NBA Names 12 Ring Leaders in Conference Materials Vandalism

The 62nd Annual General Conference in Lagos saw the vandalism and looting of the accreditation center and conference materials. The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Conference Incident Investigation Committee, which was formed to look into the incident, has identified 12 people who were shown to have actively participated in the disturbances.

This was communicated by the committee’s chairman, Olawale Fapohunda, when he delivered a 50-page final report to the NBA’s National Executive Council during its meeting in Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State, from March 22–24, 2023.

While there can be no possible justification for any NBA member’s disruptive behavior, Fapohunda stated in his presentation that the NBA’s inability to distribute bags to a large number of conferees due to the delay in receiving conference bags was a key finding of the Committee. This was the main cause of the disturbances during the Conference.

While not ruling out outside interference, the committee also found that most of those responsible for the disturbances were mostly lawyers.

He said the conduct of those members involved brought shame and embarrassment to the NBA specifically and the legal profession generally.

The Learned Silk went on to say that the Committee had concluded that the NBA’s choice to hire Antochie Limited as the provider of Conference bags was “fundamentally flawed,” as the scant amount of due diligence that had been done before to that engagement was at best inadequate.

The apparent misunderstanding between the NBA and Antochie Limited of the terms, conditions, duties, and responsibilities of both parties to the contract, which was a significant contributing factor to the disturbance, is mentioned in the committee report.

According to the report, the NBA secretariat staff should be heavily involved in planning and executing future AGCs. The goal must be to realize the ideal, in which the staff runs all NBA Conferences and activities.

This proposal was made by the committee as a result of evidence of an excessive concentration of authority in the TCCP without enough provision for or clear definition of obligations to other stakeholders, such as NBA Staff, Branch Chairmen, etc.Fapohunda said that his committee regrets that members of the Bar, particularly those who saw the vandalism and looting, have not cooperated in the identification of those guilty.

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