The Eastern Bar Forum is meant to be an association of lawyers who are from the Old Eastern Region (Abia, Imo, Akwa-Ibom, Cross-River, Enugu, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Anambra and Rivers State). It is a voluntary association and membership is not automatic.
Thus, until subscription of membership is made, a person does not become a member of EBF. Currently, there are less than 900 registered members of the EBF. In the Yenagoa Branch of NBA, of the 500 members only 16 are members of the EBF excluding the Chairman and Secretary who are members virtui ex officio.
Prior to 2016, election of National Officers of the NBA was by delegate system, the branches of the old Eastern Region went into the elections as a bloc for strategic reasons. This delegate system violated the clamour for universal suffrage and had to be discarded.
With the advent of universal suffrage in electing National Officers, it is the sole responsibility of every lawyer to choose who should superintend over the affairs of the NBA.
The EBF (which most lawyers of the old Eastern Region, do not belong to) is not a chaperone to teleguide the choice of lawyers in this regard.
EBF is not a political party recognised under the NBA Constitution, on whose platform persons ascend to power.
Every member of the NBA has the intelligence, presence of mind and capacity to choose the person who can lead the Bar in the right direction.
In Paul Usoro, SAN we have a choice to guide the direction of the NBA; either to move forward or to be lost in the woods.
Mr. Usoro, SAN if elected understands that he owes his emergence to every lawyer and not to interest groups. That is why, he is reaching out to lawyers individually.
He understands the right to vote belongs to each lawyer and this should not be taken for granted.
What would he do, if elected? I would espouse on this in my next epistle.
As we go to the ballot, remember that only one aspirant puts you first and is name is Paul Usoro, SAN.