By Julius Peter:
The Chief Justice of the Federal Capital Territory, Justice Ishaq Bello has formally inaugurated the new executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abuja Branch.
The Chief Justice also pledged to give the new Executives, led by Ms. Hauwa Shekarau his maximum support to enable them succeed.
While inaugurating the new executives of the Abuja’s NBA branch at about 3.30pm In Thursday, the 18th of June, 2020 at the Ceremonial Court of the FCT High Court, Justice Bello who administered the oath of office to the executives stated that “the Bar and Bench must work together to achieve success.”
It would be recalled that the Unity Bar, at elections held on the 11th of June, 2020 voted the following as the Executive members saddled with the responsibility of running the affairs of the branch for the next two years:
Hauwa Shekarau –Chairman, Chioma Onyenucheya-Uko –Vice Chairman, Adebiyi Adetosoye –Secretary, Chinelo Audrey Ofoegunam –Assistant Secretary, Adedeji Emmanuel Adewale –Treasurer, Ngozi Agubalu –Welfare Secretary, Ikemefuna Onyeka –Publicity Secretary, Jude Okey Ugwuanyi –Legal Adviser, Princess F. Chukwuani –NEC Rep.
Accepting the responsibility, the newly inaugurated Chairperson, Ms. Hauwa Shekarau, pledged to ensure that unity and peace of the bar is achieved and maintained.
“My Honourabe the Chief Justice of FCT, Hon Justice IshaqBello, Hon Justices of the FCT High Court here present, The Chief Registrar, Learned Silks, senior members and elders of the Bar, distinguished Colleagues, members of the press and the general public, good afternoon.
“I am truly humbled standing before you today, as the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, My ascendance to the Chairmanship of the NBA Abuja Branch is a testimony to thefact and proof positive that the Almighty God continues to watch over me, continues to order my steps, continues to protect and is not at all done with me yet. I glorify Him, return all thanks to Him and dedicate my ascendance to the NBA Chairmanship to Him.
“I have received several calls from well-meaning friends asking why I have accepted to be addressed as Chairman, my simple answer has always been that from the day I was admitted to study law, I have come to accept the fact that the legal profession doesn’t have gender. Thus distinguished colleagues you are free to call me Chairman or Chairperson.
“If I had to list all my friends and colleagues all over the country who worked tirelessly, day and night, to make our victory at the polls possible, we would perhaps not complete this ceremonytoday.
“I must however illustratively (and definitely but not exhaustively) mention S.I. Ameh SAN, Asiwaju AdegboyegaAwomolo and his delectable wife Chief Funmi Awomolo, Chief JK Gadzama, SAN, Aare Olumuyiwa Akinboro SAN, Ibrahim Mark, Abdul Ibrahim SAN, my wonderful Sisters at FIDA and others too numerous to mention. Special mention must be made of Moses Ebute Esq. who stepped down few days to the election. I commend his maturity and sacrifice for the Bar.
“I must also pay special tribute to the immediate past Chairman of the NBA Abuja Mr. Abimbola Kayode and his Exco for their support through thick and thin. May the Almighty God reward you all. I must acknowledge the significant role played by some Bar Leaders, Elders and Past Chairmen of the NBA Abuja Branch. I must also thank the Electoral Committee of the NBA Abuja for a job well done.
“I thank you all from the bottom of my heart and pray for God’s continuous blessings for you and your families.
“I ran a campaign on a 10-point agenda, which is centered around restoring the glory of the bar, Capacity building for lawyers, welfare of young lawyers, Mentorship for young lawyers in particular, continuous legal education, strengthening the internal dispute resolution mechanism of the bar and a host of others.
“These programs and indeed reform programs, would be anchored by various Committees the details of which we would work out and publish in the coming days and weeks.
“Ahead of such publication, we would review and where necessary rationalize the existing Committees of the Association, I am aware that I have just 2 years and might not be able to achieve anything without God and your support. Permit me to plead for your continued support.
“On behalf of myself and the exco I want to assure you that we will operate an open-door policy, it’s our tenure, it’s our bar, we must make it work, your constructive criticisms and suggestions are welcomed. Abuja prides itself as the Unity Bar, we will ensure that unity and peace of the bar is achieved and maintained.
“I’ve been asked, and I’ve consistently assured our members that we intend to keep to these our campaign promises and indeed all our campaign commitments. I can assure you that we would deliver on the 10-point agenda by the special grace of God and with your support.
“My most respected colleagues, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, time would not permit me to adumbrate in greater detail on our lofty plans for the NBA Abuja Branch.
“We will continue to lean on and count on the wisdom of all our Past Chairmen, Bar Elders and Leaders and indeed, all of you our dear colleagues.
“We are nothing without you. We can only succeed with your support and assistance. More importantly, we come as your servants; you are our masters and we would at all times listen to and heed your advice.
“Where or when we think differently, we would patiently explain our viewpoints to you knowing as we do that communication between us clears doubts and pre-empts quarrels and misunderstandings.
“Transparency and accountability, we assure you, would be our watchwords at all times.
“I must finally thank my Lord the Hon Chief Judge of the FCT for his consistent support to NBA Abuja Branch over the years. We value you greatly.
“Finally, My Distinguished Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to a New and Most Promising Day in the life of the NBA Abuja Branch and thank you for your attendance at today’s event. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Long live the Nigerian Bar Association.