The new Nigerian Bar Association President, Mr Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, was on Friday, sworn in to take over the mantle of leadership from his predecessor, Mr Olumide Akpata.
Maikyau, who was sworn in as the 31st President of the NBA, won the election held earlier in July with 38,000 votes, following an election conducted by legal practitioners online.
He was sworn in at the close of activities for the 62nd Annual General Conference of the association.
At the swearing-in ceremony, which marks the end of activities for the 62nd Annual General Conference of the association, which was held at Eko Hotel & Suites, Maikyau was full of gratitude to God who brought him thus far.
The new President commended the outgone Akpata administration for the giant strides it recorded at the NBA in the last two years.
He made a commitment to not only sustain the laudable achievements and projects of the Akpata administration but also to build on it.
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 speech, Maikyau pledged to make service to the cause of justice as the pillar of his administration.
He also urged the Federal Government to show commitment to the protection of lives and properties in the country.
The new NBA President expressed displeasure against the spate of banditry, kidnapping, killings and cattle rustling bedeviling the country.
According to him, “The Nigerian state is passing through a perilous time. There is the insecurity challenge and the situation appears so overwhelming.
“Many Nigerians live below poverty line.
“There has been no time that Nigerians have looked towards the bar than now.
“Nigerians have been so terrorised, pauperised and traumatised, 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 land and this is the charge that my administration will spearhead,” he said.
He added that Nigerians were eagerly awaiting the manifestation of members of the bar to salvage the nation.
Maikyau, therefore, urged members of the legal profession to provide leadership to the country.
“The prosperity of lawyers can not be undermined in the society, the bar must earn the confidence and trust of the people,” he charged.
In his address during the handover ceremony, Akpata gave assurance that the NBA would continue to protect the cause of the society and make Nigeria a better place through its section – the Nigerian Bar Association Special Public Interest and Development Law, under the leadership of Dr. Monday Ubani.
The former President noted that many things were holding the country back as nation, stressing that the NBA was the only association that was reflective of the country.
“The NBA need to show this country how things should be done and rise above selfish interest. We must show our leaders how things should be run in the country.
“In the NBA, we exist for our members but we must also speak for the lesser members of the society.”
Akpata urged the association to rise in defence of the Judiciary, stating that where judges were not able to speak for themselves because of the position they occupy, the NBA should be prepared to stand up for the judiciary.
The President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem, who was represented by Justice S. Saidu, said she looked forward to a healthy working relationship between the court and the bar.
She advised the new President of the NBA, Maikyau, to use his office to restore the good image of the judiciary and the country.