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|DELE ADESINA AND THE NBA PRESIDENCY IN A TIME LIKE THIS By Adesina Adetola by Adesinaayo: 10:55am On Jul 21, 2020|
Nigeria marked 20th year of returning to democratic rule in May last year. No doubt, since the landmark return, as it is said in local parlance, many river have gone under the bridge. It has indeed been a complicated experience. The polity has gone through different stages of political reengineering and electoral reforms. In the same token, the political system has experienced various doses of constitutional crises, institutional malfunctioning and organisational challenges. It is a fact that in the space of these twenty years, Nigeria had very phenomenal political governance with epic events and epoch making scenarios. More importantly, the democratic experience has significantly brought to the fore, the need for all hands to be on deck in establishment and sustenance of pristine democratic values and ideals that would take the country to the next level of development and growth.
In this assignment, the role of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) becomes very sacrosanct. Globally, the place of the judiciary in democratic governance can never be overemphasized. It forms one of the formidable pillars of democracy, where it is widely acknowledged as the last resort of a common man. While it is a fact that the Bar occupies a premium place in the judiciary, it also forms the backbone of the legal system.
Apparently, at present, Nigeria's democracy in the eye of the public is in a critical state. The political cum electoral system is in a serious state of help which has perpetually made the judiciary an integral part of the political system, recurrently giving electoral verdicts and ultimately determining the fate of the ballot. Without mincing words, the situation in a couple of times had inadvertently robbed the legal institution the integrity and the confidence the general public repose in it. The bottom line is that in time like this, the polity needs a formidable structure that would deepen the nation's jurisprudence.
From the time immemorial, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is popular for its traditional role of defending the rule of law, human rights and judicial independence. More relevantly, the NBA has continually played significant roles in maintaining the sanctity of the Nigerian judiciary system. Even in the years of military dictatorship, NBA was at the forefront of the struggle, not to just ensure that the military returned to the barracks, but also championing the course of public governance rooted in democratic ideals and principles.
Meanwhile, more significantly, the role of the NBA over the years had in some ways determined by the quality of its leadership. It is therefore of national importance and professionally necessary for the revered body in its forthcoming national election to do the nation and the polity a great favour by putting on the field its first eleven; the best of the bests in its erudite fold. The Association and its learned members should look beyond the euphoria of the electoral period, but ponder on the future of the legal system of the Africa's largest democracy. They should see the need to re-establish and sustain public confidence in the judicial system; they should see the reason to pursue institutional professionalism and restore integrity of the legal system as well as see the necessity in nurturing Nigeria's democracy on ideals and principles rooted in the rule of law.
In this regard, the formidable body should kindly permit me though, ‘unlearned’ but as an ordinary citizen to join thousands of the learned fellows to push for a candidate in Dele Adesina, SAN. A thoroughbred legal icon, a Bar man par excellence who has spent over 37 years of his life, actively at the Bar and also in private legal practice. His pedigree indeed speaks volume.
Dele Adesina SAN, whose evergreen professional Mission Statement is “to harness our potentials to promote Justice and Rule of Law through a demonstrated degree of professionalism and proven integrity”, has on many occasions successfully occupied different positions of authority and service in and outside of the legal profession. He, among other positions, was the Publicity Secretary, the Secretary, and Chairman of Nigerian Bar Association, Ikeja Branch at various periods. Particularly, in 2002, he was elected the General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association. The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association at the time during which he occupied the power house of the Association in the capacity of the Associations General Secretary is reputed for creative promotion of the welfare of Lawyers, uncompromising defence of Rule of Law, protection of the independence of the judiciary and the promotion of sustainable democracy.
Therefore, in a plural and deeply divided society like ours, in a time like this, the body needs a unifying leader in person of Dele Adesina SAN to lead a highly significant professional association like NBA to push a campaign for reform of Nigerian judiciary, defend the judicial independence and uphold professionalism in the legal system. As a matter of fact, in a society where politics is gravely coloured by ethnicity and beclouded by religion, the body in time like this needs a liberal and detribalized leader in Dele Adesina SAN, who as an employer of labour indiscriminately employs people across religion divides and beyond tribal boundaries. He is a legal luminary who is committed to a resourceful judiciary cum legal system that would enhance the country's quest towards a virile nationhood and a pan-Nigerian democratic development.
More importantly, in a time like this of our nationhood, the Bar needs Dele Adesina SAN, who has over the years been consistent and committed to the rule of law, and evidently has the capacity, experience and character to restore the respect of the Bar, to promote the sustenance of the integrity of the legal system and by extension to aid the development of a democratic governance rooted in constitutionalism and rule of law.
*Adetola is a public affairs analyst and Public Relations strategist
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