Olumide Akpata, the president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), was noticeably absent from the Body of Benchers (BOB) meeting on Tuesday in Abuja.
Important members of the legal community, including the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Kayode Ariwoola, as well as former Chief Justices of Nigeria, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and Justice Walter Onnoghen, attended the meeting, which was held at the Body of Benchers Complex in Jabi, Abuja.
Justice Mary Odili (rtd), who serves as the vice chairman of the body of benchers, was also present.
In addition to other prominent members of the legal community, past NBA presidents Paul Usoro (SAN), O. C. J. Okocha (SAN), Joseph B. Daudu (SAN), Okey Wali (SAN), and Abubakar Mahmud (SAN) were there, with others also taking part virtually.
The BOB meeting on Tuesday was the first since Akpata asked BOB Chairman Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) to resign over a petition against a lawyer working for Olanipekun. Akpata is a member of the BOB by virtue of his office.
No explanation for his absence had been provided as of publication time. His phone was unanswered when called.
Rapuluchukwu Nduka, the NBA’s spokesperson, did not return calls either.
The BOB meeting was conducted to discuss significant matters pertaining to national security, particularly as it impacts the legal profession, as well as its customary preparations for the Call to Bar ceremonies slated for Wednesday.
It was discovered that Akpata’s assault on Olanipekun and his rant on social media were not discussed at the BOB meeting.