As a starter, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) is a non-profit professional association of all lawyers admitted to the bar in Nigeria. It is engaged in the promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law and good governance in Nigeria.
The NBA has an observer status with the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights and a working partnership with many national and international non-governmental organisations concerned with similar goals in Nigeria and Africa.
It is made up of 125 branches, three professional sections, two specialised institutes, six practice-cadre forums and high-level leverage in the political society of Nigeria.
Its national secretariat is managed from Abuja and the organisational structure comprises national executive committee, national officers/management board, sections, forums, committees, workinggroups and a national secretariat with a manpower of 34 staff as at June 2010.
The current president of NBA is Olumide Akpata and the general secretary is Joyce Oduah.
NBA also has chapters in all the 36 states of the federation and FCT-Abuja as well as other miniature chapters across the states.These chapters do conduct periodic elections to usher in sets of leaders to hold sway for a period of time. This is because in every setting or organisation, there must be leaders to steer the ships of such entities.
It was in the light of the above that history was again recorded in the Sokoto state chapter of the association when an epoch-election was conducted. It resulted in the election of new leaders for the all-important chapter in the scheme of things of NBA.
The election was conducted on Saturday, June 25, 2022, at the secretariat of the association, peacefully and successfully. The new executives were also sworn in and they immediately swung into action.
It was that poll that saw the emergence of a quintessential chairman who is an embodiment of humility, piety, diligence,professionalism and uncommon philanthropy, Barrister Muhammad Nuhu.To so many keen watchers of events in the state and Nigeria, in general, especially within the NBA, other social and philanthropic works, the new NBA helmsman in Sokoto state is indeed a household name. It certainly rings bell anywhere it is called.
Well, the new chairman was well grounded, groomed and thorough-bred with an unequaled pedigree for anything honest. Barrister Nuhu was born in Sokoto and attended Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto, Nigerian Law School, College of Legal Studies, Sokoto, Government Technical College Farfaru as well as Model Primary School Dorowa road in Sokoto. Subsequently, he obtained the following qualifications: LL.M, B.L,. L.L.B, Diploma in Civil Law, S.S.C.E, First School Leaving Certificate.
As a man of many parts, Nuhu is a member of NBA and International Bar Association.Some of his leadership experiences include principal partner, Brave Hearts Attorneys (2013- date), NBA statutory NEC member (2014-2016), co-opted NBA NEC member (2016- 2018), member NBA Prosecution Team before the LPDC (2016- 2020) and member NBA National Anti-corruption Committee (2016- 2018).
Others include secretary, NBA Sokoto branch (2014-2016), assistant secretary, NBA, Sokoto branch (2011-2013), chairman Transportation Sub-committee NBA NEC Meeting (2010), member LOC NBA NEC meeting (2010) as well as secretary NBA Sokoto Renovation Committee (2011-2016).
The rest are chairman, NBA Sokoto Renovation Committee (2016- 2020),as delegate for NBA Delegates Conference (2012), president NYSC Legal Aid Clinic, Borno state (2006). The historic election ushered in the new exco led by Barrister Nuhu to steer the ship of the association for the next two years. The election was conducted by a five-man electoral committee headed by Mr Jacob Ochidi, (SAN) which declared Nuhu as the new chairman unopposed.
Three other positions were contested during the poll and that included secretary, welfare secretary and publicity secretary. One of the aspirants for the position of publicity secretary withdrew from the race, making the position unopposed.
Declaring the election results, Ochidi said Mrs Rashidat Mohammed, who scored 36 votes, won the position of secretary against Mr Abdulrahman Dahiru who scored 11 votes. Also, Usman Mohammed whoscored 39 votes to defeat Ogbunna Kelechi with eight votes is declared winner for the position of welfare secretary.
However other positions of the chairman, vice chairman, treasurer, financial secretary, social secretary, publicity secretary, provost and assistant secretary were returned unopposed.
“These positions were in favour of Muhammad Nuhu, Shafa’u Ahmed,Sawaiba Abubakar, Muhammad Umar, Yahaya Balarabe, Busari Mudassir,Nazir Ibrahim and Umar Aliyu, respectively,” he said.
The oath of office was accordingly administered on the new officials by Justice Mu’awiyya Mahmoud of the state High Court. In his acceptance speech, Nuhu attributed his victory to the will of God, while commending the electoral committee for doing justice to the entire process leading to the smooth exercise.
The new chairman promised to strengthen and unify members, complete ongoing projects at the secretariat and make welfare of members paramount.
“On our part, this is the beginning. We would continue to put in our best towards uplifting the standard of NBA in Sokoto state,” he said.He appreciated the outgoing executives for doing their best.
Earlier, the outgoing chairperson, Mrs Safiya Mohammed, thankedmembers for their unanimous support. She congratulated the new leaders and lauded the electoral committee for ensuring free, fair and transparent election.
It was indeed heart-warming that a sage and core professional has justascended into the exalted state chairmanship position of the Sokoto state chapter of NBA. This is the beginning of good things to come to the association, its members, the legal profession and indeed the people of the Seat of Caliphate and Nigerians in general.
Congratulations, sir, to you and your able lieutenants on the NBA saddle.
Mani, a current affairs analyst, writes from Abuja.