…want insurance scheme, dressing code, welfare priotised
Last week, the tenure of the Issa Manzuma led-executive of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ilorin branch came to an end. Consequently, lawyers went to the poll to elect new executives that will govern them for the next two years.
For the first time in the history of the branch, a government employee from the Ministry of Justice, Muhammed Idowu Akande, popularly called ‘MAI’ among his colleagues emerged winner of the contest, polling 98 votes to defeat his co-contender, an associate Professor of law at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Dr. Ibrahim Abduquadri Abikan who had 62 votes.
Akande will however be sworn in as the executive chairman of the branch on 29th July, 2018 at the Bar secretariat.
Going by the various complaints of legal practitioners over the challenges confronting the Ilorin branch of NBA, and the need to address them, some of the past chairmen of the association who speak with our JUDICIARY CORRESPONDENT, KAYODE ADEOTI set agenda for the Akande led incoming executives.
Peter Olorunnisola, SAN (1981-1983): Tasks on illegal practices eradication
Generally, he should concentrate on how to move the Bar forward and ensure good understanding among members of the branch. He should also see to the malpractices of legal practitioners. There are complaints from different quarters over illegal practices, he should control it, though it might be hard to be totally eradicated.
Saka Isau, SAN, (2000-2001): Charges on involving lawyers in decision makings
He should try as much as possible to surpass the achievement of the past chairmen. In his processes, he should carry every member of the Bar along, be it older members, the new wigs, the medium type. Fortunately, he’s from the official Bar, the Ministry of Justice because, now, the Ministry is not been carried along, we don’t need to preach that to him.
Kehinde Kolawole Eleja, SAN (2005-2007): Urges consolidation of existing unity, young wig welfare
He should solidify on the unity which the outgoing executives were able to bring back to the branch because before they came onboard, there were disunity, rancour and many more in the NBA. His first and primary assignment is to carry that achievement to the next level. The issue of Young Lawyers’ Forum (YLF), they’re facing lots of challenges, and I think it is in one of his electoral campaign to address it, so he shouldn’t forget. Quackery confronting the profession, he should work on this and bring the profession back to the professionals so that the lives of legal practitioners can be better for it.
Mustapha Akanbi (2007-2009): Asks incoming executives to set up insurance health scheme for lawyers
There is so much to be done for him, first, he has to look at the welfare of the young lawyers because they’re not having it easy, he has to look at how he can help them to build a successful career in this State. He also has to look at the welfare of lawyers generally, there are cases of lawyers having challenges in this area. He must think about an Health Insurance scheme that will address the issue of lawyers going about begging for money whenever a colleague needs it. On the part of the judiciary, he must engage the executives more to ensure the renovation of dilapidated court rooms, as it is now, it is embarrassing to say the least. He is a young man and he’s vibrant, we expect that he will bring dynamism into the system. He’s the first lawyer to emerge from the Ministry of Justice, so we want to count that as an advantage for him to what is just and ensure good relationship between the Bar and executive, we forward to point out those certain things government has to do in order to strengthen the judiciary, I wish him the very best.
Salman Jawondo (2009-2011) …asks incoming executives to address indecent dressing among lawyers
He should consolidate on the existing unity of the Bar. The issue of touts encroaching on our profession is another thing that must be addressed. There is need for discipline as regards dressing of lawyers to court. This has degenerated to the level that lawyers wear jeans to court, they appear in multi colour uniform, the trouser will be different from the jacket, the suit is neither black nor blue, and sort of other flamboyant dressings that are not in consonant with our ethics. The respect from the junior ones to the seniors should be enhanced too. He should also address the issue of inadequate court rooms, it is very unbefitting and not dignifying for judges to be sharing courtrooms, we now have what is called afternoon session, this is even worse at the magistrate levels. More than three (3) magistrates share one courtroom, that means, there won’t be efficiency in the discharge of duties, and the implication of it is that, a magistrate have one quarter of the day to seat. He might not be able to address all these problems but at least, he should do his part.
Issa Manzuma, 2016-2018: …urges sustainability of unity, dialogue against litigations
I once again congratulate the chairman elect, I will urge him to continue sustaining unity in the branch and consolidate on the existing relationship between the Bar and the bench just to enhance justice delivery system in the state. He should also build on the existing relationship between the Bar and the security outfits, there is no need for any confrontation between the two arms. During my time, we have course to settle some acrimony between the Bar and some security agencies without necessarily going to court, there are lots of wisdom in that. Lawyers should not feel that they have monopoly of taking people to court, taking legal actions, we need some level of cordial relationship so that the country and the state will be better for it. I will want the incoming chairman to complete certain work at the Bar house. I have a plan for e-library with resources, unfortunately, we could not do that because of fund. We want the chairman to focus on this with emphasis on e-library with e-resources.