John Austin Unachukwu
With less than six months to the end of Abubakar Balarabe Mahmoud ( SAN) led executive of the Nigerian Bar Association ( NBA) and the subsequent election of new set of national officers pilot the affairs of the NBA for the next two years, the Eastern Bar Forum (EBF) will on tomorrow in Port Harcourt, Rivers State during its quarterly meeting endorse candidates to fly its flag in the elections.
It is widely speculated that the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the NBA will lift ban on campaigns during its next NEC meeting coming up in Ilorin, Kwara State in the last week of this Month.
In its age long tradition, the EBF whose turn it is to produce the next President of the NBA adopts and endorses candidates to fly its flag in NBA elections and subsequently lobby other regional fora including the Arewa Lawyers Forum ( ALF), the Egbe Amofin and Mid-West Bar Forum to accept and vote its candidates in the elections.
The EBF is comprised of lawyers from the nine states that made up the old Eastern Region comprising of Anambra, Imo, Enugu, Ebony and Abia States, Rivers, Cross-River, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States.
During its last meeting in Abakaliki Ebony State capital, the EBF set up a screening under the chairmanship of its governing council Governor Chief Arthur Elvis Chukwu, to screen all candidates who intend to contest elective positions in the forthcoming NBA elections on the platform of the EBF. The committee sent out and published guidelines for candidates who may seek adoption by the EBF in the election to comply with.
It is believed that interested candidates have complied with the rules and regulations, so in its quarterly meeting coming up in Port Harcourt tomorrow, the Forum will among other things adopt its candidates for the election and thereafter sponsor them for the election.
Meanwhile, four candidates including Chief Arthur Obi-Okafor (SAN), Prof. Ernest Ojukwu ( SAN), Mr. Paul Usoro (SAN), Mr. Akaraiwe Ikeazor and Mazi Afam Osigwe have indicated interest to succeed Mahmoud ( SAN) at the end of his tenure and all of them are from the EBF family.
Professor Ernest Ojukwu is favoured to fly the Eastern Bar Flag
The last NBA President of EBF extraction who was adopted for the election was Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) who was NBA President from 2012 to 2014. His successor in the family will emerge in Port Harcourt tomorrow. Bar leaders from all over Nigeria have started arriving Port Harcourt for this great event and expectations are high that the adoption will produce the best leaders the EBF has to lead the Bar.
EBF adoption always have spiral effects as it always determines the outcome of NBA elections across the country. Other aspirants from other zones who have interest in the elections have started arriving Port Harcourt to be part of the event and to canvass for support from the Forum.
Posted by: John Unachukwu