Olumide Akpata, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has reacted to the vandalisation of the registration centre for the collection of materials by legal practitioners and delegates at the NBA’s ongoing annual general conference.
Following delay in the distribution of conference materials, lawyers broke into the registration centre and looted some materials on Tuesday night. It was also gathered that some lawyers and registration officers were injured in the incident.
TORI reported on Tuesday that the NBA stopped the distribution of conference bags because they were in short supply after being returned to the suppliers for being substandard.
Reacting to the Tuesday looting, Akpata said in an email to lawyers on Wednesday that the incident was a “national embarrassment”.
“As you may already know, the registration center for the collection of materials by delegates at the ongoing Annual General Conference was broken into, vandalised, and looted by some delegates last night with most of the conference materials carted away and lawyers/registration officers injured,” his emailed messaged read.
“Whilst we acknowledge and regret that there were lapses in the distribution process, last night’s incident was a national embarrassment as some of our members conducted themselves in a most despicable manner not expected of members of the profession.”
The NBA leader said he met with the 2022 technical committee on conference planning (TCCP) and decided to shut down the looted registration centre.
“We cannot afford to risk the lives and safety of our members, colleagues and contractors at the conference venue on account of collection of materials. I have therefore met with the leadership of the TCCP, and a decision has been taken for the destroyed registration center at the conference village to be shut down and it is now being shut down.
“However, alternative arrangements have been made for the collection of materials by delegates. The new collection center is the BWC Hotel that is located opposite the Eko Atlantic. This new collection center is smaller than the previous one (which is now unusable) and as a result, access to it for collection of materials would be controlled in the following manner:
“Collection of materials will commence at 2pm today (Wednesday 24 August, 2022) at the BWC Hotel. Delegates will be admitted into the collection center in batches of 80 at a time.
“Delegates are expected to be seated (or to provide their details) in Breakout Room D at the Eko Atlantic pending when they are called, or sent a text message, to come to the collection center to pick up their materials,” he said.
Akpata assured that all delegates would get their materials, encouraging them to cooperate with the registration officers so as to avoid a repeat of the incident.