Ikeja Bar: I remain the authentic chairman–Dele Oloke

  • As Young Lawyers Group asks NBA president to intervene, decries assault from senior colleagues

There appears to be no end yet to the leadership crisis tearing apart the most vibrant branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) as Mr Dele Oloke is insisting that he remained the authentic chairman of the Ikeja bar.

The struggle for leadership of the Ikeja bar is between Oloke and his colleague, rights activist and publisher, Mr Adesina Ogunlana.

The Ikeja bar has a long history of tumultuous leadership emergence with members, sometimes drawing cudgels.

Oloke spoke on a day the Young Lawyers’ Forum (YLF) of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja Branch decried the incessant assaults on their members by senior colleagues even as it invited the NBA President, Mr. Abubakar Mahmoud (SAN) to urgently wade into the leadership crisis rocking the Ikeja branch of the Association.

The Chairman of the group, Charles Ajiboye disclosed this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos on the group’s communique issued after their emergency meeting recently.

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The group frowned on the assault on the incumbent Assistant Secretary of the NBA Ikeja and immediate past chairman of YLF, Mr. Issa Adedokun by a senior colleague, who was a former chairmanship candidate of NBA, Ikeja bar over a minor argument.

They therefore demanded that the senior lawyer tender an unresolved apology to Adedokun within 30 days or face a complete black-listing from the forum.

In addition, YLF stated that it would no longer tolerate assaults on its members, hence the association urged senior lawyers in some law firms treating their juniors as slaves to desist from doing so, including use of abusive languages.

Also, YLF stated that the crisis in Ikeja NBA should be given urgent attention as Ikeja branch is one of the largest branches of the NBA.

They also charged the NBA leadership, the government and all stakeholders to engage younger generation and commit to them responsibilities by allowing competent youths in every cabinet or committee at any level whether Federal, State, Local Government or agencies of government.

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In related development, Mr. Dele Oloke, has maintained that he remains the chairman of NBA Ikeja branch and dismissed the claim that the branch is in crisis.

Explaining the annulment of Mr Adesina Ogunlana’s election by the NEC of NBA held at Benin on June 16, 2016, he said, “the election was nullified by the provisions of Article 6 (3), of the Bye Laws of NBA branches in Nigeria.”

He said: “Article 6(3) of the uniform Bye Law of NBA states that any would-be aspirant to an elective position of NBA, who has held position twice in the executive of any branch within five years before the year of election is ineligible to contest for election until five years later.

It should be noted that on the 18th of February, the conference where this law was amended, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana was present as an observer.

Also, the minimum attendance of any aspirant according to NBA Ikeja by law should be 11, while a voter will be eligible if he/she pays their dues for the year of election.

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He recalled that Mr. Nurudeen Ogbara, former chairman of NBA Ikorodu branch conducted the bye election for the chairmanship of NBA Ikeja branch, where he participated and won unopposed

“Later, I received a mail from the national body addressing me as the chairman of the branch. I am the chairman of NBA Ikeja branch.

“Nevertheless, we are peace lovers and our prayer is that everything be settled soon.

“ Two years is just around the corner, the other party can just wait till then.

Leaders of the bar should not change the law to suit certain individuals because that is the law we have made for ourselves.

“I wish the elders could do better,” he stated and advised young lawyers to shun the habit of student unionism in their relations to senior colleagues.