At the end of its online presidential election, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) now has a new leader who is not from the rank of senior advocates.

The new NBA president is Olumide Akpata who polled 1,002 votes which represents 54.8% of the total votes cast at the election. Akpata floored two contenders at the poll: Babatunde Ajibade who polled 808 votes and Julius Adesina who claimed 679 votes.

Akpata is the first president of the association to emerge from the outer bar in 30 years.

Akpata, a partner in the Corporate and Commercial Practice Group at Templars Law Firm in Lagos, and vice-chair (West-Africa) of the International Bar Association’s Africa Regional Forum.

The new NBA president had outlined three priorities once he assumes office.

The three major ones are: “Members’ welfare, including capacity-building, ensuring an improved income system for lawyers and protecting the business of lawyers; Institutional reforms to ensure that the NBA is run as a better structured organisation that is inclusive and fit-for-purpose for lawyers in all sectors and niches and where processes are seamless, interface with members pleasant and continuity of policies is possible; and Active engagement with the Judiciary and other relevant authorities to deliver a justice sector that is not only different, but that meets the expectation of 21st century judicial services users.”