Interview: Obele Akinniranye speaks on the NBA, the three best inventions of all times and Tunji Gomez

Obele Akinniranye

Courtroom mail caught up with Obele Akinniranye,a Lawyer and a member of the Nigerian Bar association,Lagos Branch weeks ago. Obele  Akinniranye is a graduate University Of Buckingham UK and Kings College University, London where she obtained her bachelor of Laws degree certification (LLB) and Masters of Laws (LLM) degrees respectively, before proceeding to the law School where she was called in 2002.

Obele started her legal career with the law firms of Offorney & Co,Grey & Co, Lawson & Adefope(all in the Uk), Aadegboyega  Adeleke & Co, Nemi & Nemi, Candide Johnson & Partners before setting up her own practice in 2005.

She is a member of Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators, Chartered Institute of Personnel Management, Associate member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators.

Professionally, she is a member of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), English Law Society, Afro- Caribbean Law Society, International Federation of women Lawyers, International Bar Association, National   Association of Catholic Lawyers.

She has served in numerous NBA committees including 2012 Law Dinner Committee, 2013 Law Dinner Committee, Building Committee, Law week planning committee 2012 etc

She granted this exclusive Interview to courtroom mail

  1. The NBA has transformed remarkably in recent years, which stride do you commend the most?

The transformations of the NBA in recent years have been astronomical and quite astounding. One of the major growths has been the introduction of the new constitution which brought about the various change in the administration of the NBA nationwide. Whilst there are several on-going litigation regarding this constitution, the effect of the reforms so far has greatly enhanced and transformed the legal profession in Nigeria. The various forums in the Nba national and their effective management of their mandate as prescribed have greatly transformed the administration. For instance, the young lawyers’ forum has helped in the integration and active participation of young lawyers into the NBA. This platform, gave young lawyers the opportunity not only to participate but to also hold leadership positions in the association.

Also the introduction of e-voting is a major development as this avenue makes it easier and more accessible for lawyers to vote aspirants of their choice into various positions. The introduction of e-voting will make voting of NBA National Elections convenient, free and fair.

The Stamp and seal project has effectively restored the dignity of the Nigerian lawyer whereby the processes of a Nigerian lawyer is treated with respect and dignity and accepted and recognized worldwide

  1.  The requirements for the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria has been amended, is that a welcome development?

In my honest opinion, I believe the amendment of the requirements for the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria is a welcomed progress. The combined effect of the amended requirements helps in ensuring that only highly qualified and deserving individuals aspire to the rank of SAN (Senior Advocate of Nigeria). The sanctity of the institution that represents the highest rank a legal practitioner aspires to attain should be protected and only attained by aspirants who are worthy and deserving, having passed all the requirements stated in the Rules.

  1. You have been a member of Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos branch, how will you rate the progress of the branch.

The NBA Lagos branch has advanced exponentially in recent years. One of the more notable improvements is the proposed regulation which seeks to provide a means of pension saving for lawyers. The regulation states that law firms of more than 5 (five) lawyers should establish a contributory pension policy for all lawyers in the firm. This is an outstanding development that benefits all members of the firm. The Martin Ogunleye led administration has worked extensively on the Bar Centre and the Cooperative Society as dividend to the members of the Lagos branch. It is therefore pertinent that members key into these service offering and explore same to its maximum benefits.

  1. What more do you think the NBA should do to build more trust in members?

There is room for improvement in the present welfare system applicable. I believe that improved welfare of all members both young and older lawyers using an established structure that takes into consideration the needs of the lawyers collated by data collection over a period of time can help the administration to provide the much needed assistance lawyers may crave from time to time.

Some members feel like they are not compensated for their loyalty to the association. The members of this great association, after paying dues in forms of branch membership fee and practicing fee amongst others, do not get the worth for their money. The fact is, these monies are the lifeblood of the Association financially, and therefore the funds should be used towards the development and achievement of greatness for the Association. The distribution of a feedback form of what members would like the association to do I believe would help immensely in building trust in the executive system.

  1. On a lighter mood, if you are given a chance to choose a senior person in the profession to have dinner with, who will you choose?
  • Pa. Tunji Gomez, I had the opportunity of dancing with Pa Gomez during the 2016 law dinner of the branch and boy I had a great time.
  1. Which do you consider the three greatest inventions of all times?
  • Electricity
  • Mobile phones
  • The internet

I would say that taking into consideration that these inventions evolved at different time in history, it is absolutely impossible to state one is greater than the other as there are interdependent of each other. The internet would not exist without electricity whilst the mobile phone usefulness will be depreciated without the combined effect of the Internet and electricity .We as beneficiary of these inventions are most grateful to the inventors who had the strength and courage to work assiduously to ensure that these inventions are innovated

  1. If you are given three Oscars to hand over to the best movies of all times, which movies will you go for?
  • To kill a mocking bird
  • Law abiding citizen
  • Revenant

But for the Nollywood  The wedding party takes the Oscar

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