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Olumide Akpata Takes Over As NBA President, Pledges Electoral Reforms



A founding Partner of Templers law firm, Mr Olumide Akpata, was on Friday sworn in as the 30th President of the Nigerian Bar Association.

Akpata was sworn in at the NBA Annual General Meeting which held at the association’s national secretariat in Abuja.

The oath of office was admitted to him by his predecessor, Mr Paul Usoro (SAN).

Akpata had emerged winner of the NBA presidential election conducted electronically between July 29 and 30, 2020.

He defeated two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Dr Babatunde Ajibade and Mr Dele Adesina, to emerge winner.

The election was, however, controversial, with Adesina calling for its cancellation on the grounds of alleged rigging.

Though Ajibade also criticised the poll, he conceded defeat and congratulated Akpata.

In his inaugural speech, Akpata thanked members of his campaign team as well as young lawyers who queued behind him.

He declared that he had decided to immediately undertake a reform of the NBA electoral process and went on to announce a 12-man committee to audit the NBA elections of 2016, 2018 and 2020.

He said, “The consensus is that there is a need to urgently review the 2020 elections and to institute urgent reforms of our electoral systems.

“I am immediately constituting an Electoral Audit and Reforms Committee, comprising distinguished practitioners of the highest standards, to audit our 2016, 2018 and 2020 elections and recommend reforms for our electoral systems and processes.

“I pledge to implement whatever recommendations they come up with well ahead of time to ensure that the 2022 election is devoid of those glitches that we noticed in the 2020 election and that we truly set a standard that others will aspire to.”

Akpata also said the NBA had noticed the agitation trailing the amended Companies and Allied Matters Act and it would immediately engage with the leadership of the Corporate Affairs Commission.

He said, “Criticisms from some quarters have also trailed the passage of Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020. We shall constructively engage with the CAC in this regard to allay the fears of our members and indeed the general populace.

“Where there are provisions of the Act that cannot stand the test of time, the NBA shall not hesitate to advocate their urgent amendment so that they do not constitute a clog in the wheel of progress.”

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