Confab: NBA Rejects Allocation Of Only One Delegate


President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN), on Friday wrote the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, to protest the allocation of only one delegate to the body in the forthcoming National Conference.

Wali said the NBA “will not be able to accept” the one slot offered to it, and urged the SGF to reconsider the development.

The letter, dated January 31, 2014, was captioned, “Re: Nomination of Nigerian Bar Association to the National Conference: A Letter of Protest.”

“We do not believe that the single slot given to the Nigerian Bar Association will be impactive enough, and so, we request that you, please, reconsider the one slot offer to the Nigerian Bar Association, as we regrettably will be unable to accept that offer,” the NBA president said in the letter.

Wali explained that the NBA was disappointed with the allocation of delegates.

“The Nigerian Bar Association received with utmost disappointment the statement credited to you on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria, requesting the Nigerian Bar Association to nominate one delegate to the upcoming National Conference.

“We write to place on record our dissatisfaction with the list of conference delegates, particularly, when put against representations from some other organizations and bodies,” the NBA president told the SGF.

The NBA was especially miffed that only one slot was allocated to it while other bodies received more allocations, such as elder statesmen – 37 delegates; retired military and security personnel – 18 delegates; traditional rulers – 13 delegates; retired civil servants – six delegates; and Nigeria Labour Congress – 12 delegates.

Arguing that the NBA deserved more delegates, Wali explained that the body was made up all lawyers in the country with 104 branches across the 36 states and Abuja, and speaks for the legal profession, comprising the Bar and Bench.

Wali stressed that the NBA was at the vanguard of calls for a national conference in the country.

“Over the years, a National Conference of this nature has been one of the imperatives that define the priorities of the Nigerian Bar Association.

“In fact, it was a past President of the Nigerian Bar Association, the Late Alao-Aka Bashorun, that first called for a National Conference and since then, the Nigerian Bar Association has been in the forefront of the National Conference discourse,” he said.

He added that, in line with its commitment to the national conference, the NBA had on January 7, 2014, set up a committee to outline its contributions to the national conference.

Wali urged the SGF to review the development by allocating more delegates to the NBA.

Wali said, “In view of the fact that so many legal issues will be addressed at the National Conference, it is only fitting and proper for the umbrella association of all lawyers in Nigeria, the Nigerian Bar Association, to have more than one delegate at the National conference.

“This is an area we are supposed to possess enormous expertise and will definitely add a lot of value to the process.

“We do not want to think that our expertise is neither appreciated nor welcome.

“We hold it in your favour, that this may very well be an oversight, and that the Federal government will have no difficulty in revisiting the issue.”