Concerns Over Fresh Plot To Break NBA



By an interim injunction, a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port-Harcourt in 1992 stopped Mrs. Priscilla Kuye-led Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, from going ahead with the election of its principal officers. Certain members of the NBA had approached the court at the time for the injunction following a rumour that certain groups had entered the Conference venue of the NBA in Port-Harcourt with hired thugs, disguised as lawyers, with the alleged aim of achieving a pre-determined outcome at the elections.

At that time, elections into the Executive Committee of the NBA were conducted annually and an incumbent could re-contest for the same Office for a further term of one year only. The previous election of the NBA that held in 1991 at its Owerri conference was won by Chief Clement Akpamgbo, SAN. He was to serve till 1992. But shortly after Akpamgbo was elected the President of the NBA in 1991, the Military President and Head of State, General Ibrahim Babangida appointed him (Akpamgbo) Attorney-General and Minister of Justice of the Federation, AGF.  Babangida who held on to power for 7 years and 364 days had earlier gone for Prince Bola Ajibola, SAN, in 1985 shortly after his election as NBA President in 1984.

Mr. Ebele Nwokoye who was then the first Vice-President of the NBA, served out the term of Prince Ajibola as President of the NBA, Chief  Priscilla Kuye, as the then first Vice-President of Akpamgbo served out his (Akpamgbo) term as President of the NBA.

Kuye had like Nwokoye did during his time in the 80s’ indicated interest in contesting for the presidential election of the NBA in 1992 after serving out the term of Chief Akpamgbo. Apart from Chief (Mrs.) Priscilla Kuye who was the acting President of the NBA, other contestants for the Presidency were Alhaji Bashir Dalhatu, Mr. Segun Onakoya and Mr. Kanmi Ishola Osobu (Peoples’ Law).

For the first time in the history of the Annual General Conference of the professional body of lawyers in the country, election into the Office of the President of the NBA had taken a political colouration which made the ensuing campaign more tense than ever. For instance, the accreditation of voters at the election was delayed and the Executive Committee which ought to have been dissolved preparatory to the elections was not dissolved.

When Chief Gani Fawehinmi was recognized to address the Conference, the microphone was seized from him. In the ensuing confusion, Chief Kuye was forced to adjourn the election sine die when she was served with an interim injunction issued by a Port-Harcourt High Court which ordered the suspension of the election.

ALSO READ   Applications for the 'Omaplex Law School Scholarship 2021' Commences

The epochal judicial intervention threw the NBA – at least its national body – into a state of abeyance, until the Federal Government intervened by promulgating the Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Decree No. 21 of 1993.

Lawyers mull formation of new association


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here