Two of the NBA Presidential hopefuls; Deacon Dele Adesina SAN and Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN have in separate statements dissociated from the memo issued by Chief Adegboyega Awomolo SAN requesting past NBA Presidents to ensure that a non SAN does not become the President of the NBA.
Dr. Ajibade SAN while disagreeing with Chief Awomolo noted that there is nothing in the NBA constitution or in the history of the NBA supporting the assertion.
“My attention has been drawn to a statement made by Asiwaju Adegboyega Awomolo, SAN in which he suggests that the office of President of the Nigerian Bar Association is the exclusive preserve of Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs).
I respectfully disagree with this position. There is nothing contained in the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Constitution or in the history of the NBA to support this assertion.
There is near unanimous agreement that one of the most popular and effective Presidents the NBA has had is Late Alao Aka-Basorun and the NBA has had other non-SAN Presidents since.
The focus should be on the character, capacity and antecedents of persons who aspire to lead our profession and not on their title or rank.
There are serious challenges facing the profession at this time and we need to unite the profession in order to effectively address them.”
On his part, Deacon Adesina SAN disagreeing with Chief Awomolo’s position noted that it is the time to present a united front rather than instigating divisions among the senior and the junior members of the bar.
“As a firm believer in the objectives of the Nigerian Bar Association and the role it plays to its members and the community, I believe our Association is at a critical point in history where unity of purpose and synergy among lawyers is in desperate need.
As such it is not a time for members to instigate division either among the senior members of the Bar and juniors or among the Senior Advocates and Non – Senior Advocates. I believe as members of the NBA, the Association is for the benefit of all members irrespective of position or ilk.
The Leadership of NBA must always ensure strategic collaboration between the NBA, its Sections, Forums and other bodies such as the Body of Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Law Officers Association of Nigeria, Law Teachers Association of Nigeria, Association of Lawyers with Disabilities in Nigeria, Christian Lawyers Fellowship of Nigeria (CLASFON), Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) and “Federación Internacional dé
Abogadas” a.k.a. “International Federation of Women Lawyers.”
Our Association must continue to be a pillar of support and strength for the specialised bodies and individuals in pursuit of their goals and objectives. We must also resist any and all efforts to cause a division among our ranks, if the NBA must remain relevant, active and successful in its role.”
Chief Awomolo had in a memo advised past presidents of the bar to ensure that only a SAN becomes the president of the bar. Read here