It is indeed very sad that despite the support Ikeja Branch of the NBA has given to its Lagos Counterpart for several years, the Lagos Bar has refused to reciprocate this gesture at a time a member of the Ikeja Bar is aspiring for the office of the President of the NBA. It is clear that one objective of the NBA Constitution is to promote equality, equity and fairness among the various zones in the election of National officers. That spirit and objective of equality, equity and fairness I believe should also be extended to the branch level to prevent a situation where certain branches will feel marginalized.
Without a doubt, the Lagos Branch of the NBA since the inception of the NBA has produced not less than six (6) Presidents of the Bar, the most recent of which is the out-going President in the person of Paul Usoro, SAN. If the outgoing President was produced by the Lagos Bar, will it be fair for the Lagos Bar to produce another President? I do not think so, and I believe the entire objective of zoning principle will be defeated if only one Branch is to constantly produce the President of the NBA. I concede that the second schedule to the NBA Constitution divided the country into geographical zones, with rotation between the three (3) zones i.e. Northern zone, Eastern zone and Western zone, and does not extend such divide or dichotomy to branches. However, it will be inequitable and unjust for one branch to always produce the NBA President? This will not augur well and in no distant time some branches will become indifferent to NBA activities. The presidency of the NBA should not be the birthright of just one branch.
It is on this note that I lend my voice to the appeal to our brothers from the Lagos Bar to have a rethink and support the candidate of the Ikeja Bar in the person of Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN because if care is not taken there is a likelihood that this election will sever the mutual relationship that has existed between the Ikeja Bar and Lagos Bar of the NBA. I also call on all well-meaning members of the NBA Ikeja Branch to rise up at this time and say NO to the marginalization of the Ikeja branch by voting en masse for Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN, in the election at the end of this month (July). We also seek the support of members of the Ikorodu and Badagry Branches of the NBA at this time because a time will come when they will also seek the support of the Ikeja Branch in the NBA National election.
May I also thank the Care-taker Committee of the NBA, Ikeja Branch for re-affirming the earlier motion of the immediate past Executives adopting Deacon Dele Adesina, SAN as the sole candidate of the Ikeja Branch of the NBA.
CHUKWUDI ENEBELI, MCIArb.
(Partner Pinheiro LP)