AKPATA BEATS TWO SANS TO WIN NBA NATIONAL PRESIDENCY WITH LANDSLIDE VICTORY
At about an hour to midnight yesterday, 30 July 2020, the elections for the various offices of the Nigerian Bar Association were concluded. The elections were conducted from 11pm on 29th July 2020 to 11pm on 30th July 2020 on a platform called “election buddy”. Various people have referred to the voting system as “very transparent” as everyone could view the results in real time, and many have even urged Nigeria’s elector body, INEC to adopt same.
At about 11:45pm yesterday, 30th July 2020, the Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA in an online broadcast officially declared Mr. Olumide Akpata winner of the Presidential elections having gotten 9891 votes representing 54.3% of the vote cast to defeat Babatunde Ajibade who polled 4328 votes and Julius Adesina who scored 3982 votes.
It is very notable that Akpata not only defeated his two contenders with an astoundingly significant number of votes, but is also the first non Senior Advocate of Nigeria to be elected President of the Bar since 1989, when Alao Aka-Bashorun served as President of the Bar. It is on record that Alao Aka-Bashorun is regarded as one of the finest Presidents the Bar has had yet. Akpata’s goal is to do even better.
Akpata’s victory is a breath of fresh air and proof that Nigerian lawyers are tired of the status quo and the poor condition of the profession thus far. They showed their confidence in Akpata’s capacity and vision by coming our en masse to vote for him.
Former NBA President, and indeed the one who introduced the universal suffrage system in the NBA, Austin Alegeh, SAN, has congratulated Akpata on his victory in a letter sent in the late hours of last night. Other congratulatory messages have been pouring in, while many commend the transparency of the election process.
One of the NBA Presidential aspirants, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN has also called the winner, Olumide Akpata, to congratulate him on his victory at the polls.
I write to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. Let me assure you that I do not take for granted the hardwork, passion and commitment that you all invested into the process that has now culminated in my emergence as President-elect.
When I decided to throw my hat in the ring, I was certain that the election was really not about me. I was driven by the passion to use my time, talent and resources to improve our Association by making it fit-for-purpose, beneficial to all members and responsive to the needs of the society. Throughout the electioneering process, I saw many Nigerian lawyers who had either lost faith, or never been interested, in the NBA participate with utmost enthusiasm in the hope that things would become better. This further goes to show that the extraordinary movement that heralded this electoral victory was not, and could never have been about me.
Akpata is set to take over from the incumbent President, Paul Usoro, SAN, in August this year.