|President, Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Olumide Akpata|
The president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Olumide Akpata on Wednesday said he was quoted out of context by a section of the media in his criticism of the selection process of the recently recommended Appeal Court Justices.
According to him, a member of the NBA National Executive Committee misrepresented his concerns on the appointment of the justices when he rushed to an online blog and published his own version of the statement and in the process, was quoted out of context.
Akpata, who spoke at a public forum at the Supreme Court Abuja, explained further that the NBA NEC member, who misrepresented him in the media publication, was entitled to attend the meeting, insisting he has no control over him.
The publication was said to have created a sour relationship, especially between the NBA and the National Judicial Council.
But Akpata assured the relationship between the Bar and the Bench would be continually nurtured and sustained.
He said, “Let me use this opportunity to touch on certain statements attributed to me that have unfortunately found its way into the social media space and become subject of public discourse.
“On March 18, 2021, as the President of the NBA, I chaired a meeting of the National Executive Committee of the NBA held in Uyo, the Akwa lbom State.
“At that meeting, as is customary, I reported my overall activities including my participation at the last NJC interview meeting of the recently appointed justices of the Court of Appeal.
“I informed the meeting that during this exercise, I expressed concerns about the competence of some of the candidates that were interviewed and the process that led to the recommendation of twenty candidates to the NJC for appointment as Justices of the Court of Appeal.
“As I mentioned earlier, the forgoing formed part of my report to the NBA-NEC, a body to which, as President of the NBA, I am accountable.
“Unfortunately, one of the members of NBA-NEC rushed to the online blogs and published his version of that statement and in the process quoted me, not necessarily incorrectly, but definitely out of context.
“This action by a member of NBA-NEC who was entitled to be in attendance at the meeting is one that I have no control over. My Lords, the relationship that exists between the Bar and the Bench must be continually nurtured and sustained and my Lords can be rest assured that this is what the NBA yearns and stands for.”
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