A seasoned legal practitioner and Learned Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. J.S. Okutepa SAN has some words of advice for electing the leadership of the NBA in the forthcoming elections.
In a statement made available to Lex Community NG, he said as follows;
“In the quest to elect the leadership of NBA in the forthcoming elections, we must look beyond slogans and ask some probing questions. Those who promote divisions as one of the grounds to lead the Bar must be rejected.
The Bar has treasured tradition rooted in respect for ourselves and seniority at the Bar. Those who believe that they can ignore and disrespect constituted authority on the self deluded believe that you can disregard and ignore some persons and go somewhere to be accepted must not be permitted to come near leadership because they can ignore you and I when they come to power.
We must avoid those who believe that with or without you and I they will lead us by force.We must avoid pretenders for the offices.
We must avoid those who have the potentials of looking down on any one of us upon attaining power.
We must avoid those who have suddenly found their voices to speak on welfare of lawyers, violations of rule of law and due processes because of election.
We must avoid seasonal politicians who take us for a fool.
We must avoid those who are career Bar politicians.
The Bar must be led by responsible legal practitioners who command respects within and outside the legal profession. We must look in the directions of aspirants with track records of useful services to the Bar and who can be trusted to stand and defend the collective interest of the legal profession, its members and the vast majority of Nigerians.
We must look at those who got no tyrannical tendencies and put them in positions of leadership.
Those who have no respects for the code of conduct and etiquette of our profession must not be permitted to lead us. Those connected with promoting one form of faction or the other in our branches must not be allowed to lead us. Let us elect leaders that have respect for all of us and not those who want to come to power on the principle of divide and win.”