Akpata Did His Best. Let’s Be Focused, United As Before – Akeredolu Urges Lawyers

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…Lawyers should avoid utterances that can cause division – Akeredolu

Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has asked lawyers in the country to remain United and be focused.

The Governor charged members of the Bar to embrace peace and continue to work for the progress of the association.

Governor Akeredolu, who is a former NBA President and Life Bencher, in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen through his Chief Press Secretary, Richard Olatunde noted that lawyers must avoid utterances which readily inflame passion and can cause division in the association.

Arakunrin Akeredolu, while reacting to a recent statement credited to Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN, said the immediate past NBA President, Olumide Akpata can not be referred to as a boy under any circumstances.

“I have read several comments arising from the statement credited to my friend, brother and colleague, Chief Niyi Akintola, SAN. I am acutely aware of the passion with which he pursues his conviction on any matter.

“I am sure that he will, at a reflective moment, agree with all colleagues and reasonable people that our immediate past president, though, junior in age and length of membership of our great association, cannot be referred to as a boy biologically or otherwise.

“As the President of our Association, he was the number one lawyer in the country without regard to the camp to which he belonged during the Bar elections, his religion, ethnicity and political affiliation.

“There are set rules for the executive leadership of the association. No elected member of the committee can act outside the scope permitted and envisioned. There are also established guidelines for redress in case of perceived infractions or infringement on the rights of persons or groups. The President of the Bar is primus inter pares,” he stressed.

Governor Akeredolu also condemned the growing tendencies which predispose members of NBA to act in manner considered very strange to the established tradition anchored on diffidence, respect and dignity.

He stated: “I must also not fail, however, to condemn, in very strong terms, the growing tendencies which predispose members of our great association to act in manner considered very strange to the established tradition anchored on diffidence, respect and dignity.

“It is not for ordinariness that we are called learned. Our rigorous training, at various levels, culminating in the call to join the club of eminence, the age-long reverence with which our professional forbears were treated, the enormous responsibilities imposed on us by the very circumstances of our emergence as learned gentlemen and the expectations of the generality of the people, leave us no option other than to uphold the practice of excellence.”

The Governor hailed the immediate administration led by Olumide Akpata for a successful annual conference and reawakening in the Bar.

“Let me start by congratulating our Association for the largely successful annual conference held in Lagos. I must congratulate the immediate past leadership for the reawakening in the Bar.

“An especial mention must be made of the former President, Olumide Akpata, Esq, for providing courageous leadership at crucial moments. Posterity will remember the members of the Executive Committee, under his exemplary leadership, for good. The administration left an indelible mark which will be difficult to erase. The tenure was hugely successful.

“I must thank the leadership of the Bar under Olumide Akpata, Esq. for the honour bestowed the foremost First female Senior Advocate in the country, Chief Folake Solanke, SAN, and my goodself, both prominent members of Egbe Amofin Odua, for naming a building each respectively after us for our modest contributions to the development of the Bar spanning several decades.

“We thank Olumide Akpata profusely, for this great honour and wish to also congratulate him for being able to take bold decisions for the benefit of members devoid of skewed partisanship and carrying members of the NEC with him. I enjoin the new leadership to tow this path of progress in the overall interest of the Bar.

“I beseech all our colleagues to shun all temptations to deepen this current misunderstanding in the interest of the association and, particularly, the people who look up to us for direction at crucial moments. My current engagement as the Governor of Ondo State has limited my participation, severely.

“I appeal to all senior members of the Bar to refrain from exacerbating the current situation. The Bar belongs not only to the professionals. The people of the country also lay claims to ownership deservedly. They cannot afford to have a divided and weakened Bar along ethnic or other divide.

“While congratulating the immediate leadership of the Bar who to the best of their ability prosecuted our conviction with courage, I enjoin the present Executive to work, seriously, on the discontents which threaten to tear us apart. The judgement of history will be harsh on all those who engage in activities which lower rating in the estimation of reasonable and good people of our noble profession.”

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