By Musa Inuwa, Esq.
Okay, Come Out In The Open!!!
Since the news of the purported adoption by Arewa Lawyers Furum of Mr Dele Adesina broke out, there have been disclaimers and counter disclaimers from different quarters, everyone trying to come out clean.
Before we put the issue to rest, one thing that became very clear and established is that the purported adoption was only in the media space and it generated no positive value for the candidate involved. Some of the proponents in justifying their position referred to one meeting held in Kaduna. In fact, it exposed the deep suspicion many have been harboring about Mr Adesina.
The election is already here and it’s time to decide on the future of the Bar. There is no gainsaying that all the candidates are qualified in their own right to aspire to lead the Bar but how each of the candidates is perceived and seen in the light of the respective manifestoes and comments on issues concerning the Bar and the future of our profession is of paramount importance.
Beyond the razzmatazz of the electioneering campaigns characterized and laced with sweet promises of some sort, we have to be realistic in our assessment. We must filter reality from bogus and empty promises.
Objectivity is key at moments like this. For example, lawyers complained of being under paid by clients for legal work done. The rule of our professional ethics regarding scale of fee and available best practice are clear. There seems to be so much desperation and everyone wants to survive, so, for a morsel of porridge, we are quick to forget all the hard work and intellectual effort put in to produce a quality legal work. The truth is that we short change ourselves. So, SPA Ajibade comes out truthfully and honest to say we must all introspect, accept the truth that we are part of the problem and collectively agree and be determined to do the right thing. No flattery, bare truth deep from the heart! He then offers himself to mobilize and lead in this regard. We need a man who speaks from his heart.
One other topical issue is the plight of junior lawyers. Every year, the Nigerian Law School produces lawyers in their thousands. Where is the market for these lawyers in a profession where practitioners do not retire to create space for new wigs? What of the challenge posed by AI (Artificial Intelligence) and other disruptive technology in shrinking available space for new wigs. What about the liberalization of knowledge, everyone knows everything; even unlearned and unqualified people can now do our job successfully. Reading through the comments of the candidates, none of them has frontally confronted these issues. Perhaps an oversight!
Unfortunately, these are the real issues. So what are the credentials of the candidates in addressing the plight of young lawyers and emerging challenges highlighted above? Dr. Babatunde Ajibade runs a modest law firm and employs a sizable number of juniors and mentors them. His is certainly not a discriminatory and ‘elitist’ law firm. He is a consummate corporate commercial lawyer and a proven litigator. He combines practically everything. He is a balanced practitioner with experience and solid academic achievements in his kitty. He understands the problems of all shades of legal practice. Surely, he has proffered solutions just awaiting implementation.
His mien inspires confidence. You must exemplify what you preach. I trust him more to address the issues highlighted.
On the very vexed issue of speaking out on issues concerning the rule of law, this is the meat, if you ask me. We need a bar president who is truly free. We need a courageous candidate; we need someone with wisdom and deep knowledge of the society we live in, someone who is able to navigate the murky waters. At the end, we need a bar president who is truly free. Dr. Babatunde Ajibade will be my best bet on this; he is truly a free man. Let’s not overflog this issue.
NBA is by far more than an annual Bar conference ritual. Whither the Bar during this gap. The promise of a bogey annual wild party in the name of Bar Conference is certainly not appealing. The mere appeal of a rendezvous is not appealing and I am surprised that this is the main point of one of one of the candidates. I hear this is the main appeal of Mr Akpata, particularly to the young lawyers. Why should this be? There are myriad of more serious issues to deal with please. Do you need a Bar conference to party?
Young lawyers, it is the future of your profession we are talking about here and not some ephemeral momentary pleasures.
Overall and after careful reflection, I choose Dr. Babatunde Ajibade SAN. I trust him more!
Musa Inuwa, Esq.
NBA Kano Branch