As the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) sets for a change of leadership of its national executive, Mr Felix Ayanruoh, a foremost attorney has said the umbrella professional association of all lawyers admitted to the bar in Nigeria is in dire need of good leadership.
Mr Ayanruoh, the Managing Partner of Ruskat Partners, an international law/consulting firm based in New York City, USA, who said this while speaking with newsmen on Friday, stressed that this is even as “the legal profession is in a consequential moment in the history of our jurisprudence”.
While lending his support for the candidacy of Mr Olumide Anthony Akpata for the position of president of the NBA, Ayanruoh stated that the ‘consequential moment’ requires a person of impeccable character to fill that vacuum and rescue the profession from its myriad of problems.
“The legal profession is in a consequential moment in the history of our jurisprudence. These are extraordinary and dangerous times that demand urgent and good leadership. It is axiomatic that if we don’t step up our legalistic will, things will get worse.
“Wherever there is a vacuum in law, society suffers. This is the summary of the legal profession in recent times: judicial rascality aided by members of the profession, lack of leadership in the legal profession, among others. Olu is widely known. He is the only candidate in the race that can fill that vacuum and rescue the profession from its myriad of problems at this time,” the foremost attorney said.
Recall that further to the call for nomination of candidates for election into the national offices of the NBA in the 2020 national elections, the Electoral Committee received nominations from 43 aspirants for various offices.
At the close of the screening of nominations by a sub-committee of electoral officers of the ECNBA in accordance with the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended) and the Guidelines for the elections made pursuant thereto, 24 aspirants were granted provisional clearance to contest the elections, while nineteen 19 aspirants were disqualified for various reasons. Mr Akpata passed screening to contest the post of president.
Ayanruoh, describing Mr Akpata as a bold and courageous leader, and as one who knows the legal profession, said, “Olu cares about the profession. He is widely known for his selfless service to the profession and society at large. He understands all views, both new and experienced members of the profession”.
The Ruskat Partners’ Managing Partner said he had known Mr Akpata for like forever, stressing that it is a known fact that Akpata’s contribution in the NBA, more particularly at the section of business law, is impeccable, and has lifted the profile of the profession.
“I have known Olu from our days before law school to law school and after. We did our court attachment together before the late Justice A.O.M Bazunu where I happened to be the group’s leader. He showed his people-oriented skill at this time. Thereafter, we did our law office attachment with the great legal icon, Dr Mudiaga Odje (SAN), and subsequently worked with the great one for 2 years before I relocated to the U.S. I noticed Olu’s leadership skill during my work at Dr Mudiaga Odje SAN and Co.
“Finally, Olu’s contribution at Templar’s is exemplary and has made the firm a sought after place by both prospective clients for legal work and for employment by young attorneys. If consistent fighting for the development and improvement of the profession is equated to leadership, then, I am bold to say that Olu will wear that toga as a badge of honour,” Ayanruoh stated, ahead of the July 24 and 25 elections of the NBA.