Dr. Monday Ubani on Wednesday formally declared the Nigerian Bar Association Section of Public Interest and Development Law, NBA-SPIDEL, annual conference open in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
Over 600 lawyers and stakeholders are attending the two days conference which was initially scheduled to hold in Sokoto state but was postponed following heightened insecurity in the state.
In his welcome address to delegates, NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, Dr Ubani stated that a rich array of speakers have been selected to do justice to the theme of the conference tagged, “The undermining of Judicial Authority in Democracy”.
He particularly showered praises on the NBA President, Olumide Akpata for his exemplary leadership and for steering the Bar in a new direction of upholding the rule of law and holding government to account.
On the choice of theme for the conference, Dr Ubani noted that that the third arm of the government, the Judiciary has not been well treated by the other arms in terms of obeying their judgements and orders, providing the basic facilities to conduct their official duties and even taking care of the welfare of judicial officers generally.
He said: “The judiciary has remained a crying and aggrieved child in a relationship of three brothers of equal age and status. This is very unfair.”
He added that to address the issue, different topics such as ; “Disobediencce to Court Orders and the Slide to State of Anarchy”, “Strenghtening Judicial Authority in a Democracy” – through Effective & Sustainable Strategies”, “The Impediments Of Seamless Execution Of Court Orders In Nigeria – Any Way Out”? etc, shall be delivered by very notable speakers.
“We have array of speakers carefully chosen to deal with these topics and believe me with the calibre and quality of these Speakers assembled here for these two days, we are in for a good time,” he said.
Eulogizing the NBA leadership under Mr Olumide Akpata, Ubani said the NBA-SPIDEL has received tremendous support from Akpata who he noted has taken the Bar into a new level.
According to Ubani, “This Conference is dedicated to the outgoing President of the Bar, Mr Olumide Akpata who has shown tremendous support to our Section.
“Akpata has shown courage, resourcefulness and an uncommon leadership in every strata of NBA administration.
“He touched our infrastructures, our buildings, our welfare, lawyer’s remuneration, he touched our health care, he retouched our insurance, he touched our Continuous legal Education, he touched our Bench and Bar Forum, he gave proper direction to our NEC meetings, he built relationships between branches and National, institutionalising the Secretariat, he became a voice for the helpless citizens of Nigeria.
“Akpata spoke for the Bar and for all! Akpata was bold, courageous, innovative and outstanding. Gentlemen let us give Olu Akpata, the outgoing NBA President, a standing ovation!
“We must also applaud the Executive Members of NBA whom he is working with, to give NBA a direction. With their support and collective wisdom, much have been achieved no doubt. It is almost a crisis-free administration and we believe that in few weeks time when this administration winds up, the atmosphere of peace and tranquility that pervaded the administration of Akpata will remain a permanent feature in NBA leadership.”
By Henry Ojelu