NBA Constitutes Review Panel to Promote Transparency

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Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)

Martins Ifijeh

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) said it has set up a Constitutional and Electoral Review Committee to ensure that the good practices introduced by the present administration of the body are institutionalised.

In a statement made available to THISDAY yesterday, NBA President, Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), said the idea was to ensure that the innovative practices his administration started, including preparing and publishing NBA’s Quarterly Finance Statement (QFS) are sustained by subsequent administrations.

Members of the committee include Prof. Fabian Ajogwu (Chairman); Solomon Umoh, (alternate chairman), while other members include Titi Akinlawon, Seye Opasanya, Ibrahim Aliyu Nassarawa, Henry Chidi Onyuike, Ekpenyong Ntekim, Yusuf Asamah Kadiri, David Karshima, Nkoyo Amah, Aji Bubakari Kamale, Dele Oloke, Sule Shuaibu, and Adamu Aliyu Umar.

Usoro said: “One of the cornerstone legacies that my administration hopes to bequeath to succeeding NBA administrations would be corporate governance principles exemplified by the transparency, prudence and accountability with which we manage the finances of the association. The practice of preparing and publishing the NBA’s QFS has come to stay and has been applauded by most well-meaning members of our association.

“Unknown to most, the NBA constitution does not mandate that practice. My administration has institutionalised it merely because we know it to be a good practice, particularly in a circumstance that we are managing the association’s funds in trust for the members.

“However, given the lacunae in our constitution, there is the distinct if not imminent possibility of that practice departing the NBA with the effluxion of my administration’s tenure – except of course the constitution is amended to institutionalise it, with prescribed sanctions in the event of default, the preparation of the QFS by the elected executive, presentation of the financial statement to our national executive council at its quarterly meetings and publication of same to all members,” he said.

He explained that his office has used the preparation and publication of the statement to make the point for the review of its constitution in a manner that, amongst others, would entrench the principles of corporate governance in NBA.

The senior advocate of Nigeria said that was part of what informed his selection of a renowned corporate governance teacher, Prof. Ajogwu to chair the review committee.

“As I have done in other instances, I have included some branch chairmen as members of the committee in the expectation that they will carry the torch and flag of the committee to the branches and assist the committee and all of us in achieving our collective goals and aspirations,” he
said.