NBA President, Akpata releases November and December 2020 Month-to-month Report
The Nigerian Bar Affiliation President, Olumide Akpata on thursday launched its November and December 2020 Month-to-month Report.
It has been two (2) months since I final wrote to you and I assumed to spherical off the 12 months right now by offering you with an replace on a few of my actions in workplace within the months of November and December 2020. For particulars of my actions in my first two months in workplace (September and October 2020), please consult with my earlier month-to-month stories which may be accessed through this hyperlink: https://nigerianbar.org.ng/presidents-statement-0.
A fast spotlight of a few of our administration’s actions in November and December 2020
are as follows:
1. An Improved and Environment friendly Insurance coverage Cowl for Legal professionals: As a part of our dedication in the direction of the welfare of legal professionals, my crew and I met with the Chief Govt Officer of Leadway Assurance to debate the breadth of the insurance coverage cowl which they supply to our members. As you could remember, the NBA presently supplies sure insurance coverage cowl at no further value to its monetary members by way of Leadway Assurance. That is completely different from the medical insurance cowl which we’re engaged on institutionalising. Our assembly sought to increase the scope of the insurance coverage cowl for legal professionals, improve by 100% the insurance coverage payout to our members and to ease the method of creating claims. The assembly yielded optimistic outcomes which can be communicated within the New 12 months.
On a associated however separate be aware, we ensured that each one eligible however excellent funds of demise advantages or claims submitted to, or pending at, the NBA each earlier than and through my administration have been settled. Our aim is to coordinate the immediate settlement of all eligible claims going ahead.
2. Entry to Finance, et al: I additionally met with the MD/CEO of Entry Financial institution to debate supply of worth including companies for the profit and welfare of our members. Amongst different issues, the assembly centered on the necessity to arrange/revitalize an entry to finance scheme for legal professionals on concessionary phrases (a precedence venture of my administration that I’ll make additional reference to on this report).
3. The NBA’s Place on Nationwide Points: My administration has remained dedicated and is constantly taking steps to make sure that the Bar stays the conscience of the society and a transparent voice on all nationwide points. Throughout the interval below evaluation, we, amongst different issues, took a agency stand on, and intervened in, the notorious killings in Oyigbo group; intervened within the freezing of accounts and seizure of passports of some identified #ENDSARS advocates; reiterated at completely different instances the NBA’s place that respect for the elemental rights of residents is non-negotiable; and within the wake of kidnapping of scores of college boys in Katsina, we known as on the Service Chiefs to dwell as much as their duties or resign from their positions as Nigerians would now not settle for the mediocre efficiency recorded in addressing the insecurity challenges in our nation. We’ll proceed so as to add our voice within the name for good governance and accountability.
4. Police Reforms: Consistent with the expressed dedication of the NBA to supply institutional assist in the direction of the reform of the Nigerian Police, I served as a panellist on the Legislative Agenda and Public Coverage Dialogue Sequence organised by the Home of Representatives on ‘Policing and Human Rights in Nigeria’. The Panel mentioned amongst different points, the proposed Police Service Fee (Reform) Invoice 2020, which the NBA actively participated in getting ready. The Invoice has now handed 2nd studying. I additionally participated at a City Corridor assembly on Police Reforms hosted by Channels Tv. These are along with different steps that we’re taking on this respect. Certainly, the NBA, below my watch, is now taking part in very energetic and numerous roles on the holistic reforms of the Police in Nigeria.
5. NBA Legislative Agenda: Taking an energetic curiosity and collaborating within the law-making course of is on the core of NBA’s obligation to the society. This is not going to solely be certain that our legal guidelines are present and match for function however may even be certain that higher legal guidelines are made for the great and development of the society. On this respect, my workplace has throughout this era been partaking the Nationwide Meeting on a collaboration that can see the NBA offering technical and specialist assist to the legislature on key payments which can be introduced for enactment. The NBA will play this function by way of an adequately resourced legislation reform committee (with a secretariat on the Nationwide Meeting) that can, inter alia, act as a liaison between the NBA and the Nationwide Meeting and characterize the NBA at public hearings by the legislature. Some work has already begun on this collaboration and detailed stories on our progress and actions on this area can be communicated within the New 12 months.
6. Nationwide Govt Committee Assembly (NEC): We not too long ago held the primary common assembly of the NEC throughout my administration on 15 December 2020 (the NEC is the best decision-making physique within the NBA after the Annual Common Assembly). On the assembly, a number of coverage directives and steering got to my crew, and lots of key choices have been taken together with approval of the co-opted members of NEC whom I nominated, approval of quite a few tasks that my crew and I introduced to NEC and approval for the institution of various committees to drive the insurance policies and agenda of the present administration. A communique outlining the important thing choices reached on the NEC assembly can be circulated individually.
7. Launching of Eight (8) Precedence Tasks: Following the not too long ago concluded NEC assembly at which we obtained approval for eight (8) precedence tasks of my administration, we’ve got began taking energetic steps in the direction of reaching the goals of the mentioned tasks within the New 12 months. The accepted precedence tasks are:
a. Mission Do Good – that is our public curiosity and society centered venture that has been initiated to drive our imaginative and prescient of intervening in related issues of public curiosity.
b. Mission Benjamin – the first focus of this venture is to design a workable and enforceable framework below which legal professionals will (i) cost the appropriate charges for his or her authorized companies utilizing acceptable and life like metrics; and (ii) be certain that legal professionals in paid employment earn affordable dwelling wages and emoluments.
c. Mission WAY (Who Are You)– that is our digital NBA Mission. The aim of this venture is to digitise most of our processes on the NBA and challenge a correct multi- function technique of identification to our members.
d. Mission Dignity – this focuses totally on restoring and defending the dignity of our members by addressing the wanton abuse and harassment of legal professionals carrying on their reputable companies.
e. Mission Enhancement – this entails the reactivation of the NBA Human Rights Institute; institution of a Profession Growth Centre and the empowerment of the NBA Institute of Persevering with Authorized Schooling to drive our agenda round capability constructing and help our members to diversify their observe areas and strategies, deepen competencies and increase the frontiers of authorized observe, which in flip will create extra wealth and profession choices for legal professionals. It’s my hope that by way of this venture, these beliefs will turn into entrenched and institutionalised on the NBA past my administration.
f. Mission Properly-being – as a part of my administration’s wellness program for legal professionals, we’re presently in discussions with respected Well being Administration Organisations for the institution of a scheme that can allow our monetary members to entry reasonably priced medical insurance throughout the nation. Mission Properly-being is the platform by way of which we are going to drive this scheme.
g. Mission Exchequer – this venture is squarely about growing a framework that can make it simpler for legal professionals to entry finance at concessionary charges for his or her capital expenditure and dealing capital functions. The Mission Exchequer crew not too long ago commenced discussions on this respect, and we are going to present progress stories sooner or later.
h. Mission Engine Room – by way of this venture, we’re engaged on a system that can enable for the operating of the NBA Nationwide Secretariat in a extra skilled, customer-friendly, and environment friendly method that can be certain that sure administrative issues are left to competent profession NBA workers with the elected nationwide officers specializing in broader coverage points.
These are in no way the one tasks or actions that we’re engaged on. Nonetheless, we imagine that they signify a dedication to the actualisation of our core mandate of creating the Bar work for its members and the society.
8. Working Visits: Throughout the interval below evaluation, I launched into a 3-day working go to to Jos, Plateau State in the middle of which I participated in actions marking the Regulation Week of the NBA Jos Department, and held an interactive session with Authorized Practitioners within the State. I additionally paid a go to to the Chief Choose of the State to debate methods of enhancing justice administration inside the State and visited the #ENDSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry in Plateau State to watch the proceedings first-hand.
I additionally attended the quarterly assembly of the Japanese Bar Discussion board (EBF) throughout which I promised that the management of the NBA will proceed to enthrone inclusiveness within the NBA, whereas fulfilling its mandate to members of the NBA and the bigger society. I additionally attended the Regulation Week of NBA Ibadan department through the interval. The essence of the classes was to get suggestions straight from the members on how the Bar can work for them of their respective branches, whereas taking into cognizance, the peculiarities of every jurisdiction.
9. Safety and Security of Legal professionals: The safety state of affairs across the nation continues to be worrisome. Within the interval below evaluation, a lawyer was kidnapped in Taraba State, the partner of one other colleague kidnapped in Benue State and one other colleague and her husband kidnapped in Edo State. The NBA, working with the related safety companies, intervened in all three circumstances and fortunately they have been launched unhurt.
10. Updates from Troubled Branches – I’m happy to report that we’ve got resolved the imbroglio that engulfed the Ikeja department of the NBA for a number of years. Below the management of Seni Adio, SAN (whom my administration appointed in September 2020 to steer a Caretaker Committee), the department held profitable elections within the first half of December 2020 and the elected officers have been sworn in.
I held a gathering with the caretaker committee of the Abeokuta department of the NBA to debate their challenges and plans in the direction of resolving their points as quickly as doable.
The Abuja, Dutse, Katsina and Oyo branches of the NBA have been concerned in numerous levels of management and associated disaster. For Oyo and Katsina, we’re within the strategy of organising caretaker committees to handle their affairs, whereas for Abuja and Dutse, we’re organising fact-finding groups to supply the Nationwide Secretariat with an in depth report that can allow my crew and I to intervene appropriately.
11. Talking Engagements, Statutory Conferences, and Public Appearances: Throughout the interval, (i) I used to be on the Particular Session of the Supreme Court docket on 14 December 2020 to mark the opening of the 2021 Authorized 12 months at which 72 (seventy-two) of our eminent colleagues have been conferred with the distinguished rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria. On the occasion, I urged the Authorized Practitioners Privileges Committee below the management of the Chief Justice of Nigeria to rethink the standards for conferment of the rank, noting that the current necessities are inclined to irregularities, manipulation, coverage somersaults and inconsistencies; (ii) I attended a gathering of the Physique of Benchers at which vital choices have been taken across the modification of the Authorized Practitioners Act, the modifications to the Authorized Practitioners Disciplinary Committee Guidelines and the standards for admitting college students of the Nationwide Open College of Nigeria into the Nigerian Regulation College; (iii) I attended a gathering of the Council of Authorized Schooling to debate, inter alia, on-line coaching and doable resumption date for the scholars of the Nigerian Regulation College;(iv) I attended a gathering of the Nationwide Judicial Council (“NJC”) on appointment of recent judges and the extension of the tenure of the Appearing Chief Choose of Gombe State. On behalf of the NBA, I strenuously objected to the extension on the bottom that it was unconstitutional; (v) I attended a gathering of the NJC Expertise Committee the place digital submitting of processes throughout our courts was high on the agenda; (vi) I used to be a visitor speaker on the Nationwide Judicial Institute as regards to curbing corruption within the judiciary which for me was topical given latest stories across the magnitude of corruption within the judiciary; (vii) I used to be a visitor speaker on the Court docket of Enchantment Justices Convention in Lagos at which I known as for extra divisions of the court docket, higher welfare for the Justices, infusion of expertise into the system, and really importantly, higher cohesion within the court docket to keep away from conflicting judgments; and (viii) I used to be a keynote speaker on the occasion organised by the Lagos department of NBA to mark the 72nd Worldwide People Rights Day the place I addressed points arising from the #ENDSARS motion, the Lekki Bloodbath, different types of human rights violations throughout the nation and the influence of COVID-19 on human rights. Consistent with our motto of “Selling the Rule of Regulation” the NBA below my watch is just not relenting in its quest to make sure that it stays the main watch-dog organisation in Nigeria.
12. Miscellany: I additionally want to additional report as follows (i) the suggestions that I’ve obtained from numerous legal professionals is that the CAC continues to be not functioning optimally. The Registrar- Common has assured us that each one steps are being taken to considerably enhance the service expertise. The Activity Pressure on the Ease of Doing Enterprise on the CAC arrange by my administration has now launched a communique outlining the steps which have been taken, key agreements which have been reached with the CAC and subsequent steps. The expectation is that the CAC will start to implement these steps and the NBA will proceed to observe the method to make sure that outcomes are achieved; (ii) the Court docket of Enchantment Guidelines are presently being reviewed. The NBA has reviewed and despatched in its feedback addressing, amongst others, the higher functioning of the court docket and ease of interface with authorized practitioners. Particular due to the Chairman of the NBA Part on Authorized Apply and his crew for his or her assist on this; and (iii) we not too long ago learnt in regards to the purported appointment of 40 magistrates by the Federal Capital Territory Judiciary. We’re investigating this on the NBA and can present an replace sooner or later.
13. My Coronary heart Bleeds: Quite a lot of legal professionals and judicial officers in Nigeria both handed on, or have been buried, through the interval below evaluation. Three of such unhappy occasions significantly stand out for me: (i) the demise of Ms. Sylvia Nneka Okonkwo, a younger lawyer who till her demise was a member of the Abuja department. I made out time to attend the Service of Songs organised in her honour and was saddened to study in regards to the circumstances of her sudden demise; (b) the demise of Mr. Moses Idam, a member of the Makurdi department of the NBA who was gruesomely murdered in chilly blood alongside his spouse at their residence. The NBA is working with the authorities to make sure that the perpetrators of the heinous act are apprehended and delivered to guide; and (c) most not too long ago was the painful exit of Pa Emmanuel Abiodun, a foremost lawyer and patron of NBA Ibadan department whom many consult with because the “Encyclopaedia of the Bar”. Pa Abiodun lived a worthy and exemplary life, and I couldn’t miss the chance to go to his residence at Ibadan to pay my respects and commiserate along with his household.
14. Increase the Bar With Me: As we proceed to formulate and implement completely different insurance policies for the Bar and the authorized career, when you have any sensible concepts on how we are able to collectively increase the Bar and make it higher for you, please ship me an e mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and be assured that my crew and I’ll give it the eye that it deserves.
I thanks once more to your religion in, and mandate to, us. Please be assured that I stay dedicated to delivering in your mandate and bequeathing a Bar that you may be most pleased with. I want you a Completely happy New 12 months prematurely.