The ancient city of Ibadan, capital of Oyo State of Nigeria, savored its moment in the sun as Nigeria’s legal fraternity gathered there for the much-anticipated 2021 national conference of the Nigerian Bar Association’s Section on Public Interest and Development Law (NBA-SPIDEL), which kicked off in grand style with a welcome cocktail party at the Bar Centre of the Ibadan branch of the NBA.
Welcoming conferees to the event, one of Nigeria’s most iconic lawyers and first-ever female Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Chief Mrs. Folake Solanke, invoked the historic aura of Ibadan as the heartbeat of the Yoruba nation, with an illustrious place in the annals of the larger Nigerian nation.
Solanke saluted the NBA-SPIDEL’s decision to bring its 2021 conference to Ibadan, saying it was a worthy tribute to a city that has done so much to raise the educational profile of Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa, with its many educational and publishing institutions. She added that it was most fitting that a discourse on public interest governance in Nigeria at this time should hold in a city that has played such a huge role in the political evolution of the country.
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Speaking in the same vein, the Chief Judge of Oyo State, the Hon. Justice M. L. Abimbola reveled in his role as the sponsor of the cocktail party, and urged the conferees to make the most of their time in Ibadan, and explore its famous cuisine and other delights.
Others who spoke were the deputy chief registrar of the Oyo State High Court and the chairman of the Ibadan branch of the NBA.
The evening featured musical performances by a live band and a comedy skit, as delegates looked forward to the next day, when the intellectual heavy was set to begin in earnest.