BusinessDay

Ours is a broken system no one wants to fix, says outgoing NBA president.

We run a broken system within and without the legal profession and nobody wants to fix it, ladies and gentlemen, everyone is waiting to be the next beneficiary of a broken system, outgoing President of the Nigeria Bar Association Olumide Akpata said.

He spoke at the second plenary session of the NBA conference titled “Disobedience to Court orders and the slide to a state of Anarchy” chaired by Senior Advocate of Nigeria Chief Femi Falana SAN.

In his contribution to the discuss, Akpata said, “I rise now to simply tell us that we really must make up our mind on what exactly we want to do as legal practitioners; we are re-hatching stories that we have heard all over and I cannot begin to tell you how many I have witnessed in the last couple of years

“What I find and I am commenting on, is that “we don’t rise to meet standards, we pull standards to meet us wherever we are.

“We are in that Orwellian farm where different rules apply to different people, and there is a sense of entitlement.”

Referring to a particular matter in court Akpata said, “the NJC itself had authorised its counsel to go on appeal with regards to a judgement from the NIC that has already gone to the court of appeal.

“Dr. Banire you know the matter I am talking about; this particular judge who has been fighting to return has gone to the court of appeal and the court of appeal had held in her favour.

“The NJC in all of its majesty said let us go to the Supreme Court for just what it is worth.

“I was looking and I was stunned, whereas, the court of appeal is meant to be the last bus stop.

“So, which counsel do we want to blame for going with six cases to the supreme court? he is just following the example that he has seen,” he said

Talking about the NBA dealing with the issues of appointment of the court of appeal justices, Akpata said “we have made that a cornerstone of our engagement with the NJC.

“We interviewed 20 court of appeal justice nominees in 120 minutes, so it was six minutes per nominee.

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“I said it but I was lambasted, today the president of the court of appeal does not speak to me and I don’t speak to her either.

“I thought I was helping that court, that system, because, that court is at the receiving end of the process, but I was told that I am now the bad guy for saying that the court of appeal justices do not know what they are doing I NEVER SAID THAT.

“I said that if you bring this kind of candidate to the court of appeal there will be a problem; but no, anywhere I go they say: “you said this about the court of appeal”

“A nominee to the court of appeal does not know what “Lis pendes” is can we please ask him to stand down? that became a problem.

“Then, we sit here and they say NBA do something about appointment, what else can we do,” he queried

“We run a broken system within and without the legal profession and nobody wants to fix it ladies and gentlemen: everyone is waiting to be the next beneficiary of a broken system,” he said

Akpata added that it is a mentality of “No be when e reach my turn dem go change am”

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