Mr. Olumide Akpata, a Senior Partner at Templars, one of the leading Commercial Law firms in Nigeria, has emerged president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the just concluded election.
The over two decades of experience in Corporate and Commercial Law practice won the election with total vote of 9, 891, defeating Dr. Babajide Ajibade, SAN, who polled 4, 328 votes and Julius Adesina, SAN, who scored 3, 982 votes.
In the last thirty years of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Akpata just broke the record of becoming the association president outside the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), an elitist group of lawyers who believe that the Bar Presidency is exclusively reserved for them.
The 2020 election of the NBA which produced Olumide Akpata as its 30th president commenced at exactly 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. It was a virtual voting process where registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage with their Supreme Court verification numbers and cast their votes.
Right from Wednesday night when the elections started, Akpata maintained the lead all through with more than 50% of the votes at every hourly update, and he maintained the lead up to the close of the election at 11pm on Thursday.
About 29,636 eligible voters were registered, and the election committee sent the voting link to the registered members via emails and sms.
Announcing the winner at 12:50am on Friday, Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN) said;
“I, Tawo Tawo, the Chairman, Electoral Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association (ECNBA), as the electoral officer for the 2020 National Officers’ Election, hereby declare Akpata Olumide Anthony, having scored the highest number of votes cast and satisfied the provisions of the constitution of the NBA 2015 (as amended), the winner of the election into the office of the President of the Nigerian Bar Association”.
What you may like the know about the newly elected NBA president
Olumide Akpata was born on 7 October 1972 and attended the prestigious King’s College in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian bar on 15 December 1993 after obtaining his law degree from the University of Benin the previous year.
His law career started under the late Dr Mudiaga Odje (SAN) during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), before joining Templars shortly after it was established.
He has spent over two decades practicing with Templars, and is currently Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial practice of Templars. He advises on various aspects of Nigerian Corporate and Commercial Law, including Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Corporate Law, Labour and Employment, Media entertainment, technology, and regulatory compliance.
Here are some of his key transactions advises:
Olumide advised on the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises’ restructuring of the Nigerian Electricity sector and the unbundling of the national power utility.
He has advised on international joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions, takeovers and also the world’s second largest port operator in its bid for the Apapa Container Terminal concession.
Olumide advises several local and international clients on regulatory compliance in relation to company law and practice in Nigeria.
He acts for several clients on a wide range of Immigration and Labour matters including the setting up of private pension schemes, employment contracts and general immigration compliance.
He was elected as Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) council in January 2012, and subsequently as the Vice-chairman in August 2014, before emerging as the Chairman in August 2016.
After handing over to his successor, he still sits on the Council of the NBA-SBL and is also the Vice-Chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.
Olumide who started his presidential campaign ahead of every other candidate of the just concluded election no doubt has all it takes to reshape the Association.
Further report on the election
Out of six candidates, John O Aikpokpo-Martins emerged as the first vice president with 6,010 votes, and Adeyemo Kazeem Debo emerged 2nd Vice President with 8,794 votes defeating his only contender.
Other elected officers include Oduah Joyce, General Secretary; Nwadialo Esther Uchenna, Assistant Secretary; Mercy Ijato Agada, treasurer; and Edun Olukunle, welfare secretary.
More so, Anagor Raphael Nnamdi is the new Financial Secretary; Nduka Rapuluchukwu Ernest (PhD) is Publicity Secretary; while Naza Ferdinand Afam is Assistant Publicity Secretary.