A dark horse and new entrant into the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) politics, Mr Olumide Akpata, has trounced two senior advocates of Nigeria to emerge the President of the body of lawyers.
Akpata coasted to victory in an electronically-conducted national election held from 11.00 pm on Wednesday, July 29 and 11.00 pm on Thursday, July 30, polling 9,891 votes representing about 54.3 per cent of the total votes cast.
The Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) had in 2016 elected Akpata, partner at Templars and Co. as its chairman
Persecondnews reports that Akpata will take over from Mr Paul Usoro (SAN), elected in 2018 whose election is still being disputed as fraudulently manipulated.
Early July, two lawyers were arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in connection with the crime.
Some senior members of the Bar had mobilized and canvassed for the retention of the NBA President’s office for senior advocates for quality leadership and respectability.
Announcing the results, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Chief Tawo Tawo (SAN), said Dr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) got 4,328 votes as the first-runner up while a one-time National Secretary, Mr Dele Adesina (SAN) garnered 3,982 votes to book the third place in the contest.
Altogether, a total of 29,636 lawyers were accredited for the e-election with 18,256 casting their votes.
Meanwhile, one of the contestants, Adesina (SAN) has rejected the results, describing it as a sham.
In a petition signed by him and addressed to the polls committee, Adesina, called for outright cancellation of the election, alleging:“The voter register used for the election contained “grave errors” which violated the provisions of the NBA constitution.’’
“I call on you, Mr Chairman and members of the Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to cancel this sham election.
“It is needless to say that if the process is bad, the product cannot be good. Thank you,” Adesina said.