Legally speaking it is incorrect to refer yet to the Badagry Bar as the Badagry Branch of the Nigerian Bar Association since the NBA is yet to duly register Badagry as one of her branches.
However the agitation for the creation of the Badagry branch by lawyers in that jurisdiction has been on for more than a decade.
The hope for the realization of this fond dream appeared very bright when the Chief Tunji Orisalade led Executive Committee was inaugurated in 2005. However five years later, the situation has not changed.
The ‘branch’ could not just muster the strength to get its registration with NBA done and over with. While many Badagry based lawyers accuse the former chairman, Adetunji Orisalade of frustrating the registration of the branch while perpetuating himself in office for six years, in the absence of elections after his normal tenure of office which ended in 2007, Orisalade blamed the situation on the general nonchalance of majority of the members to the issue of registration. According to Orisalade, only very few lawyers in the Badagry judicial Division pay either practicing fees or branch dues, hence the great difficulty in getting the branch registered since a crucial requirement for registration is that a prospective branch must have at least 25 members who have paid their practicing fees for the year in consideration as at when due (on or before 31st March).
Some six years after the emergence of the Adetunji Orisalde administration, a new regime has finally taken over.
The new leader of the Badagry bar is Mr. Bode Oyeyemi who crushed his only opponent Julius Akinlaja at the polls 22-5 votes. It was learnt that Chief Orisalade the former chairman filed nomination papers to re-contest his post but withdrew from the race two days before the election.
Incidentally it was only the post of chairman that was contested. All the other officers virtually strolled into their respective offices, being unopposed candidates.
In a chat with the Squib, the new chairman of the Badagry bar, Bode Oyeyemi, called to the Nigerian Bar in 1993 disclosed a four point agenda.
Said Oyeyemi –“My first priority is to see that the Badagry Bar is registered with the NBA. This task by the grace of God shall be accomplished. We are mobilizing all our members in this regard and we are already liasing with Mr. Adekunle Ojo, the NBA 2nd Vice-President (who is based in Ikeja, Lagos) for guidance and assitance.
The second assignment is to heal all wounds in the Bar and end all polarization and marginalization. Our members must unite and become one big family.
Thirdly I’ll see to the sanitization of the Judiciary in our jurisdiction. Because in the past years, the bar has been in doldrums, some magistrates in particular have grown wings to perpetrate unacceptable conduct. We are poised to put an end to that.
Finally my administration will pay special attention to the welfare and social interests of our members. Here in Badagry all we do as lawyers is work, work and work. There is no time for relaxation. The bar under my watch will strive to make life more comfortable and livelier for members.