President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the newly elected President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata.
He described Akpata as a crucial stakeholder in Nigerian democracy and assured the NBA leadership the administration total support.
Buhari said he believed that the new NBA President, as a lawyer of over two decades, who had held several strategic positions in the legal association, had vast knowledge and experience in litigation, corporate world and the ability to engage government at different levels.
Akpata emerged winner of the NBA presidential poll conducted electronically between 11pm on Wednesday and 11pm on Thursday.
With 9, 891 votes, Akpata defeated two Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Dr Babatunde Ajibade and Mr Dele Adesina, who polled 4,328 and 3,982 votes respectively.
In his acceptance speech on Friday, titled, ‘Let us secure the future through a united Bar that works for all,’ Akpata said his victory was for young lawyers and lawyers who felt marginalised in the NBA affairs.
He said, “The victory of last night is for our young lawyers who have become disillusioned with the way the NBA had been run over the years and how the profession appears to be disconnected from the challenges that face them and their future.
Akpata, however, said there was a need for improvement in the NBA electoral process, promising to see to such improvement during his two-year tenure.
Akpata was the second person in 39 years to become a non-senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) who was elected president of NBA.