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NEW YEAR STATEMENT FROM NBA NATIONAL SECRETARIAT

The year 2017 was a very eventful year for the NBA. It recorded land mark developments and orchestrated setbacks. In the outgone year, the NBA in the course of delivering it's agenda of “ A Brave New Bar” encapsulated in the "3R’s and P" delivered on the following promises

(A) Report and proposed bill (Legal Profession Regulation Bill) on the harmonious regulation of the Nigerian Legal Profession by the Legal Practitioner’s Regulation Review Committee headed by Anthony Idigbe, SAN

(B) Partnerships with some professional bodies {such as, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) and Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), with the aim of building the capacity of lawyers in finance, accounting and related activities, partnership with some law societies of other jurisdictions (United States of America, South Africa, England and Wales, Singapore,Australia etc.) to align the NBA with international best practices and also create opportunities for mentoring of young lawyers,

(C) World Class NBA conference held in Lagos under the chairmanship of Prof. Konyinsola Ajayi, SAN where outstanding innovations in content, sophistications, organisation and logistics were brought to the NBA Annual General Conference,

(D) a conference of all stakeholders on the Administration of Criminal Justice in Nigeria which held in Abuja with the aim of domesticating the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 in the remaining 28 states across the nation that are yet to domesticate the Act.

(E) Partnership with the SDG Office and Legal Aids Council on delivery of pro Bono Services across Nigeria. Boosting the morales of staff of the National Secretariat by the commencement of contributory pension scheme and provision of Personnel Policy Manual and Employees Handbook for appointment, promotion and discipline of NBA staff.

On the negative side,the NBA had some setbacks which included unprecedented litigations against the NBA by members seeking to undermine the good works of the current leadership.

Needless and acrimonious leadership tussles in different branches which has the tendency of turning the NBA to a political Association with the risk of losing our core values. However, with the help of many of our colleagues, we have been able to surmount these setbacks to an extent and reposition ourselves on the right track in delivering our mandates to the Bar.

On a very sad note, 2017 witnessed an alarming growth in the use of indecorous,indecent, uncivil and uncouth languages against the leadership of the Bar on social media platforms particularly among the young lawyers leveraging on their so called right to contribute to various issues affecting or relating to the Bar.Many NBA platforms are used for disinformation, outlandish lies, fiction and deliberate distortion of facts.

Myths and hearsay have characterised comments on social media and well respected Leaders of the profession were vilified with impunity. This unethical conduct will no longer be accepted and erring members will henceforth be appropriately sanctioned.

The President urges our Colleagues to adhere strictly to the Rules of Professional Conduct with the aim of maintaining high ethical standards within the profession. Members are encouraged to treat one another with respect, decorum and avoid act(s) that's unbecoming of learned mind. The leadership is committed to addressing the incidence of indiscipline within the profession decisively.

We urge our colleagues especially those with genuine grievances of whatever nature to channel same through the established organs of the Bar.

In 2018, we shall give attention to the completion of the NBA house and settle outstanding liabilities within available resources.

We will not lose sight of our priority of repositioning the NBA and making it one of the foremost Bar Associations in the world.

This last year has had a significant impact on all of us, but we would like to thank you all for your significant support and dedication during these challenging times. The new year will bring its own challenges but we are sure by working together, keeping focussed on our priorities and putting the interest of the NBA first we can realise our ambitions.

We appreciate the unending support this administration has received from our noble colleagues and will continue to seek your support in sustaining the brave new bar.
Please accept our very best wishes to you and your family for a prosperous and rewarding 2018.

Dated this 1st Day of January 2018.
Aare Isiaka Abiola Olagunju
General Secretary, NBA



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