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NBA Must Rise From The Ashes: Challenges Before Olumide Akpata, President-elect Of NBA - JOSEPH OTTEH

First, Access to Justice congratulates Mr. Olumide Akpata over his victory at the recently concluded NBA polls. 

Mr. Akpata has daunting challenges before him and we urge him to rise to the occasion.  

It is our hope that he will refurbish and rejuvenate the Bar's role in shaping how justice is delivered in Nigeria as well as rebuild confidence in Nigeria’s justice institutions. 

Today, public confidence in justice institutions is possibly at an all-time low and references to the stature of Nigeria’s justice institutions is unflattering internationally.  

Mr. Akpata must ensure that the Bar is not anymore a bit-part player in the scheme of things, but an important lever in shaping policy - both national and judicial - in things affecting the administration of justice and the rule of law. 

Mr. Akpata must raise the bar of the Bar's influence in resisting tyranny and abuse, safeguarding human rights, and resisting a government's oft push towards authoritarianism and despotism.  

Had the Nigerian Bar pulled its weight well in the recent past, it would have served our country better, and stood in the gap for our country people who were simply bewildered by the impunity of government. 

He should lead the Bar to seek constitutional reforms that put the Nigerian people, their dignity and welfare, - and not simply our politicians - at the centre of governance, strengthen the fiscal independence of the judiciary and ensure that Nigeria’s judiciary and legal professionals are accountable for the delivery of efficient and effective judicial and legal services.  

We wish him Godspeed.” 

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