they are barred from contesting for the elective posts. Are you still looking for the definition of double standard?

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I recently stumbled on a Facebook Post of one of the “acclaimed” supporters of AOO where he was arguing against the proposal by Teacher that our colleagues in “public practice” be allowed to contest for elective posts in the NBA. I have said it before, AOO is in dare need of constructive thinkers.

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