In its bid to ensure that it clinches the Presidency of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in its election slated for July this year, and put its hoise in order, Egbe Amofin Oodua, the umbrella group of South West, Nigeria lawyers at the weekend in Ibadan, Oyo State set up a committee to engage other contestants from the zone to step down for the adopted candidate of the Southwest, Mr Dele Adesina SAN.
The committee is particularly to meet Dr Babatunde Ajibade SAN and persuade him to step down in the interest of Yoruba land.
In addition, all chairmen of NBA branches in the Southwest are to go back home and carry out the instruction of the Egbe on the adoption by openly adopting Adesina as done by Ibadan, Owo, and Egbe Amofin ni Eko branches.
Former President of the association, Chief Mrs Priscilla Kuye addressing the lawyers said: “There is a season for everything. There is a time to be elected and a time to step down. We are asking Dr Ajibade to step down, not because of personal interest but because of the Yoruba interest which is larger than any personal interest. Yorubas cannot afford to lose this opportunity. It will be a shame and we must bury our heads in the sand if we do;
Besides, we are not asking him to do what others had not done before. In 2008, Adesina stepped down for Mr Rotimi Akeredolu SAN to become NBA President. Dr Ajibade is still a young man whose time will eventually come. I want us to set up a committee of both young and old members of Egbe to meet with him and with the message of the Egbe”.
The chairman of the occasion, Chief Adeniyi Akintola SAN, who stood in for Chief Wole Olanipekun SAN narrated how prominent Yoruba lawyers had pleaded with Dr Ajibade but had not yielded positive results. “Aare Afe Babalola SAN called both Adesina and Ajibade to Ado-Ekiti on this issue. Chief Felix Fagbohungbe SAN did the same in Lagos. Chief Abiodun Dabiri, former chairman of NBA Lagos branch and an elder also intervened”, he said.
The Egbe further resolved to invite the governor of Ondo State, Akeredolu to intervene in the matter. The group asked the Attorney General of the state, Mr Kola Olawoye SAN to convey the request to Mr Akeredolu as he was the one that trained Ajibade.
In his reply, Olawoye assured the meeting that he will deliver the message. He assured the meeting that the Ondo State governor has tremendous respect for anything that affects lawyers, Yoruba people.
The Egbe thereafter chose Chief Seun Abimbola, former Attorney General of Oyo State, and former Chairman, Ibadan NBA branch, Dele Oloke, Chairman, Ikeja branch, Mr Oladipo Olasope SAN, Otunba Martins Ogunleye, Chairman, Egbe Amofin ni Eko, and Mrs Dayo Olorunfemi, Chairman, NBA Ikere-Ekiti branch as committee members to meet with Dr Ajibade.
The committee is to submit its report to the House on April 18, 2020, the date of the next meeting of the Egbe.