It is on record that the leadership of the Branch headed by Ezenwa Anumnu was duly upheld by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NEC Resolution dated 16th of June 2016 NBA/NEC/BEN/RES/09/06-16) in Benin City, Edo State and subsequently ratified by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Bar on the 26th of August 2016 in Port Harcourt, Rivers State (item 32 Arising from AGM page 15 of AGM Communique of the NBA dated 26th August 2016) which categorically stated that “Ezenwa Anumnu and Lawrence Erewele, the candidates for the office of Chairman and Secretary respectively, who ought to have been declared winners by the NBA Abuja Electoral Committee be recognised as duly elected Chairman and Secretary respectively. For the avoidance of doubt the purported election of Messrs Victor Abasiakan Ekim and Chinedu Obienu as Chairman and Secretary stands voided”. It is our understanding that that the Supreme Authority of the Association shall be exercised at the General Meeting by virtue Section 5 of the Nigerian Bar Association Constitution. [caption id="attachment_19393" align="aligncenter" width="500"]Ezenwa Anumnu…new chairman of Abuja Unity Bar Ezenwa Anumnu…new chairman of Abuja Unity Bar[/caption] The above being premised, we wish to disassociate ourselves from the smear campaign bearing in mind the position of the Bar in the society and the calling of its members to the noble profession and state unequivocally that in the six (6) months period (commencing June 13, 2016) that Ezenwa Anumnu has been in charge of the affairs of the Unity Bar, 1. There is been no event or issue funds missing or being unaccounted for. As guardians of the trust of its members, the Executive Committee of the Branch is committed to the highest standard of transparency, budgetary and prudent use of its scare resources and as such all investable funds of the branch have been placed in an interest yielding investment account since the 4th of November 2016 for the building of the NBA Secretariat which is currently been stalled by the activities of a handful of members of the branch. We look forward to speedy resolution as we have concluded with investors to give the branch a befitting Bar Centre within two years in line with its status as the foremost Bar in the country (Please see attached FCMB Investment advice). 2. Notwithstanding the paucity of funds, the branch has continued to deliver on its core mandate of empowering and mainstreaming lawyers into national discourse through strategic collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to provide training, networking and professional development opportunities. #NBADISCUSSIONSERIES is the bespoke bi-monthly training platform which since its inception on the 13th October 2016 has trained over 1000 lawyers in eight (8) tailor made series on new, contemporary and emerging areas in legal practice including procurement law, tax reforms, compliance practice, fiscal responsibility act, real estate practice etc: a. Innovations in Real Estate Financing and Development held at NHRC Auditorium on 13/10/16. b. Introduction to Procurement Practice held at NHRC Auditorium on 18/10/2016, c. Introduction to Fiscal Responsibility Act held at NHRC Auditorium on Act 9/11/2016, d. Compliance Workshop on Company Regulations 2012 held at CAC Training School, Wuse Zone 5 on 17/11/2016, e. Tax Reform Workshop held at Barcelona Hotel on 30/11/2016, f. Credible Electoral Processes in Nigeria held at NUC Auditorium on 01/12/16, g. Operation and Regulation of the Lottery and Gaming Industry: Role of Lawyers, held at NHRC Auditorium 14/12/16 3. Pioneering the Initiative to set up NBA RESOURCE CENTRE PROJECT: A free and fully equipped One Stop Research Centre for the lawyers in the FCT at an estimated fully funded cost of over N50m million naira (at no cost to the branch). 4. Launching of the innovative YOUNG LAWYERS TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT SCHEME (YoLTES), which is a platform for pupillage employment of young lawyers for a period of 6 months at the first instance. This will provide the necessary palliative to the over 4000 young lawyers which the Law School graduates annually and give them a chance to survive in practice and employment. 5. Provision of effective BRANCH SECRETARIAT and other SUPPORT SERVICE and setting up of over 35 COMMITTEES and PRACTICE GROUPS in the Branch to integrate lawyers to other areas of practice beyond litigation and corporate practice (also known as CAC practice). 6. Development of a platform for quarterly International Certification Training and Exchange Programs for lawyers in ANTI CORRUPTION PRACTICE and ICT. The structure of the training will be one week in-house intensive training and placements at followed by four weeks online where the participants will receive the training online from the comfort of their homes and finally the last one week for certification 7. Hosting of MONTHLY BRANCH MEETINGS and Open Access ANNUAL BAR DINNER and ensuring the participation of members of the Branch in both ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING (AGM) and NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE (NEC) MEETINGS. 8. Providing support in the development of new and emerging practice opportunities in OPEN GOVERNMENT PARTNERSHIP, ANTI CORRUPTION, FREEDOM OF INFORMATION (FOI), CONSUMER COMPLAINTS MANAGEMENT, REGULATORY and COMPLAINCE PRACTICE In line with its main focus of putting lawyers in the front seat of every national discuss through training, showcasing knowledge base of the branch, creating practice and networking opportunities, capacity building, and professional development. We are also imbibing the finest standards of practice and benchmarking international best practice to make lawyers in the FCT as competitive as lawyers anywhere in the world, we reiterate our commitment to the vision of the founding fathers of the bar, which aims at respect to and upholding the rule of law, professionalism, integrity and accountability, virtues of which are self – evident in the life Ezenwa Anumnu led administration. Our arms remain wide open to those who are willing to partner with us in our quest to take the Unity Bar to enviable heights, as we shall not fail to enforce disciplinary measures against mischief makers in the branch if they don’t retrace their steps henceforth. We invite all our colleagues to sheath their swords, shun drama, spurn spurious and divisive behaviour and join us to change the narrative in legal practice and build the foremost Bar in Africa devoid of rancour and petulance capable of portraying the members of the noble profession in bad light in the eyes of right thinking members of the society. Signed Lawrence Erewele, Secretary, Nigerian Bar Association Abuja Branch Below is the copy of a letter from FCMB [pdf-embedder url=””]]]>