By Kenneth Atavti
President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata was on yesterday conspicuously absent at the meeting of the Body of Benchers (BOB) held in Abuja.
The meeting, which was held at the Body of Benchers Complex in Jabi, Abuja was well attended by key stakeholders in the legal profession, including the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, past Chief Justices of Nigeria – Justice Mahmud Mohammed and Justice Walter Onnoghen.
Also in attendance was Justice Mary Odili (rtd), who doubles as the Vice-Chairman of the Body of Benchers.
Past Presidents of the NBA, including Paul Usoro (SAN), O. C. J. Okocha (SAN), Joseph B. Daudu (SAN), Okey Wali (SAN), Abubakar Mahmud (SAN), amongst several other leaders of the legal profession, some of who participated virtually.
Akpata, who, by virtue of his office, is a member of the BOB, failed to attend Tuesday’s meeting, the first since he requested the BOB Chairman, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) to step down over a petition against a lawyer in Olanipekun’s firm.
As at press time, no reason was given for his absence. Calls to his number were ignored.
The spokesman of the NBA, Rapuluchukwu Nduka also did not respond to calls.
The meeting by the BOB was held in furtherance of its traditional preparations for the Call to Bar ceremonies scheduled for Wednesday, among other important issues bordering on the security of the nation particularly as it affects the legal profession.
It was learnt that the BOB meeting did not discuss Akpata’s attack on Olanipekun and his social media tirade.