The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Olumide Akpata has among other promises, assured lawyers that the recommendations of the NBA Remuneration Committee regarding enhancing the legal capacity of legal practitioners in Nigeria shall be implemented.
Mr. Akpata made the assurances during a three day working visit to Imo State with members of the NBA National Executives.
In a statement issued by the National Publicity Secretary of the Association, Dr. Rapulu Nduka the visit is a continuation of the efforts of the leadership of the bar to engender a Bar that works for its members through constant engagements with the legal community.
According to the statement, the President upon arrival on February 9, held an interactive session with NBA members from the Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu and Mbaise Branches in the State, at the Pavilion, High Court Complex, Owerri, where the NBA President reassured legal practitioners in Imo State of the focus of his administration in running an all-inclusive Bar with particular emphasis on the professional well being and general welfare of all NBA members. Mr Akpata restated the resolve of the NBA-NEC to strengthen the Bar at the branch level and reminded the members that the Branches of the NBA are the very critical constituent parts that make up the Association, while tasking the various Branches to rise and take their place, within each jurisdiction, for the promotion of the rule of law and improving the welfare of the members within their domain.
The NBA President further outlined some of the steps already taken by the NBA-NEC to improve the welfare of the members, especially in the areas of comprehensive insurance cover for all legal practitioners in Nigeria and access to finance for lawyers. The NBA President therefore urged the members to take advantage of the various insurance schemes especially the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) and reduce the incidences of the unreliable adhoc crowd funding exercises.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of the Institute of Continuing Legal Education – Mr. Tobenna Erojikwe, harped on the importance of continuing legal education and pledged that the Institute will partner with the Branches in Imo State, to deliver contemporary trainings that will help the expansion of the existing legal space within the State and provide more opportunities for lawyers within the State.
Other Bar-related issues discussed during the interactive session included the administration of justice system in Imo State; the need for NBA members in Imo State to take advantage of the newly created NBA Securities Agencies Relation Committee (NBA-SARC) Committee set up to deal with the harassment of legal practitioners by security operatives in Nigeria; the NBA President’s pledge to ensure the implementation of the recommendations of the NBA Remuneration Committee regarding enhancing the legal capacity of legal practitioners in Nigeria.
Thereafter, the NBA President – Mr. Olumide Akpata, in the company of the NBA Publicity Secretary – Dr. Rapulu Nduka, NBA Financial Secretary – Chief Raphael Anagor, and a host of others, paid a visit to the Attorney General of Imo State – Chief C.O.C. Akaolisa, to secure the assurances of the Imo State Chief Law Officer, regarding an improvement in the welfare of the NBA members who are Law Officers in the State. Various issues relating to the administration of justice and attainment of financial autonomy of the Imo State Judiciary were also discussed while the NBA President assured that trainings to shore up the capacity of Law Officers in the State will be organized in conjunction with the Imo State Ministry of Justice.
The NBA delegation also paid a courtesy visit to the Acting Chief Judge of Imo State and other members of the Imo State Judiciary. The visit provided the NBA President and his team with an opportunity to engage extensively with the Chief Judge on strategies for further strengthening of the existing partnership between the Bar and Bench in the State.
The NBA leadership appreciates the Government and good people of Imo State for their warm hospitality and assures the members of the implementation of the recommendations and resolutions reached at the various sessions.