The people and government of Anambra State have congratulated Anthony Olumide Akpata on his election as the new President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Mr Akpata, former chairman of the NBA Section on Business Law, emerged the 30th NBA president on Thursday by winning over 50 per cent of the votes cast last Wednesday and Thursday.
Mr Akpata, a corporate lawyer, is the first non-SAN to lead the NBA in recent years.
“Under your leadership the NBA is expected to fight for the oppressed, the marginalised and the neglected in not just the legal profession but also in the larger society,” the Anambra State Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Mr C. Don Adinuba, quoted Governor Willie Obiano as saying in a statement Sunday in Awka, the state capital.
“You won overwhelmingly because of your pledge to work in solidarity with junior lawyers, provide health insurance for all and end all forms of abuse in the workplace.
“We have no doubt that you will deliver the goods because, among other critical factors, you have a name to defend. Your father, the late Chief Olu Akpata, was not just an early university administrator but also a statesman who made a name for fighting for justice and liberation and equity and equality”.
The statement said that all Nigerians expect Mr Akpata to follow the example of a foremost human rights defender, Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), “a worthy son of Anambra State, to make the NBA which is one of the oldest and most influential associations in the country an instrument for social justice”.
The Anambra State government also congratulated all the people newly elected into the NBA leadership, “including our dear daughter, Mrs Joyce Oduah who is now the Secretary, and Mr Uchenna Nwadialo, the Assistant Secretary, as well as Nnamdi Anagor, the financial secretary”.
The new executives are to be sworn in on a date yet to be announced.