NBA Opens New Building, Lauds Wale Babalakin
Posted: 23/Aug/2014

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has enhanced its presence in the nation’s commercial capital, Lagos, with the inauguration of a new building.

The occasion also saw the NBA leadership acknowledging the vital role played by leading lawyer and businessman, Dr. Wale Babalakin, in actualising the project last Tuesday.

The six-storey edifice, which was built under a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) arrangement, is located behind the NBA House, on Victoria Island.

The development of the structure on a prime land, which had remained unutilised for a long time, was to boost the status of the NBA and also shore up its revenue base.

While inaugurating the building, outgoing NBA President, Mr. Okey Wali (SAN) described Babalakin as a pride to the legal profession in the country.

The structure was wholly constructed by one of Babalakin’s companies, Stabilini Visinoni Limited.
Wali noted: “I must thank our colleague, Dr. Wale Babalakin (SAN), for what he has done in putting this up in collaboration with the NBA. The terms are clear. It is a Build, Operate and Transfer. I thank Wale for the industry he has put into this.”

He also observed: “It is the grace of God to start from foundation and see the completion. And also we have to put on record the gratitude to all past presidents of NBA. It is a testimony to the continuity of governance at the Bar that leadership or government of NBA continues. Leaders come and go but the continuity of NBA project persists. Just like you know, by His grace, within the next two years in the life of the next administration, we will be in Abuja to inaugurate the NBA House, which this administration has started.”

Wali equally expressed gratitude to the Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Mr. Lanre Onadeko, as well as the Chairman of the Council of Legal Education, Hon. O.C.J. Okocha (SAN) and other members, for granting access to the new building through the law school premises.

Speaking further on the difficulty in creating access to the property, Babalakin observed: “This building was landlocked. The only way we could go in was if we were able to create that access you see now. And with his (Wali’s) determination; and the Director General of the Law School and the Chairman of Council of Legal Education; they made it happen.”

Babalakin acknowledged Wali’s “thorough dedication” to the project, adding: “He came to Lagos specifically on a number of occasions, and I recollect with great appreciation and sometimes nostalgia how we walked round this premises, not once, not twice, when we were trying to identify the entry into the building.

“In the same vein, I want to thank our incoming President, Mr. Augustine Alegeh (SAN), who is here today and who has just won a very convincing victory. I have no doubt he has the capacity, he has the mental fortitude, and he has the determination to push the NBA to the next level.”

Babalakin also expressed gratitude to the former Director General of the Nigerian Law School, Dr. Tahir Mamman, for his invaluable role in making the project possible.  

Others who witnessed the ceremony include, the incoming General Secretary of NBA, Mr. Afam Osigwe; National Treasurer, Joyce Oduah; a former General Secretary, Obi Okwusogu (SAN); an Executive Committee Member, Mr. Osita Okoro, among others.