NBA Confidently Resumes Global Games After Pandemic Hiatus

BOSTON, MA – MAY 15: Giannis Antetokounmpo #34 of the Milwaukee Bucks grabs the rebound during the game against the Boston Celtics during Game 7 of the 2022 NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Semifinals on May 15, 2022 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Brian Babineau / NBAE / Getty Images / Getty Images via AFP)

 

 

Japan’s Rui Hachimura and France’s Killian Hayes will have the chance to play before their home-nation fans with the NBA Global Games resuming next month after a two-year layoff due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pre-season contests are set for Japan and Abu Dhabi while Paris and Mexico City will host regular-season games as the NBA, with nearly 70 percent of social media followers from outside the United States, sends superstars to thrill its worldwide audience.

“We’re so excited to be bringing our live games back to our fans around the world,” NBA deputy commissioner Mark Tatum told AFP on Thursday.

“It’s a way for us to bring cultures together, to bring people together and to bring our fans together.”

Though NBA game telecasts were already viewed by fans in 214 nations and in more than 50 languages last season, Tatum says the return to live games overseas is “an important part of our business strategy.”

“There’s nothing like going to an NBA game for the hundreds of millions of fans around the world and we want fans to experience the game live.”

The NBA, with 25 percent of players from outside the United States, felt that this season teams could comfortably and confidently return overseas after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

“It has been very difficult over the last two years with the pandemic,” Tatum said. “Our first and foremost concern is to have games where we can conduct them in a safe and secure manner.”

The NBA, with 97 percent of players and 100 percent of staff vaccinated, consulted doctors, medical specialists and officials in each city before finalizing the global schedule.

“We’ve learned, as the world has learned, to move on with Covid and this is the right time,” Tatum said. “We’re able to bring back the games. We’re confident we can keep everyone safe and healthy.”

That includes the Milwaukee Bucks, led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, and Atlanta Hawks playing the first NBA games in the Arabian Gulf when they meet for pre-season games October 6 and 8 in Abu Dhabi.

“They have got a world-class facility,” Tatum said. “They know how to do it well.”

The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors will visit Japan for pre-season games September 30 and October 2 against Washington, which boasts Japanese forward Hachimura.

“With the pride they have for him, it’s going to be huge there,” Tatum said. “These things mater. It’s going to excite people.”

Tatum expects much the same thrill when the Chicago Bulls meet Hayes and the Detroit Pistons in a regular-season game at Paris on January 19.

“For Killian Hayes to play in his home country is going to be tremendous,” Tatum said.

He also expects NBA fans from across Europe to attend the Paris matchup, which also features Chicago’s two-time NBA All-Star Nikola Vučević of Montenegro.

The Miami Heat and San Antonio Heat will meet in Mexico City in a regular-season game on December 17.

– NBA eyes India, Africa –
More global games are in the works, Tatum said, noting, “There are more markets that want games than we can have them.”

“The world is a big place. We’ve played in a lot of places but there are still a lot of opportunities.”

Germany, Italy and Greece are among several European possibilities while London has hosted several contests.

In total, the league has played 205 games in 20 nations outside US and Canadian cities since 1978.

“At some point we will be back in India,” Tatum said, adding, “I could see pre-season, regular-season games in Africa.”

In the 2019-20 season, the last before the pandemic struck, the NBA played pre-season contests in India, Japan and China and regular-season games in Mexico and France.

Last season, the NBA had a record 121 international players from 40 nations, with 18 from Canada and seven from Germany.

The past four NBA Most Valuable Player awards were won by Serbian Nikola Jokic of the Denver Nuggets in 2022 and 2021 and Greek star Antetokounmpo of Milwaukee in 2019 and 2020.

Those two and Cameroonian star big man Joel Embiid of Philadelphia were last season’s three MVP finalists, another first for global NBA talent.

Suspended NBA General Secretary, Joyce Oduah Sues Exco Members, Challenges Suspension

A file photo of NBA President, Olumide Akpata.

 

The suspended General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mrs Joyce Oduah has filed a suit at the Federal High Court, Abuja challenging her suspension from office.

In the suit filed by her Counsel, Murtala Abdul-Rasheed (SAN), Joyce Oduah sued the association, its national executives and the Inspector General of Police.

Oduah argued that after an emergency meeting held by the National Executive Committee on Monday, the 15th of August, 2022, the action taken against her is unconstitutional.

She claimed that her purported suspension as the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) pursuant to the Resolution of the emergency meeting of the National Executive committee of the NBA held on the 15th day of August 2022 is unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect whatsoever for being a gross violation of Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 and the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association, 2015 (as amended) in 2021.

READ ALSO: Alleged Gross Misconduct: NBA Leadership Suspends General Secretary, Joyce Oduah

She is also asking the court to determine five issues, namely:

  1. Whether or not having regards to the provisions of Sections 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 11(9), 20 and 21 of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association, 2015 (as amended in 2021) and Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020, the 3rd – 11th Defendants have the vires to suspend the Plaintiff from the office of the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, (the 1st Defendant herein).
  2. Whether or not having regards to the provisions of Sections 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 11(9), 20 and 21 of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended in 2021 and Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 the purported resolution of the emergency meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association held on the 15th day of August 2022, is null, void, illegal and unconstitutional.
  3. Whether or not having regards to the provisions of Sections 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 11(9), 20 and 21 of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended in 2021 and Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 the notice of the meeting of the National Executive Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association held on the 15th day of August 2022 which did not contain the suspension of the Plaintiff as one of its agenda is null and void ab initio and a breach of the Plaintiff’s right to a fair hearing.
  4. Whether having regards to Sections 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 11(9), 20 and 21 of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended in 2021), as well as Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020 the procedure adopted by the National Executive Committee in the purported suspension of the Plaintiff is not unlawful and a breach of the Plaintiff’s right to a fair hearing;
  5. Whether having regards to Sections 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Sections 11(9), 20 and 21 of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended in 2021), as well as Sections 239, 242 and 288 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2020), the decision by the NBA-NEC to suspend the Plaintiff was not unjust and done in utmost bad faith.

On Monday, the NBA national officers unanimously suspended the general secretary, Mrs Joyce Oduah from office. Nine of the 11 officers who signed the resolution authorizing the suspension also resolved to refer her to the NBA National Executive Council for disciplinary action and to recommend her removal from office for gross misconduct.

The National Executive Council will sit on the 25th of August at the Annual General Meeting of the Annual General Conference of the Association scheduled to hold in Lagos.

It will be the last sitting under the Akpata administration as the President-elect, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN) and his team will be sworn in on Friday the 26th of August.

NBA Stars Headline D’Tigers Roster For FIBA World Cup Qualifiers

File photo of D’Tigers Roster at the 3rd qualification window for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Kigali.

 

D’Tigers coach Mike Brown has invited 15 players for the fourth qualification window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

The roster is headlined by NBA stars, Chimezie Metu of the Sacramento Kings and Josh Okogie of the Phoenix Suns.

Others are Michael Gbinijie, Michael Oguine, Michael Okiki, Keith Omoerah, Christian Mekowulu, Ben Emelogu, Amanze, Egekeze, Miye Oni, Ike Nwamu, Ibe Aguchi, Uchenna Iroegbu, John Mathias Iduh and Abdul-Malik Abu.

Nigeria will face Cote d’Ivoire on August the 26th before facing Guinea on August the 27th and then Angola a day later to wrap up the fourth window of qualifiers.

The fifth and final window of qualifiers will see Nigeria face Cote d’Ivoire for a second time on February 24, Guinea on February 25, and Angola on February 26.

File photo: Chimezie Metu scored 25 points including this dunk against Uganda in 2023 FIBA African World Cup qualifiers in Kigali on July 3, 2022.

READ ALSO: [World Cup] Falconets Pip South Korea, Seal Quarter-Finals Spot

A file photo of D’Tigers head coach Mike Brown.

 

At the end of these additional six games per team, the two top in each group, along with the best third-placed side will qualify for the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia from August 25 to September 10.

Cape Verde and Uganda are also in Group E, but Nigeria won’t play any games against them, having already faced off in Group A of the first round of qualifiers.

All teams will carry over their results from the first round with D’Tigers wrapping up their campaign with a 91-72 thrashing of Uganda in Kigali on July 3rd.

Team Nigeria finished second behind Cape Verde on six points, one behind the islanders, with two wins and two defeats from four games.

Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire won all six of their first-round games in Group C for 12 points, Angola won four out of six for 10 points, while guinea won just one game from six.

Group F is made up of south Sudan, Tunisia, Cameroon, Egypt, Congo DR, and Senegal.

Alleged Gross Misconduct: NBA Leadership Suspends General Secretary, Joyce Oduah

 

The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has unanimously suspended from office, the general secretary of the association, Mrs Joyce Oduah.

Nine of the eleven members who signed the resolution authorizing the suspension also resolved to refer Mrs Oduah to the NBA national executive committee for disciplinary action and to recommend her removal from office for gross misconduct.

The document titled, resolution of the meeting of the national executive committee of the Nigerian bar association held on Monday, 15th august 2022, says that following the receipt of a letter dated 14th august from nine national officers of the NBA calling on the president, Olumide Akpata to call an emergency meeting of the NEC, the meeting held at 8am, Monday morning with all national officers of the association present.


READ ALSO: NBA Secretary Accuses Olumide Akpata Of Running Unilateral Leadership


The meeting deliberated extensively on the content of the letter and the weighty allegations against the general secretary, Mrs Oduah and in particular her acts of alleged disobedience to the president, the national executive council of the association and the national executive committee.

Owing to the issues to be discussed, the president of the bar was said to have recused himself from the deliberations and handed over to the fist vice president, John Aikpokpo-Martins to chair the meeting.

Ahead of the annual general meeting of the association scheduled to hold at the annual general conference on the 25th of August, the leadership also resolved that the assistant general secretary, Uche Nwadialo shall act as the general secretary pending the pre conference meeting of the NBA-national executive council scheduled to hold on Sunday, the 21st of August.

The issues leading to the suspension of Mrs Oduah began over the weekend when the general secretary sent out a mail to members to withdraw notices of proposed amendment to the constitution of the NBA earlier sent out on the 27th & 28th of july by the general secretary and the assistant general secretary.

In a swift response, the NBA president, Olumide Akpata issued a disclaimer to the effect that the notices sent out by the general secretary was done without any approval and consultation with the national bar leadership and as such, the earlier notices remain valid until a decision is reached at the NBA annual general meeting.

The annual general meeting scheduled to hold during the annual general conference will be the last AGM under the Akpata administration.

NBA – National Officers Internal Memo

NBA – Resolution of Meeting of National Executive Committee Final

NBA Secretary Accuses Olumide Akpata Of Running Unilateral Leadership

A file photo of NBA President, Olumide Akpata.

 

Twenty-four hours after the President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata issued a disclaimer against the General Secretary, Mrs Joyce Oduah’s, notice of withdrawal of Proposed Constitutional Amendments at the NBA’s 2022 annual general meeting, the association’s secretary, has reacted.

In a statement made available to the media, and titled “Setting the record straight”, the general secretary gave reasons for her actions and the withdrawal of the notices.

READ ALSOSERAP Asks INEC To Allow Seven Million Nigerians Complete Voter Registration

While restating that her loyalty goes to the generality of the members of the NBA in carrying out her responsibilities as the general secretary of the association, Mrs Oduah accused President Olumide Akpata of demonstrating a “well-established unilateral control and command leadership style” as well as attempts to usurp the constitutional duties of her office.

She also accused the NBA President of canvassing for disregarding the NBA constitution’s provision relating to notice of constitutional amendment.

The leadership crisis in the NBA is coming ahead of the association’s annual general meeting scheduled to hold at the annual general conference later this month. The conference will be the last under the Olumide Akpata administration.

Crisis Erupts In NBA As Akpata Counters Secretary On Notices Of Constitutional Amendments

NBA president-elect, Olumide Apata. Photo: [email protected] Akpata

 

Ahead of the forthcoming annual general conference of the Nigerian Bar Association, crisis has erupted within the leadership of the association.

In the early hours of Saturday, the General Secretary of the Association, Mrs Joyce Oduah had sent out a mail asking members to disregard early notices on the annual general meeting of the association sent by her and the Assistant General Secretary, Uche Nwadialo.

The Annual General Meeting (AGM) scheduled to hold during the annual general conference is the last AGM of the Akpata administration.

The email by the general secretary was titled “Withdrawal of Notice of Proposed Amendment, Notice of AGM & Minutes of AGM of Oct, 2021.”

The mail informed members of a “Revised Notice of Annual General Meeting” and also attached “Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on the 28th of October, 2021 in preparation for the Annual General Meeting of 25th August, 2021 in Lagos.”

Hours after the mail was sent out to NBA members, the President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata issued a disclaimer to the effect that “the notice of withdrawal sent out by Mrs. Oduah was done without any approval and consultation with the National Bar leadership and as such, the earlier notices of the amendment sent out by both the General Secretary and the Assistant General Secretary remain valid until a decision is reached at the NBA Annual General Meeting”.

The disclaimer which was personally signed by Akpata is contained in a statement titled “RE: Disclaimer of Notice of Withdrawal of Proposed Constitutional Amendments (NBA AGM 2022)”.

Akpata wrote:

“I am writing to disclaim that withdrawal as unauthorised by me or any of the National Officers, and to request that you regard the two notices circulated on 27th July 2022 by (i) firstly, Mrs. Oduah; and (ii) secondly, by the Assistant General Secretary as subsisting. The reasons for this request are as follows:
The NBA National Executive Council (NBA-NEC) had at its last meeting in Ilorin Kwara State on 9th June 2022 resolved that some amendments be made to the NBA Constitution. On that basis, the NBA Constitution Drafting Committee under the leadership of Asamah Kadiri, SAN proposed certain amendments for consideration by National Officers and subsequent circulation to all our members for consideration at the forthcoming AGM.

The National Officers duly considered the said amendments proposed by the Constitution Drafting Committee and we all resolved that the proposed amendments are in the best interest of the Association, and approved that they be shared with our members alongside the Notice of the AGM where the amendments will be deliberated upon.

For clarity, most of the proposed amendments are aimed at institutionalising some of the initiatives of the current administration and ensuring inter-alia that:

(i) the NBA Stabilisation Fund is properly ringfenced and protected from the risk of easy dissipation in the future by any President or National Officer as those funds have been earmarked for key welfare and developmental programmes;

(ii) the amount of Bar Practicing Fees that we remit to the branches for their programmes is increased from 10% to 20% as authorised by a longstanding resolution of NBA NEC;

(iii) any member of the Association who has held elective office as a National Officer for two (2) terms is barred from contesting for a national office for at least ten (10) years after his/her last term of office; and

(iv) government interference in affairs of the NBA is constitutionally limited.
Admittedly, some of the amendments proposed by the Constitution Drafting Committee may not be acceptable to all, albeit the view of the National Officers (except Mrs. Oduah) is that the decision as to whether or not such provisions can stand is purely that of the AGM while voting on the proposed amendments.

Unfortunately, and for reasons that are not exactly clear, in spite of the approval of the proposed amendments by 10 of the 11 National Officers, Mrs. Oduah not only delayed in issuing the required Notice until the eve of the cut-off date, but also refused to issue a Notice of the AGM that contained all the proposed amendments. When the Notice was eventually issued, it had been unilaterally altered by Mrs. Oduah to exclude most of the proposed amendments highlighted in paragraph 3 above. It was on this basis that all National Officers (except Mrs. Oduah) authorised the Assistant General Secretary (Ms. Uche Nwadialo) to issue a second notice of AGM that contains all the proposed constitutional amendments.
Considering that two separate and apparently conflicting notices had been issued, the National Officers agreed that the contents of the notices and the fact of their conflict will be presented to the AGM (as the highest decision-making body of the NBA) for a resolution on which, if any, of the notices should be discussed at the meeting. In essence, the conflict between the two notices was to be resolved by the AGM.

It was during this interval, that the withdrawal notice which you most likely received a couple of hours ago was unilaterally sent by Mrs. Oduah. To be sure, no meeting or other deliberations were held, and no authorisation was given for any of the previously issued notices to be withdrawn or amended as Mrs. Oduah purported to do in her most recent email.

It is on the basis of the foregoing that I invite you to disregard the withdrawal and amendment notices that you might have received at midnight today and treat the separate notices circulated by both Mrs. Oduah and the Assistant General Secretary on 27th of July 2022 as subsisting pending a decision by the AGM.

It is regrettable that we have had to bring this matter to your attention, but it is important to set the records straight and to provide clarity on a subject which, I am sure, has left you and others befuddled over the last two weeks.

I thank you for your attention.
Best regards,
OLUMIDE AKPATA

In an earlier notice to lawyers, the NBA General Secretary, Oduah had withdrawn the earlier sent notices of proposed constitutional amendments.

According to the statement dated 12th August, there’s no motion for the amendment of the 2015 constitution as amended in 2021.

This is in consideration of the observation, comments, objections, advisors, responses by the members of the Association.

The notice of 27th July, issued, signed and circulated by the General Secretary is hereby withdrawn for non compliance with the 30 days Notice to be given to members, required by S.15(1) of the Constitution.

And also the Notice of proposed amendment dated 27th July, issued, signed and circulated by the Assistant General Secretary, on 28th July, is also withdrawn for being unconstitutional, ultra vires, nullified and void.

Consequently, the agenda stated in the notice for the AGM for the amendment of the 2015 Constitution as amended 2021 are all withdrawn, removed and deleted from the agenda.

Rules Of Professional Conduct 2020: Court Declares Illegal, AGF’s Unilateral Amendment

A photo combination of a court gavel and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
A photo combination of a court gavel and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

 

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has declared as illegal and invalid the unilateral amendment of the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) for Legal Practitioners in Nigeria by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) Abubakar Malami.

Justice Donatus Okorowo first dismissed the preliminary objections filed by the AGF and held that all the reliefs sought by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) succeeds.

The AGF had argued that the NBA had no locus to file the suit but in dismissing the objection, the court declared that the General Council of the Bar which has the authority to amend the RPC is constituted by several members, and the RPC cannot, therefore, be legitimately amended by the singular desire and action of an individual.

In September 2020, the legal community woke up to the news of the unilateral amendment of the RPC by the AGF.

READ ALSOBala Mohammed, Abubakar, Others Sued Over Double Nominations

The AGF was reported to have said the amendment was made in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by Section 12(4) of the Legal Practitioners Act as Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice and President of the General Council of the Bar.

The General Council of the Bar comprises the Attorney-General of the Federation, all the Attorneys–General of the 36 states of Nigeria, and 20 Legal Practitioners representing the NBA.

The purported amendment was immediately criticized by many lawyers with the NBA especially contending that the AGF acted beyond his powers in amending the law which was the prerogative of the General Council of the Bar (GCB) of which Malami is a member.

The body also pointed out that no Attorney-General can unilaterally, whimsically, or capriciously amend the rules, no matter how well-intentioned.

In the amendment, provisions relating to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) “Stamp and Seal” as well as Bar Practicing Fees (BPF) for government lawyers were said to have been deleted. In essence, Rules 9 (2), 10, 11, 12, and 13 were affected by the new amendment. Prior to the amendment, Rule 9(2) prohibits any legal practitioner from claiming that he has paid his Bar Practicing Fees (BPF) when he is actually in default. Rule 10 deals with stamp and seals.

Rule 11 provides for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, Rule 12 provides for Annual Practicing Certificate while Rule 13 provides for Notice of Legal Practice upon setting up a private legal practice.

In a letter dated 15th September 2022, and addressed to the AGF, the President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata asked the AGF to rescind the controversial amendments made in the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC).

Akpata said “the RPC or amendments to it may only be enacted and issued after they have been duly approved at a properly convened meeting of the bar council.

“I have been duly informed, by NBA Representatives on the Bar Council and other members of the Bar Council who have reached out to me, that to the best of their knowledge, no meeting of the Bar Council was convened to discuss any amendment to the RPC or to approve the Instrument. It, therefore, appears that the Instrument was enacted without proper authority.”

He added that a number of provisions aimed at checking the infiltration of quacks into the profession and protecting the revenue of lawyers have been deleted without proper consideration.

“It is therefore concerning that these or many of which are forward-looking and seek to place the Nigerian legal profession at par with other self-regulatory professional associations around the world, will be targeted for deletion,” he said.

The president also noted that although some of the provisions of the RPC are outdated, his administration is making efforts to make necessary amendments in the proper way.

“I said this much to Nigerian lawyers during the recent electioneering that brought me in as President of the NBA.

“My administration, therefore, intends to propose a series of amendments to the RPC to bring it into conformity with the realities of modern legal practice for the benefit of Nigerian lawyers and society. To achieve this, I look forward to working with the Bar Council under your leadership to properly amend the RPC and regulate the legal profession in Nigeria,” he added.

“To speed up the process will immediately be setting up a committee with the responsibility of thoroughly reviewing the RPC and making appropriate recommendations to the Bar Council through your good office.”

“Pending such proposed holistic reforms to the RPC, I urge you to immediately rescind the Instrument in the interest of the rule of law, the unity of the Bar, and the sanctity of the legal profession. The NBA has been subjected to needless controversy and ridicule on account of the Instrument, and this does not augur well for the sanctity of the profession, of which you are a key stakeholder.”

With the AGF failing to act on the letter, the NBA through its Section on Legal Practice in January 2022 approached the court via a suit between the Incorporated Trustees of the NBA against the Attorney General of the Federation, asking the court to declare the said amendment null and void.

NBA challenged the validity and lawfulness of the Rules of Professional Conduct for Legal Practitioners (Amendment) Rules 2021 (S.I. No. 15 of 2020) enacted by the Attorney-General of the Federation.

NBA Says Atiku, Obi Will Speak At Its 2022 Annual General Conference

A photo combination of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi.
A photo combination of Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association says two of the four leading candidates in Nigeria’s 2023 presidential elections have confirmed their availability to speak at the forthcoming Annual General Conference of the Association (NBA) in Lagos this month.

The 2022 NBA Annual General Conference, with the theme “Bold Transitions”, will hold at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos from the August 19 to 26.

The presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar, and his counterpart, the presidential candidate of Labour Party (LP), Peter Obi, who have both confirmed their availability will be speaking in a panel session on the topic “Democratic Transitions in 21st Century Nigeria: 2023 and Beyond”.

READ ALSO: I Did Not Endorse Peter Obi, Labour Party – Ogbonnaya Onu

A press release by the NBA’s Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP), also said invites had been sent out to the other two candidates, Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), but they were yet to confirm their availability.

The TCCP said the Presidential Candidates’ session will come after the conference opening ceremony and will afford participants a rare opportunity to interact with the presidential candidates just six months ahead of Nigeria’s general elections next year.

“We are excited to announce that of the four leading presidential candidates we sent invites to, two have confirmed to us that they would be available to speak at the 62nd NBA Annual General Conference holding at the Eko Atlantic City in Lagos. We await a response from the other two and we are hopeful that it would be positive,” .

“It is a first in the history of the NBA Annual General Conference and it is in line with our aspiration to make the 2022 AGC a legacy conference that sets a standard that will become a benchmark for subsequent conferences of the NBA. We are looking forward to seeing participants have a robust engagement with the candidates,” the statement said.

Alleged Misconduct: Wole Olanipekun’s Partner, Kunbi Ogunde, Goes On Leave

LAUTECH, ownership tussle
A file photo of Mr Wole Olanipekun.
Amidst the fiery debate over the call by the Nigerian Bar Association(NBA) asking Chief Wole Olanipekun, the Chairman of the Body of Benchers(BoB) to recuse himself from office, the partner, Kunbi Ogunde who is at the center of it all has expressed her decision to take a leave of absence from legal practise. 
About a month ago, Ogunde, a partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun and Co., had admitted that she sent an email to an oil company, Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd to solicit a brief that was being handled by Ajumogobia and Okeke, the law firm of another SAN, Odein Ajumogobia.
The brief was related to the ongoing $130 million case at the Rivers State High Court brought by the Rivers State government.
She has come under heavy criticisms for this with the NBA filing a petition against her with the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee, LPDC.
In her press release dated August 3 and made available to the media today, Ogunde stated that she took the decision after due consultations with her family, her law firm and friends.
She explained that she had found herself at the centre of “every main collateral issue” that had arisen out of her email to SAIPEM, hence the decision to take a leave of absence from legal practice.
According to her she would use the time of her absence “to get involved in community and social work pro bono, with a few selected NGOs as well as undergo necessary courses that could equip her better in dealing with professional and life issues.”
While acknowledging that Wole Olanipekun & Co had taken concrete steps to ameliorate the effect of the email by way of discipline, education, reform, and rehabilitation,  she said “the firm did not believe that its actions should be for the attention of the media.”
Further commenting on the impact of the entire episode on her life, she said,  “It has not only affected me psychologically but also Wole Olanipekun & Co and my family. It has bred bad blood and, to my great pain, thoroughly embarrassed our Firm’s Founder, the innocent and dignified Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, OFR and as well as everyone else at the firm”.
She concludes by saying that she “will return to legal practice after some time, in consultation with my parents, senior colleagues and well-wishers.
“This statement is issued to enable me move to the next stage of my life. I will no longer be issuing any public statement.
I thank all those who have helped me to pass through this very trying period, particularly my parents, partners and associates of Wole Olanipekun & Co., my friends and my parents’ friends”.
Read her full statement below:
“RE: MY EMAIL CORRESPONDENCE OF 20TH JUNE, 2022 AND SUBSEQUENT EVENTS”.
“The email I sent to SAIPEM on 20th June 2022 has, for several weeks, become the subject of discussion, debate and diatribe among lawyers and the general public on various social media platforms.
“My public statement issued on 27th June, 2022, which was aimed at expressing remorse for the anguish the said email caused to Ajumogobia & Okeke, my Firm, Wole Olanipekun & Co., and my parents and also to debunk the wrong conclusions drawn by many lawyers that the partners and/or associates at the firm knew about or consented to the content or delivery of my email did not also achieve the purpose in the opinion of some people.
“Since I issued that public statement, i have read in the social media  a complaint filed against me at the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee by the First Vice-President of the NBA and the letter written to my Firm’s Founding Partner, Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, OFR that he should recuse  himself from his position as the Chairman of the Body of Benchers.
“I cannot deny the fact that I am at the centre of every main or collateral issue that has arisen out of the said email. It may appear as if neither Wole Olanipekun & Co nor me has taken any concrete step to ameliorate the effect of the email by way of discipline, education, reform and rehabilitation concerning me. I wish to state that the firm took such steps but did not believe that its actions should be for the attention of the media.
“Unfortunately, the matter has now become rather complicated and has not only affected me psychologically, but also Wole Olanipekun & Co and my family. It has bred bad blood and, to my great pain, thoroughly embarrassed our Firm’s Founder, the innocent and dignified Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN, OFR and as well as the Firm.
“As the one through whom all these have arisen, I have consulted with my family and the Firm and after a deep and thorough examination of all the facets of this hydra-headed problem, I have decided to take the following steps:
“1. I will take a leave of absence from legal practice and get involved in community and social work pro bono, with a few selected NGOs.
“2. I will also during this time undergo necessary courses to equip myself better in dealing with professional and life issues.
“3. I will return to legal practice after some time, in consultation with my parents, senior colleagues and well-wishers.
“This statement is issued to to enable me move to the next stage of my life. I will no longer be issuing any public statement.
“I thank all those who have helped me to pass through this very trying period of my life, particularly my parents, partners and associates of Wole Olanipekun & Co, my friends and my parents’ friends.
“God bless you all.”
Adekunbi Ogunde

Alleged Professional Misconduct: NBA Asks Body Of Benchers Chairman Olanipekun To Recuse Self

LAUTECH, ownership tussle
A file photo of Mr Wole Olanipekun.

 

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Wole Olanipekun, to recuse himself from his position as Chairman of the Body of Benchers (BOB).

In a letter dated July 22 and signed by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, the legal body said the call became necessary for the emplacement of interim leadership, in order to allow the Legal Practitioners Disciplinary Committee (LPDC) to investigate an alleged act of professional misconduct by one of Olanipekun’s partners.

The letter which was addressed to Olanipekun was titled, RE: PETITION AGAINST MS ADEKUNBI OGUNDE BY THE NIG. BAR ASSOCIATION FOR ALLEGED MISCONDUCT.

About a month ago, Ogunde, a partner in the law firm of Wole Olanipekun and Co., admitted that she sent an email to Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd to solicit a brief that was being handled by Ajumogobia and Okeke, the law firm of another SAN, Odein Ajumogobia.

The brief was related to the ongoing $130 million case at the Rivers State High Court brought by the Rivers State government.

In soliciting for the brief, Ogunde wrote to one Mr Caio Francesco of Saipem, claiming that her law firm, Wole Olanipekeun & Co., would be more influential in helping Saipem avert a potential huge payout to the Rivers State government.

She would later blame this on youthful exuberance. Her firm also sent out a disclaimer that Ogunde’s letter was sent out without their authority.

By a letter dated July 19, the NBA wrote a petition against Ogunde recommending that she be required to answer for the allegations of professional misconduct.

The NBA President swiftly followed up on Friday with a call for Olanipekun to step aside to allow for due process and for the LPDC to carry out its duties without the BOB chairman coming under undue suspicion of impartiality.

When contacted for his reaction to the letter, Olanipekun told Channels Television that he was on holiday outside the country and had not seen the letter or received it.

Read the full letter by the NBA President below:

NBA Elections: Presidential Candidate, Gadzama Asks For Immediate Audit Of Outcome

File photo of Joe-Kyari Gadzama.

 

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Joe-Kyari Gadzama who recently contested as a presidential candidate in the July 16th elections of the Nigerian Bar Association has asked the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) to allow an immediate audit of the election and sever.

Gadzama was the first runner-up in the elections losing to his colleague, Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Yakubu Maikyau who was declared president-elect by the ECNBA.

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In a press release dated 20th of July, JK Gadzama as he is popularly called, noted that in the pre-election, his agent Andrew Madaki, tested the vulnerability of the website, electionbuddy.com which was used for the conduct of the NBA National polls.

“The report which is attached to this press release shows that the website was susceptible to manipulation. Thereafter my agent and other agents present raised some of these concerns during the press conference conducted by the ECNBA on the eve of the election”.

Gadzama goes on to say that during the conduct of the election, his agent discovered numerous irregularities and expressed the same to the ECNBA.

He particularly noted frequent timeouts experienced by the site, lack of access to the backend of the server, and lack of graphical representation of the results, and ultimately requested to audit the election, which the ECNBA promised to provide immediately.

He reiterated that “auditing the election will permit independent parties and agents to discover if there were any technical interferences to usurp the will of the electorate”.

“On the whole, and in view of the above facts and attached documents, it is clear that the technology adopted was highly vulnerable and most susceptible to electronic fraud, rigging, and pre-programming of votes. I hereby call upon the ECNBA to allow an immediate audit of the election and sever.

Ochai Agbaji Scores 24 Points Against Charlotte

Ochai Agbaji

 

 

Ochai Agbaji has continued his impressive play in the NBA Summer League after scoring in double figures against the Charlotte Hornets.

Agbaji scored 24 points while shooting 7-for-13 from the field and 4-of-8 from the 3-point range but the rest of the Cavs shot just 37% as they lost their second straight game in summer league play.

The 22-year-old scored 16 points in his Summer League debut against the San Antonio Spurs which ended in a 99-90 victory. He made 5 of 11 shots from the field including 4-for-9 from 3-point range.

Agbaji, however, struggled from the floor in his second game against the Denver Nuggets, scoring just 8 points while shooting 27.3% including 2-for-6 from the 3-point arc.

Born to a Nigerian immigrant father, Ochai was selected at number 14 by the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2022 NBA draft after leading the University of Kansas to the NCAA Championship while being named the most outstanding player in the final four tournament.

He will look to justify, further, his lottery selection when Cleveland face the Detroit Pistons in their next Summer League game.