My first close encounter with Paul Usoro, SAN, left in me till this very moment, an indelible pictorial imprint reminiscent only of one of the scenes in Frederick Forsyth’s books.
It was in the Supreme Court of Nigeria, sometimes around April, 2015. As usual, the court was filled to the brim and everyone waiting eagerly for 9.O’clock for the court to start the business of the day. I was on the first seat on the third row flipping through my file when suddenly I felt a cool gentle breeze blow beside me with this flowing gown almost brushing my shoulders with this harmless gentleness.
I quickly looked up, only to see a very tall, elegant gentleman, wearing a pair of glasses on this almost infectious smile, which he shared generously with everyone that looked his way, as he gradually stepped down towards the front pew with such tenderness as if his feet sought the permission of the ground before each step was taken. I was taken by the rare mixture of aura, charisma with simplicity that this man exudes. At this time I stopped what I was doing and paid a closer attention to this angelic being.
As he stepped towards the front row almost all the lawyers in the courtroom, Senior Advocates inclusive, as if in a rehearsed uniformity rose up on their feet as they exchanged pleasantries one after another with this extraordinary Nigerian.
Few minutes later, the court began sitting. The head of the panel appealed to the Seniors in court to allow motions to be taken first before going into the hearings. Incidentally, my motion was the first on the list. Men and brethren, I almost missed my appearance because I was still lost in the imagination of what had transpired a moment before, I quickly returned to my consciousness and apologized profusely to the court.
After my motion I decided to wait and listen to this angelic being argue his case. By the time the man was done, it dawned on me that the elegance and charisma of Paul Usoro, SAN are nothing compared to his intellectual sagacity and content.
I decided to do one more thing: approach him, greet him and attempt a conversation with him because I know how inaccessible some SANs can be. When I approached Paul Usoro SAN, his humility and simplicity broke me down finally. He came close to me, bent over with his ears close to my mouth so I could whisper directly into his ears, pulled his hand around my neck and responded to all my questions. Thereafter, bade me good bye with a gentle path on my back.
Fast forward to 2018. When I heard that he was contesting for the position of NBA President, I came for one of his meetings. As I listened to him, I saw vision, sincerity, love for the Bar, determination to help lawyers, particularly the young lawyers grow a good practice, I decided to pitch my tent with him.
Join me, let’s vote Paul Usoro, SAN as president of the NBA.
Oseghale L. Obaga Esq.
NBA Abuja Branch