CLOSE-UP: Akpata, the underdog who broke a 30-year jinx to emerge NBA president

The last time a non-senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) was elected president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) was in 1989. Charles Idehen, who was NBA president between 1989 and 1991, was succeeded by Clement Akpamgbo (SAN).

Akpamgbo did not complete his tenure, as ex-Military President Ibrahim Babangida appointed him attorney-general of the federation. Priscillia Kuye, the first and only female NBA president till date, succeeded Akpamgbo but she was not elected.

The non-SAN took over the leadership of NBA which was later affected by crisis that followed the June 12, 1993 presidential election. In 1998 when normalcy was restored, it was Thompson Okpoko, a SAN, who took over leadership of the association and the SANs kept maintaining the leadership of NBA till the emergence of Lanke Odogiyan, a non-SAN, in 2005.

But just like Kuye, Odogiyan was not elected. He emerged after Bayo Ojo (SAN) quit as NBA president to serve as attorney-general of the federation under the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo.

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