By Ben Ndedde
(In Eket, Akwa -Ibom

My experience with Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN goes way back to more than 5 years. SPA Ajibade & Co, the law firm managed by Dr Ajibade, SAN routinely organized (and still organizes) seminars and workshops for lawyers in Nigeria and beyond. These seminars usually bring together some of the best legal minds, to discuss issues affecting the legal profession and how to make it better. Without any prior meeting nor introduction, I had registered with the law firm for the program, and participate on a number of occasions. And I was not disappointed. It was worth the travel because I was profoundly motivated by the level of networking I established through my participation in the events — encountering many legal minds, both young and old, including proprietors and those in partnerships, freely discussing aspects of management principles and law practice, and giving diverse perspectives on how African countries could integrate diverse legal practice skills into our clime to make the profession greater in Nigeria. Some participants attending the events came from Law firms outside Nigeria but within Africa.

From how to raise capital for SMEs, to taxation, how to position oneself for relevance to international investors and clients, to the relevant value-addition necessary for growth and development of Law Firms, law practice and the legal profession in Africa, participants at the events usually covered so many relevant fields.

One of the many lessons I took away from the usually well-organized and heavily-attended events is that it doesn’t matter whether a lawyer practices in Lagos, in Enugu, in Abuja, in Kano, in Port-Harcourt or elsewhere in Nigeria; one could carve a niche for oneself as a professional if one knows one’s onions, works hards and flows with current trends. This is typical of the Harvard Law School-style training. I was, still am, really impressed with what SPA AJIBADE & CO had been doing (and still doing) with the seminars and workshops, especially as regards to capacity building and professional knowledge-sharing and advancement in the legal profession.

This is why, the moment I heard DR BABATUNDE AJIBADE, SAN, was aspiring to get elected into the office of NBA President in 2020, I made out time to attend quite a handful of webinar trainings organized by SPA AJIBADE & CO, during the lockdown imposed by the various governments in Nigeria to contain the spread of COVID-19 pandemic. Dr AJIBADE’s performance was, as usual, fantastic, to
say the least. Dr Ajibade SAN has never been lacking in ideas and concrete actions on how best to adequately address the various challenges facing the legal profession in Nigeria and how to elevate the Nigerian Bar to an enviable NextLevel . He remains focused just as he has been doing in those highly impactful seminars. I therefore have no doubts that, given the opportunity to lead the Bar in 2020-2022, Dr. AJIBADE, SAN would fulfill his promises of achieving even greater feats with a more united Bar. Please, let’s give him a chance to make our association and its honorable members better. Indeed, we can do better with Dr AJIBADE, SAN.

I am,
Mr Ben Ndedde
(Outgoing Legal Adviser, NBA, Eket Branch, Akwa Ibom State, & Managing Partner, Justice Forte Chambers)

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