The Arewa Lawyers Forum (ALF) has endorsed a former General Secretary of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Dele Adesina (SAN) as its candidate for NBA’s presidential election scheduled to hold this week.
ALF, a northern group of legal practitioners, said its decision was in connection with Egbe Amofin’s adoption of the candidacy of Adesina
The forum announced its decision in a two-page letter to Egbe Amofin on Friday. The letter was signed by ALF’s Secretary, Mohammed Monguno
The letter said: “We have also pursued the notice of endorsement of Mr. Dele Adesina to contest for the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association in July 2020.
“We, the Arewa Lawyers Forum, have studied the process leading to the endorsement as painstakingly stated in the notice of endorsement dated March 11 signed by Egbe Amofin Oodua and Branch Chairmen of NBA in the South-west.
“On our part, we took time to consult very widely that whoever we endorse is experienced, capable and has the requisite competence to lead the Bar at this moment.
“Accordingly, on behalf of the leadership and members of the Arewa Lawyers Forum and after a meeting of our executive committee, I have the honour to hereby convey our adoption, endorsement, satisfaction and the unanimous acceptance of the candidature of Adesina for the office of the President of the NBA in the forthcoming July 2020 election,” ALF said in its letter.
Also, a human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN) has given reasons Adesina should be elected the next president of the association.
According to Falana, Adesina has the requisite qualities to successfully lead the Bar in the next coming years.
Falana said Adesina “has the integrity to lead the Bar. He possesses the leadership qualities needed by the NBA presently. He is consistent and committed to the rule of law.”
Falana, also, described him as an Encyclopaedia of the Bar.
He said “Whenever the country faces a crisis in the political arena, crisis of judiciary is currently facing a crisis of confidence, rule of law, massive violations of human rights, the Bar has always taken the lead, acting as a vanguard, mobilizing lawyers and the civil society. In order to defend democratic rights.”
Over the years, Falana said, the NBA “has abandoned its traditional role of defending the rule of law, human rights and judicial independence. Also, in the quest for judicial autonomy, JUSUN and Chief Olisah Agbakoba,SAN had approached the court whilst NBA took no step.
“Judges have no association. It is the Bar that has always defended judges. Upright judges. Judges are dedicated to their duties. But to do that effectively, we also need leaders of the Bar with integrity!
“Right now, that is missing. A good number of lawyers that breach rules of professional ethics are senior lawyers. So, leadership is missing there! So you need a Bar leader.
Adesina is very active both at the Bar and also in private legal practice.”
Adesina was the Publicity Secretary, the Secretary, and Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch at various periods. In 2002, he was elected the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association.