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THE RESOLUTIONS REACHED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION HELD ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29,2021

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BELOW ARE THE RESOLUTIONS REACHED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE 2021 ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION (NBA) HELD ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29, 2021, AT THE YAKUBU GOWON STADIUM, ELEKAHIA, PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE OF NIGERIA, BEING THE CONCLUDING PART OF THE PROGRAMME OF THE 61ST ANNUAL GENERAL CONFERENCE OF THE NBA.


At the end of the deliberations, which were presided over by Mr. Olumide Akpata, President of the NBA, the General House was resolved thus:

  1. 1. The AGM mandates the NBA to collaborate with the Council of Legal Education (CLE) to protect and preserve the profession by checkmating the proliferation of Law Faculties and compelling National Universities to stick to the guidelines in admitting students into Law Faculties in order to maintain the admission quota.
  2. 2. The AGM resolves that upon graduation, Law graduates from the National Open University be admitted into the Nigerian Law School for a special remedial course for the duration of 16 weeks as a prequel to the Bar Part II. After the period, if the Council finds the students fit and proper, they shall be admitted fully into the Law School for the commencement of their Bar Part II.
  3. 3. AGM resolves that the Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Rivers State, be and is hereby named after an illustrious son of Rivers State, a former Attorney-General of the Federation and former Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Dr. Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas, SAN.

4.. STATUTORY REPORTS
The AGM received with great displeasure the letter from the Registrar-General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) to the effect that the Commission, being a regulatory body, was not subordinate to the NBA to the extent that it should report its activities to the AGM.
The AGM recognises that there have been several reports about the poor service delivery of the CAC, and therefore the CAC management – incidentally headed by a lawyer – owed it a duty to explain to the Bar how he was working to fix them.
The AGM resolved that members of the Bar cannot and should not continue to endure bad services from the CAC, particularly as this affects the ease of doing business in the country. To this end, and in light of the letter emanating from the RG of the CAC, the AGM mandated the President of the Bar to engage with the Supervisory Minister of Trade, who oversees the CAC, on the inefficiencies of the Commission and the letter from the RG.

  1. 5. Conference resolved that in order to boost the global ranking of the NBA in the growing digital world, the payment of Branch Practising Fees shall henceforth be paid electronically, effective January 2022, through a platform to be set up by the National Secretariat.
  2. 6. Remittances of the ten percent (10%) of the Bar Practice Fees paid by members of each Branch shall be remitted to the Branches in the months of April and December of each year .

AGM CONSTITUTION AMENDMENT
National Executive Committee Matters

  1. 7. AGM resolves that the National Executive Committee be and is hereby renamed the National Executive Council, while the Body of National Officers is now to be known as the National Executive Committee. AGM further resolves that all other Sections, fora or NBA committees bearing the word “Council” be now amended to read and referred to as “Committees.”
  2. 8. AGM resolves that the NBA Constitution 2015 (as amended) be now amended to reduce the statutory NEC members from three (3) to two (2), to wit: Chairman and Secretary. Consequently, the position of the NEC Rep be, and is hereby, expunged from the Constitution.
  3. 9. AGM resolves that co-opted NEC members be and are hereby reduced from 180 persons to 150 persons in the following order:
    SANs: 30
    Senior members other than SANs who are 25 years post-call: 30
    Active members above 10 but below 24 years post-call: 47
    Special Interest Groups: 20
    Young Lawyers: 15

MEMBERSHIP OF THE NBA

  1. 10. There shall be 3 categories of NBA Membership: Full, Honorary and International (Diaspora) Membership.
  2. 11. AGM resolves that lawyers in the Diaspora can become members of the NBA through registration at the branch level, and that a proviso be included to remove the limitation of area of practice and residence requirements/qualification, for branch membership for lawyers in the Diaspora.

MEMBERSHIP OF SECTIONS

  1. 12. That there shall be as many sections of the NBA as the National Executive Council shall establish.
  2. That every member of the Association shall belong to at least one Section of the Association.

ESTABLISHMENT OF BRANCHES OF THE SECTION ON PUBLIC INTEREST AND DEVELOPMENT LAW (SPIDEL) AT THE BRANCH LEVEL

  1. 13. The Conference resolved that as the terms of responsibilities of SPIDEL are society and human interest-driven and affecting the populace, a branch of the section be created in all Branches of the NBA.

NATIONAL OFFICERS

  1. 14. AGM resolves that the office of the Financial Secretary of the NBA shall be removed from the National Executive Committee of the NBA and is therefore scrapped, given that the Treasurer of the NBA can perform the functions of the Financial Secretary with the support of the Head of Finance/Chief Finance Officer of the NBA.
  2. 15. AGM rejects the proposal of the Constitution Review Committee on the abolition of the office of the Assistant General Secretary and Assistant Publicity Secretary and resolves that the said offices shall remain in the National Executive Committee of the NBA to ensure inclusiveness of young lawyers in the National Executive Committee meeting, (in view of the fact that they are the only offices in the National Executive Committee that young lawyers are eligible and qualified to aspire to).

COMPUTATION OF YEAR OF CALL

  1. 16. NEC resolved that the determination of a Legal Practitioner’s number of years post-call for the purposes of ascertaining his eligibility to run for office in the NBA, to acquire any privilege or for any other purpose whatsoever shall be computed as beginning from the one-year anniversary of the year of call rather than the date of call.
  2. 17. The Nigerian Bar Association resolves that past Vice-Chairmen of NBA Branches shall be members of the Advisory Council of their Branches. It further resolves that the Young Lawyers Forum Chairman of each Branch of the NBA shall be a co-opted member of the Executive Committee of his Branch.
  3. 18. The AGM mandated the NBA to Audit the Branches of the Association and any Branch that falls below the required standard of membership of at least 50 members should be scrapped.

ELECTIONS

  1. 20. AGM further resolves that the constitutional provision on the qualification and eligibility of members for the purposes of contesting for and voting in NBA elections should be maintained at attendance at 5 branch meetings in a calendar year.
  2. 21. AGM resolves that where the Chairman of a Branch refuses to give a letter of good standing to a member for the purposes of elections, the National Executive Committee is authorized to issue said letter to the member if he qualifies for one.
  3. Lawyers in public office are permitted to aspire to national offices except the offices of the President, 1st Vice-President and the General Secretary.
  4. 22. The AGM resolved that the requirement for NEC membership required to contest election be removed for all national offices except the President, 1st Vice President and the General Secretary.
  5. 23. AGM adjusted the yearly requirement qualification for eligibility to contest to Branch offices to 3 years post call.
  6. 24. That the Electoral Committee of the NBA (ECNBA) shall be solely responsible for the selection, appointment and engagement of service providers to serve at elections and such an appointment of the ENCBA Service providers shall be by competitive bidding.
    25. The ENCBA Service Provider shall be responsible to the ENCBA to the exclusion of any officer of the Bar or the Secretariat of the Bar.
  7. 26. The ENCBA shall conduct elections into the General Council of the Bar in the month of July of the requisite year of election for Representatives of the General Council of the Bar.
  8. 27. Election into National Offices and Election of the Representatives of the Association in the General Council of the Bar shall be by Universal Suffrage and Electronic Voting as set out in the Second Schedule.
  9. 28. The Twenty (20) Members representing the Association in the General Council of the Bar shall be elected for a term of two (2) years and shall only be eligible for election for another term of two (2) years provided that no less than 7 of them shall be Members of not less than 10 Post Call.
  10. 29. AGM resolves that decisions of election committees of the NBA are no longer final but can be subjected to appeal at an Appeals Committee.
  11. 30. The National Officers Election Appeal Committee shall receive and resolve electoral complaints and disputes arising from the election of National Officers and the elections of the Representatives of the General Council of the Bar.
  12. 31. Branch Elections Appeal Committee shall entertain and resolve complaints and petitions from branches with regards to branch elections and shall have powers to give such directions and interpretations to guide the conduct of branch elections and the qualification and disqualification of members.
  13. 32. AGM resolves that there shall be an Executive Management Committee of the Bar to run the affairs of the NBA Secretariat which shall comprise of the General Secretary, the Treasurer and the Welfare Secretary, The Executive Director of the Association shall report directly to the Executive Management Committee while the Executive Management Committee shall be supervised by the President of the Association.
  14. 33. AGM resolves that the Office of the Executive Director of the Association be and is hereby tenured, for a renewable term of five years, provided that such renewal shall be for just one additional term.
    The employment of the Executive Director can only be terminated by the National Executive Council (NEC).
  15. 34. The Executive Director shall be responsible for the day to day running of the NBA Secretariat under the Supervisory Authority of the Secretariat Management Board.
  16. 35. That there shall be a Remuneration and Appointment Committee headed by the President of the Association.
  17. 36. That members of all Standing Committees of the Bar shall be appointed by the President of the NBA.

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