Exactly 2 weeks from today, the 2020 NBA National Election will be held. Indeed, this will afford Nigerian lawyers another opportunity to elect leaders that will pilot the affairs of the NBA in the next 2 years. As the election draws nigh, it is absolutely necessary that we choose only leaders with credibility and proven track record. We cannot afford to be deceived again by the usual election promises and rhetoric of the candidates. In fact, one of the offices that we must pay utmost attention to, aside the office of the President, is the office of the General Secretary. This office is the engine room of the Association and it is saddled with the enormous responsibility of managing the NBA National Secretariat. Candidates for that office must possess the required competences. Beyond the educational and professional qualifications, they should possess the experience, skills and right qualities. They should be industrious, methodical, ICT savvy, humble, resourceful, accessible, incorruptible, courageous, obliging, sagacious and proficient in corporate governance & secretarial management.
I find these qualities and even more in Joyce Oduah, FICMC the only female candidate for the Office of the General Secretary. Clearly, she fits the bill. She is a perfect candidate for that office. Truthfully, she is the only candidate with adequate experience and enduring legacy, both at the Branch and National levels. She is currently the Managing Partner of Joyce Oduah & Co. She has to her credit, 29 years staggering experience in active legal practice. She has served as the 1st Assistant Secretary, Social Secretary and Publicity Secretary of Lagos Branch. She has also served as the NBA National Treasurer and has been appointed into top committees of the NBA, in most cases as either Chairperson or Secretary.
As the NBA National Treasurer, she introduced the NBA Bar Code and Customized Teller for payment of the Bar Practicing Fees (BPF). This milestone greatly curtailed the hardship and burden occasioned on lawyers as a result of the old payment system, and also generated huge revenue for the NBA Branches. In addition, she entrenched the principle of financial prudence, accountability and transparency in the management of the Association’s assets. She also ensured that all NBA’s monies were duly approved and the records transmitted to the next administration. Throughout her tenure, she maintained a cordial relationship with other National Officers. At no point did she have any conflict of interest or snag with either the President or General Secretary – a quality which is very rare amongst National Treasurers.
Beyond the NBA, she has served as a Board Member, Gurara Water Management Authority, 2009; Member, Law Reform and Administration of Justice Reform Committee, Akwa Ibom State 2007 – 2009 and Member, Lagos State Blueprint Committee on the Administration of Justice in 2017.
I believe the Bar can take its pride of place and serve its members better if leaders with passion and sincerity of purpose are elected to serve. I dare reiterate that Joyce Oduah, FICMC fits the bill. She is driven by passion to serve and motivated by the desire to make the NBA National secretariat more effective, responsive and robust for all lawyers. I strongly believe she will serve us better.
Therefore, I choose to support her for the Office of General Secretary.
My name is Jeffery Owhor-Chuku. I am a legal practitioner writing from the NBA Port Harcourt Branch .