The outgoing President of the Akure branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Rotimi Olorunfemi, has rejected the reimbursement of accommodation paid into his account by the body’s national secretariat during the crisis which shakes the association.
Olorunfemi, who attended the recently concluded NBA annual general conference, said the lawyers’ conduct in sharing memories at the NBA conference and the attempt to disparage the person of a former president of the NBA Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) by the Akpata-led administration has made its decision to deny reimbursement of its imperative accommodation fund.
Although Olorunfemi said he was not opposed to the refund as it has been the practice over the years, he however said he rejects it due to moral issues over Mr. Olumide Akpata’s term in office. as president of the NBA. In a letter to incoming NBA President Yakubu Maikyau, Olorunfemi said the 100,000 naira paid into his account should be returned to the association’s account with immediate effect.
His words “Mr. President, I woke up on Sunday 28th August 2022 to receive an alert for the sum of 100,000.00kN (one hundred thousand naira only) from the Nigerian Bar Association which was described in the narration as accommodation”.
Sir, I am sure that this payment to my account was in line with outgoing President Mr. Olumide Akpata’s promise to reimburse Chapter Presidents and Secretaries for accommodation costs incurred during the AGC which has just ended .
“I originally had no objection to this gesture as it is customary for the national body to provide hotel accommodation to Section Presidents and Secretaries during NEC meetings, so I have passed on the details. from my account as requested and in anticipation of receiving this money.
“However, given recent events at the Bar, beginning with the handling of the issue involving our revered leader Wole Olanipekun, SAN law firm, the alleged unlawful suspension of the former immediate secretary general of the association, Ms Joyce Oduah , which resulted in a Federal High Court ridiculing the National Executive Council (of which I was a member until last week when my term as President, Akure Branch expired) for the wrong way of dealing with the affair and the very ugly incident during the recently concluded AGC which painted our most noble association in a very bad light before the whole world, largely due to the very poor and selfish planning of the Technical Conference Planning Committee , TCCP, selected by nepotism this year
During the conference, I decided that in good conscience, I could not keep and/or spend this money for my benefit. “Apart from the above, I have been attending bar conferences since the year 2002, a year after being called to the bar and I have self funded to attend bar conferences all these years and the 2022 bar conference is not expected to not be an exception simply because of my privileged position as branch president.
“It is on the premises above, that I therefore humbly ask the President to instruct the National Treasurer to kindly send me the bank details of the Association in order to quickly reimburse the money in the coffers of the ‘Association “.