The Nigerian Bar Association President, Abubakar Mahmud (SAN) has praised Nigerian Society of Engineers’ Leadership System while calling for the Law Body to emulate as he calls for revision of NBA constitution. Mahmud stated this in a speech he delivered at the inauguration of a Committee on the Review of the NBA Constitution, held Wednesday, in Abuja. The President, while expressing dismay over the leadership succession and electoral system used by the association, said there is need to adopt a less expensive and advanced system in order to keep pace with best international practices.
“One of the areas that require total constitutional overhaul and which this Committee should pay close attention to is in respect of leadership succession in NBA, and our mode of electing NBA National Officers” Mahmud stated.
The NBA President said after an extensive study of different models and best practices across diverse jurisdictions and countries, it has been concluded that no Bar Association or Law Society practices the existing NBA model of leadership succession and election of National Officers.
Even amongst other professional Associations and Trade Union in Nigeria like ICAN, Nigerian Medical Association, Nigerian Society of Engineers, and NLC, Mahmud believes their leadership succession model is far more advanced and in line with international best practices.
“The current NBA leadership succession and election model are expensive, primordial, obsolete, risky, and may throw up mediocrity” Mahmud posited.
He maintained that the existing system does not ensure that the best candidate emerges, as it ensures the primacy of politics over professionalism.
In view of this, he urged the Committee to interrogate and review the current electoral system with a view to recommending reforms.
This challenge among others, Mahmud noted, relate to the governance structure of NBA. However, in view of current realities, emerging trends, and challenges facing the Bar association , the NBA President said it has become imperative to amend or review the current NBA constitution.
Members of the committee are: Yusuf O. Ali, SAN Chairman; Prof. Paul Idornigie, SAN; Prof. Tahir Mamman, SAN; Hon. Obafemi Adewale; Prof. Ogugua Ikpeze; Mrs. Abimbola Akerdolu SAN; Sagir Gezawa, Esq; Yusuf Dadien, Esq; and Ogaga John Emoghwanre, Esq. Others include: Mrs. Mercy I . Agada; Chris Nnoli, Esq; Mustapha Adekola, Esq; and Al`Ameen Abubakar, Esq.
Their terms of reference among others are as follows: To thoroughly study the NBA Constitution with a view to identifying areas that require amendment and propose appropriate amendments that will promote the objectives of the Bar.
To propose appropriate amendment in the areas pointed out in the President’s speech where the current Constitution is lacking and inadequate.
To review and propose all other such amendments as may be required necessary to the provisions of NBA Constitution.
To receive memoranda from members on all aspects of the NBA Constitution that require amendment.
To submit within 6 weeks of its inauguration the report to the Nigerian Bar Association.
It will be recalled that few weeks ago, the Former President of Federal republic of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo
has expressed similar sentiment during an event organised in his honour. The Ex president, noted among others that there are many things the society and indeed Nigeria can learn from NSE leadership and ethics.
Chief Obasanjo identifies engineering politics as one which is worth emulation by the country. Noting that the system produce seamless leadership transition that allows the incoming President (Elect) to be part of the serving president as a learner and as part of the policy. It equally allows the outgoing president to retain his presence in the council by sharing insights and ideas with his successor.