The new president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, was sworn in Friday to take over the mantle of leadership from his predecessor, Mr Olumide Akpata.
Maikyau, who was sworn in as the NBA’s 31st president, won the election held earlier in July with 38,000 votes, following an election held online by lawyers.
He was sworn in at the end of activities for the 62nd General Conference of the association.
At the swearing-in ceremony, which marks the end of activities for the association’s 62nd annual general conference, which was held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Maikyau was filled with gratitude to God for bringing him this far.
The new president praised the outgoing Akpata administration for the giant strides she has made in the NBA over the past two years.
He pledged not only to maintain the Akpata government’s commendable achievements and projects, but also to build on them.
Maikyau also thanked his colleagues at YC Maikyau & Co., his campaign team, as well as friends and associates who supported his candidacy.
In his inaugural address, Maikyau pledged to serve the cause of justice as the pillar of his government.
He also urged the federal government to commit to protecting lives and property in the country.
The new NBA president expressed his dismay at the wave of banditry, kidnappings, murders and livestock that is plaguing the country.
According to him, “The Nigerian state is going through a perilous time. There is the insecurity challenge and the situation seems so overwhelming.
“Many Nigerians live below the poverty line.
“There has never been a time when Nigerians looked at the bar than now.
“Nigerians have been so terrorized, impoverished and traumatized that what is left of this country is the voice of the legal profession.
“This voice of the legal profession must speak against the terror in the country and this is the charge my government will bring,” he said.
He added that Nigerians were eagerly awaiting the rally of members of the bar to save the nation.
Maikyau therefore urged members of the legal profession to lead the country.
“The prosperity of lawyers must not be undermined in society, the bar must earn the trust and trust of the people,” he lamented.
In his speech at the handover ceremony, Akpata assured that the NBA would continue to protect the cause of society and make Nigeria a better place through its section – the Nigerian Bar Association Special Public Interest and Development Law, headed by Dr. Monday Uban.
The former president noted that many things held back the country as a nation and emphasized that the NBA was the only association that reflected the country.
“The NBA must show this country how to do it and rise above selfish interests. We have to show our leaders how to do it in the country.
“In the NBA we are there for our members, but we also have to speak for the lesser members of society.”
Akpata urged the association to stand up in defense of the judiciary, arguing that where judges could not speak for themselves because of the position they occupy, the NBA should be willing to stand up for the judicial power.
The chairman of the appeals court, Judge Monica Dongban-Mensem, who was represented by Judge S. Saidu, said he was looking forward to a healthy working relationship between the court and the bar.
She advised the new NBA president, Maikyau, to use his office to restore the good image of the judiciary and the country.