Every President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) needs a vibrant and efficient lieutenant as his 1st Vice President, one who is expected to seamlessly stand in for the President when the need arises, as expressly stipulated in the NBA Constitution. The 1st Vice President also serves as a co-driver of the vision and ideas of the President.
John Obaika Aikpokpo-Martins fits this bill. From 2010-2012, he was the Vice Chairman of the NBA Warri Branch, where, he efficiently stood in for the Branch Chairman whenever it was expedient. He also headed the Human Rights Committee of the Branch, competently, as constitutionally guaranteed.
Thereafter, John O. Aikpokpo-Martins became Branch Chairman from 2014-2016, giving a good account of himself to the wide applause of members. His administration saw to the sponsorship and passage of a bill to ensure that lawyers in Delta State would get a mandatory 10% remuneration for drafting of title documents. Alas, despite the passage of the bill by the Delta State House of Assembly, assent was withheld by the State Governor for certain reasons that are in the process of resolution.
He is a consummate bar man whose love for the bar and the legal profession is contagious and astonishing. His dedication to service led to his appointment into the NBA Election Monitoring Committee, under the Augustine Alegeh (SAN)-led administration.
He is a focused and no-nonsense administrator who should be given the opportunity to further contribute his quota at the national level.
His penchant for opening the political space for young lawyers to thrive in Bar-related activities is unparalleled, and ought to be replicated at the national level.
Other than his love for administrative Bar activities, John O. Aikpokpo-Martins is a football lover and a footballer. He is the record highest goal scorer for the NBA Warri Branch, helping the Branch to win the football competition of the 2009 Annual General Conference, held in Lagos. Despite his retirement from playing competitive football for the Branch, making room for younger lawyers to thrive in the football team, John O. Aikpokpo-Martins remains a financial and committed member of the football team, mentoring younger lawyers.
My branch, NBA Warri, at its general meeting of 24th of May, 2020, unanimously endorsed him as its sole candidate for the position of 1st Vice President. He is a consummate bar man, and the best 1st Vice President any President would ever wish for. I urge you all to vote for him.
– JOHN EMUOBONUVIE ARUOTURE is the Managing Partner of Garnet & Hawthorns Solicitors, and the immediate past Secretary of NBA Warri Branch.