Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali (SAN)
A Port Harcourt-based lawyer, Okechukwu Emmanuel Wali (SAN) Tuesday emerged as the 26th President of the Nigerian Bar Association beating, Chief Emeka Ngige (SAN) in a fiercely contested election.
Wali polled 688 votes to defeat Emeka Ngige, SAN who had 449 votes and Blessing Ukiri who got only two votes.
Declaring the results at about 8:15pm,the chairman of the electoral committee, Lanke Odogiyan declared Emeka Obegolu as the General Secretary polling a total of 527 votes to beat E.A Haruna and O.O Olowokure who came second and third with 322 and 292 votes respectively.
The post of the first vice-president was won by O.J Irabor with 372 votes, while that of the 3rd vice-president was won by Francis Ekwere with 734 votes, while the position of the 2nd vice-president was unopposed.
Also the post of Assistant General Secretary went to U.F.O Nnemeka with 507 votes while the position of the Welfare Secretary was won by Kelvin Ezelonu with 600 votes.
The post of the treasurer goes to Joyce Odu who had 929 votes while Afam Obi was elected as the Publicity Secretary with 626 votes.
Delivering his acceptance speech, the new president on behalf of other elected officers called on the nation at large to learn from the association’s transparent way of transition from one regime to another.
He called on legal practitioners to cooporate with the new executive council so as to make the association a better one.
Earlier the outgoing president of the association, J.B Daudu (SAN) had called on the new elected officers to keep to all their promises. The swearing in comes up on August 31.
Also Tuesday, the association named its new National Secretariat in Abuja, after the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Ondo Governorship candidate, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu (SAN).
Akeredolu served as the NBA President between 2008 and 2010.
Commissioning the building in Abuja, the NBA President, Joseph Daudu (SAN) said Akeredolu deserved the honour for serving the bar meritoriously.
He said: “Everything in the NBA is usually highly politicised. The sheer courage for him to go through the rigor is a testimony to his selfless service. Rather than going into any argument, honour must be given to whom it is due to. The presidency has decided that things should be properly documented and named after the person that made it achievable.”
Responding, Akeredolu said the honour came to him as a surprise, adding that he didn’t lobby for it like many politicians would do for cheap popularity.
He said: “I’m accepting this on behalf of all the members of the executives that we did it together. I feel humble. It is a great honour. I’m overwhelmed. I never thought of the award. Although my executives conceptualised the purchase of this property, but it is not a must that it must be named after you.”
Wali, who was a former Attorney General of Rivers State, was born on October 29, 1958, in Rumualogu, Akpor in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He began his primary education at the Port Harcourt Township School and completed it at St. Paul’s Primary School Diobu, Port Harcourt. After obtaining his First School Leaving Certificate in 1973, he enrolled in Government Comprehensive Secondary School, Borikiri, Port Harcourt.
He also attended Baptist High School, Port Harcourt where he obtained his West African School Certificate in 1978.