The Immediate past General Secretary of NBA, Mazi Afam Osigwe has reiterated that his dream is to have a vibrant, proactive, idea driving Bar; a Bar which impact must be felt by Nigeria, thinking out of the box and doing things right.
Mazi Afam made this statement at a brief media parley held on Wednesday,13th June, 2018.According to him, lawyers want a Bar Association that cares about its member’s welfare; a bar that cares about young lawyers, a Bar that cares about protecting their income.
Mazi Afam Osigwe outlined various issues affecting lawyers, such as, the brutality and harrasement of lawyers by men of the Nigerian police force in the course of carrying out their lawful duties, impunity in respect of court judgements, the independence of the Judiciary, the politicisation and the monetization of the NBA and many more.
Speaking further, he stressed on the need to make welfare of lawyers a priority as well as including young lawyers to be NEC members. He also proposed solutions on how these issues can be tackled.
“When the female lawyer in Onitsha was harassed, I was the first to react. I sent a lawyer down to Onitsha to provide and support and called for the sack of the DPO but my interventions were politicized. A body of 3 SANs were set up to look into it but nothing was achieved by the committee.
“I was also first to speak when the Benue killings continued in a publication title ‘the time to act is now’.
“Currently NEC is constituted by mostly men and lawyers of 10 years post call. We need to change this. Young lawyers and female lawyers must be well represented at NEC if we want to progress as an association,” he said.
The Immediate past General Secretary after the submissions of nominations on June 12, as NBA presidential aspirant, raised concerns about powers within the NBA that planned to ensure he won’t be cleared. It seems his concerns are real as the screening results were released at the early hours of Thursday.
“When I first declared my intention to contest for the NBA presidency in March 2017, people thought I was not serious. They said, he is just trying to get attention, today I am still in the race and now they are trying to have me disqualified.
“Mazi Afam Osigwe had certainly given many more senior lawyers especially the Senior Advocates a run for their money. He resonated amongst young lawyers who were concerned with the leadership of past presidents most of whom were senior advocates of Nigeria.“Mazi Afam Osigwe is arguably the most qualified NBA candidate having been a past chairman of a branch and past general secretary and currently a bencher,” he said.
Mazi Afam while stating his vision for the Bar, strongly criticized the rules adopted by the 2018 National Electoral Committee of the NBA for asking branches to submit branch members’ teller.
He noted that the list of all lawyers who have paid their BPF were already in the custody of the national secretariat.
He shared his concerns after it was revealed that some candidates had held on tellers of prospective voters suggesting that their votes were bought.
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