Olumide Akpata has won the Nigerian Bar Association’s (NBA) national elections, after he defeated two other contestants who are both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs). This victory makes him the first non-SAN NBA President in years.
Akpata won the election with 9,891 votes of the total 18,256 ballots cast, while his closest rival, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN) polled 4,328 votes and Dele Adesina (SAN) polled 3,982 votes.
The election began at 11 am on Wednesday, July 29, and ended at 11 pm on Thursday, July 30. Registered members of the association logged into the National Officers Election webpage to cast their votes in a virtual electoral process.
Akpata maintained an early lead with more than 50% of the reported votes at every quarter-hourly update, right up to the close of the election at 11pm on Thursday.
The association registered about 29,636 eligible voters, and the election committee sent the voting link to them via sms and emails.
Chairman of the Electoral Committee of the NBA, Tawo Tawo (SAN) announced the winner at 12:50am on Friday, saying;
“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”.
Olumide Akpata was born on 7 October 1972 and attended the King’s College in Lagos. He was called to the Nigerian bar on 15 December 1993 having obtained his law degree from the University of Benin the previous year.
He began his law career under the late Dr Mudiaga Odje (SAN) during his National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). Shortly after was established, he joined.
Having spent over two decades with Templars, he is currently Senior Partner and Head of the Corporate and Commercial practice of Templars.
He was elected as Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Section on Business Law (SBL) council in January 2012, and as the Vice-chairman in August 2014, before he emerged as the Chairman in August 2016.
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.