STATEMENT OF INTENT TO CONTEST FOR THE OFFICE OF GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION – 2020-2022
Dear Esteemed Senior Advocate/Colleague/ Bar Leader,
May I use this medium to express the hope that you and your family members are well and safe.
These are very trying times globally, and our attention is focused on the health, social and economic implications of the Covid-19 Pandemic and the future of the legal profession. In the midst of the uncertainty, we must pause to spare a thought for our dear Nigerian Bar Association (‘NBA’) which continues to play a critical role in regulating the profession and speaking for us.
On the 29th and 30th of July, 2020, elections will be held to elect National Officers who will pilot the affairs of the NBA for the next two years. In these critical times, the calibre of persons to be elected must be of paramount interest to all of us. Clearly, we need men and women of vision, administrative capacity and intellectual sagacity to steer our ship forward. We need leaders who possess the qualities of integrity, charisma, erudition, competence, quiet dignity, gentlemanly comportment, capacity for work, preoccupation with excellence, and the ability to inspire others to action. The stakes are too high for us to fail!
In July, 2011, I was elected as Secretary of the NBA Lagos Branch, and brought a distinctive style and much acclaimed innovative advances to the discharge of the duties of that office. It was the commitment, innovation and passion which marked the two-year tenure that endeared me to the members of the Branch and ensured the overwhelming support that brought me in as Branch Chairman from 2013 – 2015.
The four years spent stewarding the NBA Lagos Branch as Secretary and then as Chairman were, perhaps, the best years of my life of service to the NBA. It was a privilege to serve, and history will judge my stewardship. I have remained active at the bar since that time – serving in several NBA National Committees and taking an active part in championing the cause of committed persons who have over the years sought to lead the Bar.
I have, of course, continued to run my law-firm and serve clients as a litigator and transaction lawyer, as well as providing pro bono legal services to the indigent public especially in the area of women’s rights and criminal defence work. I am also a member of the Lagos Multi-Door Courthouse Lagos Settlement Week Committee, and a Trustee of the Lagos Public Interest Law Partnership.
Now, following months of consultations with colleagues across the country, I have decided to offer myself for service to the NBA in the capacity of General Secretary of our Association and to seek that office in the national officers elections on the 29th and 30th of July, 2020.
My legal training and experience has prepared me well for that office. In 1990 (at the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos) I wrote my final year Project on ‘The Office of the Company Secretary: An Evolutionary Study’. The following year, at the Nigerian Law School, I graduated with a Second Class Upper Division Degree and won the prize for Company Law and Commercial Practice. From 1992-1997, I cut my legal teeth with the law firm of Messrs. Tunde Odanye & Co., working in the Solicitor’s Department of the firm and handling (initially under supervision) the company secretarial and solicitor’s work there. Interestingly, I was one of the first 100 lawyers accredited by the Corporate Affairs Commission (on the 1st of March, 1993). Since July 1997, company secretarial work has been a major staple of my law-firm’s service offering.
This background, naturally, prepared me for the very involving role as Secretary of the NBA Lagos Branch (the largest branch of the NBA) from 2011-2013. It was a challenging position to which I brought innovation, flair and dedication, and the verdict by members is that I discharged the duties of the office creditably well. My subsequent duties as Branch Chairman from 2013-2015 (coupled of course with managing a busy law-firm) have, no doubt, imbued me with the necessary administrative acumen which the General Secretary of the NBA must possess in order to effectively and efficiently run the Secretariat of our great Association.
I feel very strongly that my written and oral communication skills, secretarial training, expertise, experience, and demonstrated administrative capacity are best suited for service as the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, and that is why I offer myself for service in that position.
The Electoral Committee of the NBA has cleared me (and other aspirants) to contest in the elections. The Final List of Eligible Voters has been published, and the verification and update process is currently on-going. I, therefore, seek to formally inform you of my intention to contest for the office and humbly ask for your support. If elected, I pledge to serve with the passion, integrity and efficiency for which I am well known.
Many feel that 2020 will be a watershed year for the NBA – we must get it right this time. I am eager to place my time, energy, talents, experience and resources at the disposal of the Bar for the next two years, and to offer the kind of premium stewardship which the Bar definitely needs at this time. The Bar needs a great scribe… and I have been tried, tested and adjudged to be one. I, therefore, solicit your active support of my candidacy, your endorsement, and your vote at the Elections.
Alex N. Muoka
5th July, 2020