Olumide Akpata has emerged winner of the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after defeating two other contestants who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). This victorious win makes him the NBA’s first non-SAN President in years.
Akpata won the election with a total of 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.
The election commenced at exactly 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. It was a virtual voting process where registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage with their Supreme court numbers and cast their votes.
Right from Wednesday night when the elections started, Akpata maintained the lead with more than 50% of the votes at every quarter-hourly update, and he maintained the lead up to the close of the election at 11pm on Thursday.
About 29,636 eligible voters were registered, and the election committee sent the voting link to the registered members via emails and sms.
Announcing the winner at 12:50am on Friday, Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN) said;
“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association”.
What this means
This result represents a sudden change in the order, as Akpata is now the first non-SAN to lead the Nigerian Bar Association in years. Feedback from members of the NBA indicates that there has been a long-standing hunger for a paradigm shift. And now it appears many of the association’s members have a good reason to be excited.
Nairametrics understands that Akpata’s decision to contest for the position was initially met with mixed reactions. However, tweets and other posts seen across various social media platforms suggest that he has managed to meaningfully captivate/appeal to the conscience of the young lawyers who, interestingly, make up the majority of NBA membership.
Very clear that Olumide Akpata is winning this.
And it's not just a victory for him, it's also a victory for young Nigerian lawyers; a victory for lawyers who have resisted the SAN hegemony; and a victory for social media too.
— Ayo Sogunro – #Transformist (@ayosogunro) July 30, 2020
About Olumide Akpata
Olumide Akpata was born on 7 October 1972 and attended the prestigious King’s College in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian bar on 15 December 1993 after obtaining his law degree from the University of Benin the previous year.
His law career started under the late Dr Mudiaga Odje (SAN) during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before joining Templars shortly after it was established.
He has spent over two decades practicing with Templars, and is currently Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial practice of Templars. He advises on various aspects of Nigerian Corporate and Commercial Law, including Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Law, Labour and Employment, Media entertainment, technology, and regulatory compliance.
He was elected as Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) council in January 2012, and subsequently as the Vice-chairman in August 2014, before emerging as the Chairman in August 2016.
After handing over to his successor, he still sits on the Council of the NBA-SBL and is also the Vice-Chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.
Back to the NBA elections: Other positions
Out of six candidates, John O Aikpokpo-Martins emerged as the first vice president with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo emerged 2nd Vice President with 8,794 votes defeating his only contender.
Other elected officers include Oduah Joyce, General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, welfare secretary.
More so, Anagor Raphael Nnamdi is the new Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) is Publicity Secretary; while Naza Ferdinand Afam is Assistant Publicity Secretary.
Update: FG extends second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks
This is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown is being extended.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks.
According to a monitored media report, this is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown which is currently observed across the country is being extended
The disclosure was made by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.
The Federal Government had on July 27 extended the current lockdown by an additional one week due to the Sallah celebration on July 29.
Mustapha disclosed that the extension followed the briefing and recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday on the progress made so far by Presidential Task Force in containing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping citizens safe from contracting the virus.
The PTF Chairman noted that they made a couple of recommendations to the president and the extension of the current phase of ease of lockdown was one of the ones approved.
He revealed that in the recommendation that was made to the president about retaining the current phase of the lockdown, the PTF made some minor changes to address the economic, socio-political concerns of Nigerians.
Under the current extended second phase, the current curfew of 10 pm to 4 am is still in force, civil servants on grade level 12 and above are now to resume work fully and close by 4 pm and no longer 2 pm that currently operates. He, however, said that virtual meetings by government officials and parastatals will be maintained.
He also said that while the restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities, the ban on entertainment centres will be sustained.
Mustapha explained that despite the accomplishments and challenges, some challenges continue to pose a considerable concern. Some of them include increased non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical prevention measures, lack of enforcement of necessary guidelines issued to preserve lives, insufficient engagement by some states with the national response, and lingering concern about the gap between identified cases and the actual burden of disease.
He also talked about apathy, fatigue and disbelief combining to challenge public enlightenment, compliance and behaviour change.
The SGF said that to address these challenges, the PTF decided that it was important to ensure that restrictions were not completely relaxed in order to control transmission.
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He noted that it was also important that at this Community Transmission Phase of the pandemic, sub-national governments should step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.
The various state authorities and the Federal Capital Territory were mandated to enforce non=pharmaceutical guidelines, the use of face masks in public appearances and places.
4 key points in the new Lagos 2020 Land Use Charge
All property owned, occupied by anyone older than 60 years are exempted from paying the Land Use Charge.
Lagos State Government has released the new provisions in the new 2020 Land Use Charge (LUC) Law, which entails the reduction in penalties for defaults, the people exempted from the charge and forfeiture of N5.8 billion penalties among others.
While presenting the guideline to the public on Wednesday, the Commissioner of Finance, Dr Rabiu Olowo, explained in 2018, there was an increase in the Land Use Charge rate as well as the method of valuation of properties, this shock had a sporadic increase in Land Use Charge payable by property owners.
He said, “In view of the aforementioned, the current administration decided to review the Land Use Charge law by reversing the rate of Land Use Charge to pre-2018 while upholding the 2018 method of valuation.”
Back story: Earlier on Wednesday, Nairametrics reported that the state government revoked the 2018 land use charge. According to Olowo, the government reverted to pre-2018 land use charges.
He said, “The penalties for land use charges for 2017, 2018, and 2019 have also been waived, which translates to a loss of revenue amounting to N5.6billion.
Below are 4 key components of the new law:
People exempted from the law:
All property owned and occupied by pensioners are exempted from paying the LUC. The definition of Pensioner, according to the state, has been expanded to include all retirees from private and public institutions in the state or any person that has attained the age of sixty (60) years and has ceased to be actively engaged in any activity or business for remuneration.
- Profit oriented Cemeteries and Burial Grounds are no longer exempted from payment of Land Use Charge
- Private Libraries are also no longer exempted from paying Land Use Charge
Reductions of penalties and rates
- Days Outstanding Before Now
45-75 days from 25% to 10%
75-105 days from 50% to 20%
105-135 days from 100% to 50%
- A 48% reduction in the Annual Charge Rates:
Definition Areas Before Now
Owner-Occupied Residential Property 0.076% to 0.0394%
Industrial Premises of Manufacturing Concerns 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property/Private School (Owner & 3rd Party) 0.256% to 0.132%
Residential Property (Without Owner in residence) 0.76% to 0.394%
Commercial property (Used by the occupier for Business Purposes) 0.76% to 0.394%
Vacant Properties and open empty Land 0.076% to 0.0394%
- Annual charge rate for Agricultural land was reduced from 0.076% to 0.01%. This is an 87% reduction from the old rate.
- Penalties for Land Use Charge for Year 2017,2018 and 2019 have also been waived. This translates to N5,752,168,411.03 potential revenue waived by the State.
- In addition to the reintroduction of the 15% early payment discount, an additional COVID 19 incentive of 10% will be granted on the total amount payable. This makes the total discount for early payment 25% if payment is made before the due date
- The penalty for obstruction of officials and damage to property identification plague has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The penalty for inciting a person to refuse to pay LUC has been reduced from N250,000 to N100,000
- The 2020 LUC Law introduced a 10% and 20% special relief for Vacant properties and Open empty land, respectively.
- The right of enforcement has been reduced from notification of three (3) default notices to (2) default notices.
Agents of LUC
- Section 14 of the Law which makes it possible for the Commissioner to appoint any person including an occupier of a chargeable property to be an agent of the owner for the purpose of collecting Land Use Charge.
“While we assure Lagosians that our typical response time will not exceed 24hours, we urge anyone who feels dissatisfied or whose complaint results in a dispute to please contact the Lagos State Appeal Tribunal. Let me state that we share in the pain which the pandemic has brought on every household including the government,” he added.
Olowo added that while the state hopes for the return of normalcy to business activities, it is important to let residents know that, the payment of LUC is not intended to inflict any hardship on anyone.
Meanwhile, property owners are expected to receive their 2020 LUC bills shortly and they are to leverage on the 25% early payment discount.
Read full guideline here
NBA to disburse over N92 million COVID-19 relief fund to 10,126 young lawyers
The name of the eligible candidates will be published on the association’s website.
The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) says it will disburse the sum of N92,884,505.00 to 10,125 young lawyers as COVID-19 relief.
This was announced by the President of the NBA, Paul Usoro in a statement released on Thursday. Usoro said that young lawyers (with 1-4 years post-call experience) who paid their association dues up to the March 21st deadline would be eligible for the relief.
The NBA President, Paul Usoro, SAN has directed the immediate disbursement of the Covid-19 relief fund to 10, 126 eligible young lawyers.
The NBA President expresses the gratitude of the Bar to the Donors. The List of donors is accessible on the NBA Website.
Details here 👇👇 pic.twitter.com/HqTbFAcKjm
— Habeeb Lawal,Esq (@lawalhab) August 6, 2020
The report said the NBA’s Welfare Committee raised the sum of N92,884,505.00, which would mean a total disbursement of N9,172.57 per lawyer. The NBA says it would add an extra N8,375,495.00 to the fund so that each beneficiary could get about N10,000 each.
The NBA will also take full responsibility for bank charges related to the transactions at N525,000.00.
The Association says other younger lawyers with post-call experience of 5-7 years could not be under the relief programme as the association is constrained by limited funds available for distribution.
“We felt that younger lawyers should perhaps constitute the primary focus for the distribution of the relief funds,” Paul Usoro said.
The name of the eligible candidates will be published on the association’s website and eligible beneficiaries are required to fill and submit validation forms.
Mr. Usoro said the donors came from mostly senior lawyers. “Their names and their donations which are all written in gold are published with the release,” he added.