Make Transparent Governance a Culture – Prof Ojukwu Charges NBA President

Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN

Prof. Ernest Ojukwu SAN has urged the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Mr. Paul Usoro SAN to ensure that transparent governance is made a culture in NBA.

Ojukwu made this call in an open letter to the NBA President where he raised several issues of personal and general concern.

Prof. Ojukwu who noted that the publication of the Finance Function Diagnostic Report and the final NBA Financial Statement is a step in the right direction also asked that other issues which were the hallmark of the NBA of old should be implemented.

“I am delighted to see the beginning of open, transparent and accountable governance for the Nigerian Bar Association with the publication of the Finance Function Diagnostic Report and the final NBA Financial Statement as at 31st August, 2018. This is a good sign. I urge that we make this a culture.”

Ojukwu reiterated his demand for the NBA to furnish under the Freedom of Information Act, some items which he says concern the NBA finance and accountability. He said:

“As you know, I made a Freedom of Information request of 15 items from NBA on 30th October, 2018 – most concerning financial and accountability issues. Out of the 15 items only two are activities of the present leadership, that is to say,

  1. Report of the NBA 2018 Ad-hoc transition Committee; and
  2. The contract signed by NBA to engage the services of PricewaterHouseCooper (PWC) for the purpose of auditing and reviewing the NBA account.

I am yet to receive any response to any of the FOI requests.”

On the proposed NBA-NEC meeting, Ojukwu called on the President to ensure that the proposed list of representatives/committee members is published timely to enable NEC members comment on their integrity and other related issues for transparent and accountable NBA Governance.

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“In the first place, fellow elected officers of the Bar should be consulted in an open discussion of proposed names for committees and other representations.”

“As we practiced many years ago, when we had proper NBA Presidents, any proposed list of representatives/Committee members ought to be published in advance of NBA NEC meeting where ratification/appointment is finally done.”

“NEC members and the entire membership ought to have the opportunity to “have a say” on those proposed to represent them.”

“Some of the committees that we need to constitute urgently are the Zonal Disciplinary Investigations Committees. The last set appointed by the last President had some chairmen and many members with horrible reputation and horrible pasts but we were not given the opportunity to comment on them before they were announced as appointed. We need the proposed lists to comment on members’ integrity and other issues of interest for open, transparent and accountable NBA governance.”


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