RAMINBA Replies Steve Abar on Ogunlana’s Trial and NBA Presidential Aspiration


NBA by reason of your on going trial. I am also not your hater. My position is the product of my long held and publicly expressed belief which has found fulfilment in the manifestation of a seemingly gagged NBA under Paul Usoro. I wish you could see it as that and nothing more.

Thank you and kindly ignore the incomplete response I earlier inadvertently posted here and substitute it with this one”

The questions for Mr. Steve Abar are numerous but some are:

  1. On what grounds did Mr. Steve Abar advise Mr. Paul Usoro SAN not to run, when he had no criminal matter agaisnt him , prior to his electoral victory at the 2018 polls?
  2. Why is he recommending to Mr. Ogunlana to shelve his presidential ambition because of his ongoing trial, his undisclosed grounds of advice with which he advised Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, when he had no criminal matter ?
  3. What is the basis of equality of capabilities ascribed to all the candidates to warrant Mr. Ogunlana to withdraw from the NBA presidential race?

It is clear as noonday that Mr. Steve Abar’ s response is blurry and an attempt to drive emotions up against the presidential aspiration of Mr. Ogunlana. While on one hand , deferring to the doctrine of presumption of innocence , Mr. Abar wants Mr. Ogunlana to halt his presidential aspiration due to his ongoing trial.

Mr. Abar’ s school of thought is that elective offices such as the Office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association is a deified office that should not be aspired to by individuals , who are facing any form of trial, inspite of the presumption of innocence against them.

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Mr. Abar’s conclusion that the ongoing trial of Mr. Paul Usoro SAN led to the current gagged NBA leadership is not only presumptuous but amounts to begging the question. If we may ask, what background does Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, the current NBA President have that now got “gagged” when he entered office! The reality is that , with respect to Mr. Paul Usoro SAN, he is simply not an activist! Even at that, the pinnacle of Mr. Paul Usoro SAN’ s anti- government action was the declaration of a national boycott, where were persons such as Mr. Steve Abar at that time?

Now to Mr. Steve Abar’s assertion that all the four presidential have “equal capabilities ” , let us examine the subject matter critically. Mr. Steve Abar’s reference of standing shoulders to shoulders with Ikeja Branch, the Tiger Bar, during their innumerous struggles, does this include the involvement of Mr. Dele Adesina SAN? It is on record that the same Dele Adesina SAN , as Chairman of Ikeja Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (1998-2000) diswoned his members who were protesting the sale of the Nigerian Law School?

Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN and Mr. Olumide Akpata , both transactional lawyers has never been known for activism and critical social interventions. They can’t even pretend to be so! Where then is the equality of capacities among the four?

These are men who have used their skills to make personal fortunes for themselves and are now eyeing top positions in the Nigerian Bar Association in order to project their image for higher aspirations.

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The four presidential aspirants are all Lagos-based lawyers, of both Ikeja and Lagos Branches , the two largest Branches of the Nigerian Bar Association. In 2018, when the then Governor Akinwumi Ambode of Lagos State sought to impose an horrendous Lagos State Land Use Charge of 500 percent increment, the reaction of the four aspirants were not the same. While the other three sat on the fence, Ogunlana leading the NBA IKeja , without the support of Mr. Dele Adesina SAN, successfully resisted the imposition of the taxes.

Equally, when the immediate past Chief Judge of Lagos State, Honourable Justice Opeyemi Oke came up with the High Court of Lagos State (Civil Procedure) Rules 2018 with its horrendous filing fees and punitive costs, what is the attitude or reaction of these aspirants to that extortionate scheme of the Chief Judge? While three kept quiet, one spoke against it publicly, carried out demonstratrations itagainst it via the Citizens’ Rally wgainst Oppression and eventually sought judicial intervention on it? Who is that? Ogunlana Adesina Ademola. Again, what basis is the equality of capabilities?

The reality is that with the grand onslaughg on democratic rights jnder the current regime, the leadership that is required is a fighting leadership. Mr. Steve Abar’s wish of not having a ” gagged” leadership can only be fully realised if Mr. Ogunlana is entrusted with the prime leadership of the Bar.


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