Happy New Year to the respected Learned Seniors and Colleagues. It is my prayer that God will endow us with more wisdom in the New Year and we shall fulfill all our aspirations that have not come to pass in 2017. Year 2018 shall be the year of our upliftment to the next level in Jesus Mighty name. Amen.
2. I thank all our members for your support since the beginning of the tenure of this Branch Officers and the Progress we have been able to achieve, particularly, in year 2017. These achievements include, though, not limited to the following:
a. BRANCH DUES. We successfully reduced the Branch Dues payable by all our members by 50% across board since January, 2017 till date so that all our members would be able to pay their respective Branch Dues with ease in the face of the present economic hardship in the Country.
b. We have repaired the Toyota Hiace Bus 18 Seater Bus with the Registration Number – NBA-ADO 1 donated to the Branch by the Ekiti State Government. We have equally renewed the vehicle particulars of the Toyota Hiace 18 Seater Bus. To the glory of God, the vehicle is now on the road conveying the Branch Officers and members to and from the National Executive Committee Meetings and National Conferences among other journeys.
c. We have equally registered the View Foton 18 Seater Bus donated to the Branch by our Leader and Awardee of the Branch – Hon. Michael Opeyemi Bamidele (a former member of the House of Representative). The Registration Number of the vehicle now is NBA-ADO 2.
d. 2017 LAW WEEK PROGRAMME: The 2017 Law Week Programme was celebrated in a grand style and one of the best of its kind in the history of the Branch. During the Law Week Celebration, we were able to garner the support of our members like never before. All our electioneering campaign promises have been fulfilled during and after the 2017 Law Week Programme. I appreciate the 2017 Law Week Planning Committee Chairman and Members for their unflinching support before, during and after the 2017 Law Week Programme. In particular, I appreciate the doggedness of the Law Week Planning Committee Chairman – Olakanmi Samuel Falade, Esq. you are all appreciated.
e. TOYOTA CAMRY CAR: We were able to give out a Toyota Camry Car to a worthy and active member of our Branch (Lawrence Olaiya Ajayi, Esq.) during the 2017 Law Week Programme with the payment of a token of Ten Thousand Naira Only (N10,000.00) in a competitive Raffle Draw among the Branch members.
f. LAWS OF THE FEDERATION OF NIGERIA, 2010 EDITTION: Equally, we were able to give out a complete set of the Laws of the Federation, 2010 Edition to a worthy and active member of our Branch (Olorundare Joseph Oyedele, Esq.) during the 2017 Law Week Celebrations with the payment of a token of Ten Thousand Naira Only (N10,000.00) in a competitive Raffle Draw among the Branch members.
g. LAWS OF EKITI STATE: Furthermore, we were able to give out a set of the Laws of Ekiti State to a worthy and active member of our Branch (Oluwafemi Tolorunju Alonge, Esq.) during the 2017 Law Week Celebrations with the payment of a token of Ten Thousand Naira Only (N10,000.00) in a competitive Raffle Draw among the Branch members.
h. KIA CERATO CAR: The 2017 Law Week programme brought to the Branch a Brand New Kia Cerato Car (Courtesy of the Executive Governor of Ekiti State and the Life Patron of the Branch, His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Peter Ayodele Fayose). The Car has been registered with the registration number – NBA-ADO 1A, the Branch is now making use of the car effectively.
i. We have consistently, presented Certificates of Commendations to all the Legal Aid Members (NYSC) who served in Ekiti State and who were active in the Bar activities in the years 2016 and 2017. We hope these certificates would be the first certificates obtained by these Lawyers after that of the Law School. We are pleased with the appreciations and commendations we have been receiving from the Legal Aid members.
j. We attended ALL the Bar Conferences held in Port Harcourt and Lagos in 2016 and 2017 respectively with recorded good outings.
k. We equally sponsored Five (5) members of the Young Lawyers Forum from the Branch to the 2017 Annual Bar Conference in Lagos.
l. We have equally supported our Young Lawyers Forum in organizing the 1st Obafemi Adewale Colloquium/Dinner. We will not hesitate to support the Young Lawyers Forum of the Branch in the nearest future. They are indeed a pride to the Branch.
m. We attended ALL INVITATIONS from our teeming members since the time we were sworn-in in June, 2016.
n. We paid allowances to our Branch Officers and members who have worked in various Ad-hoc Committees. Though, we still owe some allowances (only to some Branch officers) but we are hopeful to pay up soonest and we will not owe anybody before the end of our tenure in office.
3. We appreciate our Grand Patron, Aare Afe Babalola, SAN,CON, OFR, LL.D, D.LITT. We equally appreciate all our former Chairmen of this noble Branch to wit: L. O. Ogundele, Esq. (2003-2007); Hon. Justice Emmanuel Bamidele Omotosho (2007-2010); Owoseni Ajayi, Esq. (2010-2012); Joseph Omodele Adewumi, Esq. (2012-2014); Chief (Dr.) Foluke Dada (2014-2016) and Secretaries Chief Felix Tunde Olaolorun and Jacob Ilesanmi Adelusi, Esq. among others for their elderly advice from time to time.
4. We must specially appreciate the Executive Governor of Ekiti State and the Life Patron of this Noble Branch, His Excellency, Chief (Dr.) Peter Ayodele Fayose for deeming it fit to construct a befitting Ultra-Modern High Court Complex for the Ekiti State Judiciary. It is our prayer that we will all witness the commissioning of the Edifice early this year. We implore all our members to be at the ceremony since you know that this is our market place.
5. I appreciate all our seniors whose contributions cannot be over emphsised, more importantly, Hon. Obafemi Adewale (Member of the Body of Benchers, a former Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State and a former General Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association); Owoseni Ajayi, Esq. (a former two (2) term Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State and a former Chairman of this noble Branch); Kolapo Olugbenga Kolade, Esq. (the incumbent Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Ekiti State); Pa. Apostle Peter K. Ogunkile, Pa. L. O. Aladetoyinbo, Pa. Ayodele Ajila to mention just a few. We will continue to appreciate the elderly ones in our midst and we will continue to pay courtesy visits to them whenever the occasion demand. Let me quickly invite all our members to the 90th Birthday Ceremony of Pa Apostle Peter K. Ogunkile coming up on the 17th day of February, 2018 at the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim & Sheraphim Church, Oke Ese, Ado Ekiti, Ekiti State by 10.00am. the Reception is at the Eagle Hall, Km 7, Ajebamidele, Ikere Road, Ado Ekiti by 2.00pm.
6. We equally appreciate FIDA, Ekiti State Chapter for her unflinching support. It is our promise that we will always support you and your programmes.
7. We appreciate our Hon. Judges, Magistrates and Presidents of the Customary Courts and more importantly, the Chief Judge of Ekiti State – Hon. Justice Ayodeji Simon Daramola for His Lordship’s timely response to our demands. My Lords, Your Worships and Honours, you are part of our success stories.
8. It is our aspiration and determination to achieve more in the New Year. Year 2018 will be full of far reaching activities for the Branch and it is better we advert our minds to some of the events in the year thus:
a. 2018 ANNUAL LAW WEEK: We will not deviate from organizing
our traditional Annual law Week. This year’s Law Week will be held between the months of March and April. We promise that the 2017 Annual Law Week will be built upon. It is going to be a full week programme. The Chairman and members of the Law Week Planning Committee will be presented to the Branch at the January, 2018 monthly general meeting for ratification. Intellectuals of international repute will be invited to deliver papers. Awards will be given to notable Legal Luminaries and notable people in the society. In line with our electioneering promises, we will also give out a Camry Car to a Worthy and Active member of this noble branch. A set of the Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2010 Edition as well as a set of the Laws of Ekiti State, 2012 Edition each will be given to our Worthy and Active members during the Law Week. We solicit for sponsors of any of the programmes among our members. We implore you to attend the Law Week Programme as it is going to be the last of its kind during our tenure in office.
b. THE BRANCH AND NATIONAL ELECTIONS: As you all know that year 2018 is an election year at the Branch level as well as at the National level. Our noble Branch election will be held in the month of June and the ban on the electioneering campaign will be lifted at the April monthly general meeting of the Branch. The National general elections will be held between June and August later in the year. I implore you to be up to date in the payment of your Practicing Fees and Branch Dues on or before the end of the month of March. Payment of the Annual Practicing Fees into the designated Access Bank Account and payment of the Branch Dues into the Branch Union Bank Account on or before the end of March is a condition precedent for voting at both the Branch and National Elections. Beside these requirements, those who want to contest in the forthcoming branch elections should endeavor to meet the requirements to contest the branch elections, you must have attended at least six (6) monthly general meetings each between July, 2016 – June, 2017 and July, 2017 – June, 2018. You must have paid the 2016 and 2018 Branch Law Week Dues. You must have hosted the Branch monthly general meeting once between the period of June, 2016 and May, 2018 among other provisions in the Uniform Bye Laws. The incoming Chairman will host the meeting where the new incoming Branch Officers will be inaugurated. We promise a hitch free Branch Election and successful handing over.
c. PROJECTS TO BE EMBARKED UPON: I once again solicit your
cooperation and support in respect of additional identified projects for the Branch. Though, we have actualized all what we promised you during our electioneering campaign, but we deem it fit to embark on some projects that will benefit our teeming members and for posterity subject to availability of funds. These projects include the following:
INSTALLATION OF INTERNET SERVICES WITHIN THE BAR CENTRE.
PUCHASE OF 30KVA GENERATOR TO BE INSTALLED AT THE BAR CENTRE.
DRAWING, APPROVAL OF BUILDING PLAN AND FOUNDATION LAYING OF THE NBA HOUSE AT OUR NEW SITE.
9. We are calling on our members to signify your intention to sponsor any of the projects, or better still, you can link us up with notable people who can sponsor these projects for posterity sake. I appreciate Alhaji Abubakar Ajibade for his initiative to buy a rechargeable Loudspeaker engine for the Branch. I sincerely appreciate you and I pray that Allah (the Most Merciful) will appreciate him the more. Amen.
10. I thank you all for giving us the opportunity to serve the Branch at this level and as we always promise that we will leave this office better than how we met it, we pray that God in his infinite mercies will answer this prayer even beyond our imaginations. Amen.
11. I must thank all the Branch Officers for their selfless and relentless services. I remember, in particular, your team work especially in the areas of donations, levies, etc. By this singular opportunity to serve the Branch, you have written your names in gold. The history of this Branch will not be complete without mentioning your names.
12. Above all, year 2018 is full of opportunities and best of luck, it is now left for you to enter your year of glory and blossom therein.
13. Once again, I wish you happy and prosperous New Year.
GBEMIGA ADARAMOLA, Esq.