The Election Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association Lagos branch has given approval for Anthony Atata to contest for the office of the Chairman of the branch.
The Committee had earlier disqualified Atata on the ground that is yet to be disclosed to members of the public.
However, Atata, who announced on Friday that he has been cleared, appreciated those who gave their supports to him.
Read the full statement
STATEMENT OF ANTHONY ATATA FOLLOWING THE REVERSAL OF HIS DISQUALIFICATION TO RUN FOR THE CHAIR OF NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION, LAGOS
This evening I received a decision on my appeal against my disqualification to run for the Chairmanship of the Nigerian Bar Association, Lagos Branch. It came out positive and we are indeed elated at this development.
It has been an excruciatingly painful wait as we stood on a crossroad not knowing what to do in our limbo.
I must thank the election committee that heard this appeal and gave us a nod. We have finally heaved a sigh of relief.
This experience came with some lessons. It re-emphasized the legitimacy of our desire to lead the Premier Bar. The support of colleagues who got the news of the disqualification was heartwarming. It was our choice to keep the news of the disqualification low key but that did not escape the ears of some of our colleagues who forwarded their arguments in favour of the appeal as their contribution. Though I teased them that they were suffering from too much energy because the JUSUN strike has kept them out from filing any argument or written address for two months, I was indeed motivated.
While we were in limbo, our silence became too loud thereby raising curiosity as to whether we were still on sail. The calls that followed until today, I will say, made us more confident and audacious in our bid.
The reason behind the disqualification has given me more insight and has expanded my views on the tasks ahead.
The reason behind the disqualification has reassured me that one of the reasons I have chosen to run remains valid. At the right time, the reasons will be unfolded.
I have been told to file my comprehensive manifesto by Tuesday 2nd of June, I will do that and I can assure you that no one will ever be disqualified from an election in our branch for that reason going forward.
I am persuaded to use “we” in this statement most of the time because it wasn’t a journey I undertook alone and wouldn’t undertake alone until we get to our destination.
I am convinced that the future is bright for lawyers. I am convinced that we should be happy and healthy as lawyers. I am convinced that all lawyers matter.
May we always have in mind that the future does not belong to those who are timid and fearful of bold projects.
Thank you very much for the support.
We will keep walking. The distance doesn’t matter.
A Chairmanship candidate in the 2021 NBA Lagos elections
(Cambridge University Press, January, 2021) By Professor Damilola S. Olawuyi, SAN, FCIArb, Professor of Law and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti
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