While sitting with some friends and fellow colleagues a couple of days ago, I broached the subject of the upcoming NBA 2020 elections and almost everyone in the group waived the topic aside, all of them disinterested. I tried one more time to stimulate their interests by naming some of the candidates vying for the office of the NBA President but this brings forth an entirely different result, a feeling of resentment and apathy for the NBA, an association they believe has done little or nothing to help their respective practices.
These are lawyers who manage their own firms and are partners in some of the top tier firms in the country, they work very hard and according to them cannot state how the NBA has helped boost their careers or promote their practice. In a nutshell, they cannot state what the NBA has done for them.
“What has the NBA done about expanding the frontiers of practice in real terms;
“How have they prevented the encroachment on the jobs of lawyers;
“What have they done to rectify the poor salaries earned by many junior lawyers;
“How have they protected the human rights of lawyers, many of whom have been assaulted severally by the police;
“What has the NBA done asides holding conferences where all they do is talk and issue statements that have no effect whatsoever; and
“How have they upheld the Rule of Law, remember Onnoghen, how come the NBA could not prevent such shameful exploitation of the Rule of Law;
All at once, they drilled me with questions. It is obvious that many lawyers feel this way and a large number of practitioners have stayed away from the NBA totally save for paying their practicing fees and branch dues. However, unperturbed by their non – challant attitude, I felt the need to engage them a little further and state my case.
“So who is the right leader you may ask?”
There are other things I will like to consider such as track record, long term contribution to the Bar, leadership qualities and a thorough understanding of how the Nigerian Bar Association works. I have evaluated the candidacy of the top 3 candidates vying for the office of the President of the NBA and while I agree that all 3 of them are very successful lawyers, only one of them meets all my under listed requirements. I in no way claim that others are bad for the job, I only recommend that we choose not only the best man for the job but the right man as well. That man is Dele Adesina SAN and I will tell you why.
The Deacon as Mr. Dele Adesina SAN is fondly called by lawyers all over the nation has a track record of long term contribution to the Bar, leadership qualities and a thorough understanding of how the Nigerian Bar Association works. I will now pick my reasons one after the other.
The Deacon has held a number of offices in the NBA, he was the Chairman of NBA Ikeja Branch during the military era and was instrumental to many of the victories won against the Military regime. As Femi Falana SAN put it, there was no time I called Dele that the NBA needed to make a statement or put it to the military regime of the day that he ever refused.
Long Term Contribution
During his time as the General Secretary of the NBA, the Deacon was instrumental to a number of innovations now experienced within the NBA, including providing life insurance cover for lawyers, introducing the various Sections of the NBA and also being the only lawyer who was successful in moving a motion for a minimum salary for lawyers at the NBA NEC, among other things.
Understanding of the NBA
Recently, former Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Public interest and Development Law (SPIDEL) Chief J.K Gadzama SAN, described Mr. Dele Adesina SAN as unbeatable in terms of his leadership capacity at the Bar. Furthermore, D.D. Dodo SAN stated that Mr. Adesina’s track record and respect for the tradition of the Bar makes Dele Adesina the best candidate to provide leadership for the association at the moment.
Moreso, in an exclusive interview with DNL Legal and Style published on the 11th of December, 2019, when the Deacon was asked about his past activities in the NBA, he had this to say, “I have been active in the affairs of NBA since 1986. Between 1987 and 1989 I was one of the ardent followers of Alao Aka-Bashorun. We elected him President of the Bar in 1987. In 1990 or thereabout, I became the Secretary of Ikeja branch and in 1998 I was elected the Chairman of the branch. Since that 1990, I have remained at the National Executive Council of the NBA till today.”
I am sure Titans of the profession such as J.K Gadzama and D.D Dodo SAN must know what they are talking about when they refer to Mr. Dele Adesina SAN as the best and right person to lead the Bar at this time. Most importantly, I agree with them totally.
It is time to secure the future of the Bar and with Dele Adesina SAN will secure the future of the Bar.