The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata, has inaugurated members of the 2022 NBA Electoral Committee.
Speaking during the inauguration which was held at the NBA House in Abuja on Monday, 24th January, Mr. Akpata expressed confident in the pedigree of the members of the Electoral Committee noting that though the task daunting, it is one certainly not beyond their abilities.
The speech reads in part
I am pleased to welcome you all to the inauguration of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (“ECNBA”). This event is indeed a very important function in the context of the future of the Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA”).
Human society has always acknowledged the need for a leadership in order to guide the affairs of mankind and direct the society to its goal and aspirations. The means by which that leadership is arrived at in a democratic setting, has always been through free, fair and credible
For us in the NBA, the same principles hold true. Indeed, if there is one Association whose leadership must proceed from a free, fair and transparent electoral process, then it should be the NBA for obvious reasons. We stand relative to the society as its conscience and hence
must be seen to be above board.
Unfortunately, we have not acquitted ourselves in this light. Evidence of this is found in the controversial nature of the elections that produced the last three National Officers of the NBA.
It was consequent upon the above that I made the reform of our
electoral process as one of the key pillars of our campaign manifesto.
In a bid to secure the execution of that mandate, you may recall that
one of my first official acts as the President of this great Association
was to empanel an Election Audit and Reforms Committee headed by Ayo Akintunde, SAN.
The mandate of that Committee was clear: to audit the last three elections of our National Officers with a view to drawing lessons which will be used to improve our subsequent elections.
The report of the Committee’s work would become an invaluable resource for the Constitution Review and Amendment Committee which gave legislative force to the recommendations of the Election
Audit and Reforms Committee by codifying them in the recently amended Constitution of the NBA, as adopted at our last Annual General Conference (“AGC”) in Port Harcourt.
As we prepare for the next round of election of National Officers, I am confident that the issues that aggregated to blight the outcome of the elections of our recent history will not repeat themselves this time. We owe it a duty to bequeath to our profession and its members, an election which they can be proud of; and which as far as practicable, is free from any form of controversy.
I am fortified in this belief by the fact that the Chairman of this August Committee-Mr. Ayo Akintunde, SAN was also the Chairman of the Election Audit and Reforms Committee which undertook the groundwork of what is today, a template we can rely upon to deepen the quality of our electoral process.
Indeed, the pedigree of other members of this Committee gives one hope that our profession is in good hands. I must however acknowledge in advance that the task of this Committee is no less daunting. Yet, it is one certainly not beyond the abilities of the Committee.
As I conclude, may I on behalf the National Officers assure you of the support and cooperation of the Association within the limits permitted by our Constitution towards the execution of the mandate of the committee as contained in its Terms of Reference.
With these few remarks, it is my honour to officially inaugurate the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (“ECNBA”) 2022.