The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has begun preparations for the 2020 presidential election with growing influence for lawyers of the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria.
Although there have been NBA presidents who were not of the SAN rank such as Priscilla Kuye, Alao-Aka Bashorun, some lawyers believe only a SAN can command respect from other lawyers and to hold government to account.
Speaking on the issue, Lagos lawyer Raymond Adekunle Olaiya said the foremost quality required to lead the NBA at this critical time is courage coupled the core values of integrity and humility.
He said, “One of the best presidents the NBA has ever had in person of Aka Bashorun of blessed memory was never a SAN, yet he died a distinguished and an archival advocate in his own right. He was a thorn in the flesh of military dictatorship. And since then, the NBA leadership has been marked by a succession of forgettable tenures.”
Chukwuka Ikwuazo said being a SAN should neither be an advantage nor a disadvantage in the election of the president of the Bar. “Every candidate should be judged on the relevant issues of humility, integrity, competence and programmes.”
Five aspirants have indicated interest to take-over from the current president, Paul Usoro (SAN), whose tenure comes to an end in August.
It has been zoned to the Western Zone. The aspirants are: Muyiwa Akinboro, Tunde Ajibade, all Senior Advocates of Nigeria. Others are: Awoniyi Alabi, Olumide Akpata and Adesina Ogunlana.