The NBA section on Business Law has grown to become the most vibrant section of the Nigerian Bar Association. It was started in 2004 under the leadership of Chief Wole Olanipekun as the President of the Nigerian Bar Association.
In the next six years after it was established, Mr George Etomi, the pioneer Chairman built a legacy positioning the association as an influential organization in Nigerian business community and beyond. The association still stands on the foundation built by George Etomi and his team.
After six years of remarkable growth, the mantle of leadership was transferred to Mrs Mfon Usoro who became the second Chairman of the section. Her tenure was later interrupted after J.B Daudu was elected the President of the Bar in 2010.
At the National Executive Committee meeting held in Gombe in November 2010, the JB Daudu led administration dissolved the leadership of the section. This did not go down well with many lawyers in the business community who voiced out their displeasure. The SBL subsequently sank into crisis and dormancy.
According to the NBA leadership at the time,the SBL was acting as if it was independent of the NBA especially in its finances and succession which was inconsistent with the constitution of the association.
The SBL after being accused of this, regularised their position and held an election but the leadership of the NBA will still not take it.
As the crisis raged on, J,B Daudu constituted a three man committee to resolve the imbroglio. The Members of the Committee were Dr Babatunde Ajibade, Gbenga Oyebode and Yemi Candide-Johnson. The work of the committee resulted in the resuscitation of SBL in 2011.Gbenga Oyebode served as the Chairman of that Committee, Dr Ajibade served as the Chairman of the nomination Committee that conducted elections into the revived SBL in August 2011.
Since 2011,the SBL has continued to grow under different leaderships.
November will make it 10 years since the crisis that almost tore the section apart,it is important to refresh our memory on how much we have progressed and most importantly,remember the three men who administered CPR to a fine association that suffered a cardiac arrest.
CPR- Cardiopulmonary resuscitation
A.B Nasir- Ibrahim