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.