Thursday, July 7, 2016

I Will Run an All-Inclusive NBA Dedicated to Members’ Interest--J.K.Gadzama,SAN

‘I Will Run an All-Inclusive NBA Dedicated to Members’ Interest’

June 21, 2016
Chief J.K Gadzama SAN
This year’s elections into the national offices of the Nigerian Bar Association is not only a first of its kind in the history of the Association. Lawyers for the first time will vote electronically from any part of the world. The election also promises to be different in many aspects. As Mr. A.B. Mahmoud SAN and Chief J.K Gadzama SAN, two legal titans crisscross the country canvassing the votes of Nigerian lawyers, May Agbamuche Mbu, Jude Igbanoi and Tobi Soniyi asked each of them what they have to offer the Association and its over 80,000 members in their two year tenure.
My mission in this race is to serve with integrity and run an inclusive NBA dedicated to the advancement of the interests of its members and protection of societal norms and values. I have also developed a number of welfare support programmes for members of the Bar if I am elected. Some of these programmes include the provision of loans to members of the Bar, through partnering banks for setting up law firms and partnerships. Special health-care programmes will also be introduced for aged and incapacitated members of the Bar. Also germane is the issue of discipline in the profession which I will holistically address if elected.
The welfare and capacity development of young lawyers will also be paramount if I am elected and in this vein, I will champion the establishment of a minimum wage baseline for the engagement of young lawyers bearing in mind the location of the practice and business environment. The practice of paying young lawyers paltry sums as salary must be discouraged in all ramifications. I have also marshalled out plans to empower lawyers and build their capacity by exposing them to emerging vistas of law which currently remain largely untapped. Some of these areas are sports law, competition law (anti-trust), entertainment law, medical law e.t.c. This I will achieve by ensuring training, capacity building, organising relevant workshops, conferences and seminars and by networking with development partners, as well as more developed Bar Associations internationally.
Another area of interest which I will address is initiating a Health Insurance Policy in collaboration with the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) for all interested lawyers and their family members to guarantee easy access to quality healthcare and benefits. This will go a long way in addressing the health needs of lawyers and their family members.
Under my leadership, the NBA stamp and seal policy will be enhanced by tackling all attendant delays in its production by ensuring that the stamps are produced and made available to lawyers promptly upon application. The NBA car stickers is also another area of concern and I intend to put machinery in place to ensure that the car stickers are serialised and customised for lawyers to avoid its abuse by non-lawyers as is presently the case. If I am elected, I will run the NBA in a transparent manner by ensuring accountability and openness in all dealings and affairs of the Association.
Generally, I will run an all inclusive NBA by ensuring equal opportunities and participation by Branches, promote the rights of members, reposition the NBA as a frontline professional Association committed to holding government accountable and consolidate on the achievements of the present leadership of the NBA in the overall interest of the Association.

Most NBA presidential aspirants have grandiose manifestos and seemingly populist programmes, but these are hardly followed through on assumption of office. What will be your main areas of focus if you are elected NBA President and how will you implement them during your two-year tenure?

Two years is actually a reasonable time for any focused leader to make an impact. My programmes and vision for the Bar are well thought-out and very practicable. I also have a feasible blue-print for the implementation of my programmes. In drawing up my manifesto, I made wide consultations to identify the needs and yearnings of the Bar and all these are encapsulated in my manifesto which I have undertaken to implement to the fullest if elected. If I am elected as the 28th President of the Nigerian Bar Association, my main focus will be on the empowerment of members, promotion of professional development and continuing legal education.
Members will be economically empowered by exposing them to business opportunities, training and capacity building in diverse areas of law, as well as capacity building to enhance skills and increase productivity in line with modern realities of legal practice. This I intend to achieve through capacity building workshops, networking programmes, seminars, courses and conferences amongst others. I am of the view that the current Rules of Professional Conduct 2007 (RPC) is due for a comprehensive review to bring it in tandem with current trends and reflect modern realities.

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