Godwin Omoaka, SAN Condemns Awomolo’s Letter, Says It is an Attempt to Pitch SANs Against Outer Bar
I read with utter shock the letter by eminent Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Adegboyega Awomolo in which he argued that the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association should be reserved only for Senior Advocates of Nigeria.
As a member of the inner bar, I strongly disagree with the views expressed by my respected leader and learned brother silk who appears to have lost touch with the current trend in the profession. The letter is, at the very least, discriminatory (it offends section 8 of the NBA Constitution), ill-thought out and clearly divisive.
I see it as an attempt to pitch SANs against the majority of our colleagues in the outer bar. To be clear, SANs constitute less than 1% of the membership of the NBA and it would be illogical to suggest, even if faintly, that the presidency of the NBA should be the exclusive preserve of SANs.
To be honest, that view is unhealthy for our profession as it would mean that distinguished and highly respected colleagues like Mr. Gbenga Oyebode, MFR, Mr. George Etomi, Mr. Babjide Ogundipe, Mr. Asue Ighodalo, Chief Chris Okeke and many more of their ilk cannot aspire to the leadership of the NBA, assuming they wanted to.
It would also mean that the majority of lawyers, so long as they remain at the outer bar, cannot seek election into the office of the president of the NBA. That would be a travesty; and that is putting it mildly.
Godwin Omoaka, SAN, FCIArb