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

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