Monday O. Ubani, the Former 2nd Vice-President of the Nigerian Bar Association and the current Chairman of the Central Planning Committee of the 2021 conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Public Interest and Development Law, NBA-SPIDEL, has released the list of dignitaries that will grace the conference.

In a Press Release made available to newsmen, Ubani said the Annual Conference will hold from Sunday, May 23 to Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at the world-class Jogor Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State.

According to him, the theme of the conference is “The role of public interest in governance in Nigeria.” Aside from the eagerly awaited opening ceremony, a plenary session on “The imperatives of public interest in governance in Nigeria” will hold immediately afterwards.

The statement reads in part, “The technical sessions will hold on May 24 and May 25 with varying sub-themes including ‘Internal security: a prerequisite for national development (legality and efficacy of regional vigilantes and other security frameworks);’ ‘Internal security: A prerequisite for national development (legality and efficacy of public inquiry by state governments – issues on violent protests and recovery of assets),’ and ‘When the state truly defends: Assessing the role of Office of the Public Defender of Lagos State & other institutional schemes for access to justice by the public.’

“Other sessions are ‘Anti-corruption model: assets declaration, public access and emerging issues;’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Assessing Nigeria’s progress – focus discussion on gender equality, climate action, peace, justice and strong institutions;” Third party data capturing for national identification numbers project: national security and privacy issues ;”Paternity fraud in Nigeria: Legal and social implications;” Showcase session on public interest lawyering: Capacity building and enhancement of practice skills on public interest lawyering – a continuing professional development perspective,’ and ‘NBA Public Interest Litigation Committee: Broadening the strategy for NBA’s intervention in public interest lawyering.’ ”

Ubani said over 60 leading speakers have confirmed their participation, the annual conference Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo; Senate President, Senator Ahmed Lawan; Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, and House of Representatives Speaker, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.

Other speakers, according to him, are the Attorney-General & Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN); NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata; former Senate President, Prof. Ike Ekweremadu; EFCC Chairman, Mr. Abdulrasheed Bawa; INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmud Yakubu; ICPC Chairman, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye (SAN); Legal Aid Council Director-General, Mr. Aliyu Abubakar; National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Executive Secretary, Mr. Tony Ojukwu; Oyo State Attorney-General & Commissioner for Justice, Prof. Oyelowo Oyewo (SAN), and leading political economist, Prof. Pat Utomi.

Apart from Minority Senate Leader, Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Senator Dino Melaye, the human rights community is fully represented by fiery human rights activist, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN); Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Aisha Yesufu, Chief Mike Ozekhome, Mr. Ebun Adegboruwa, Mr. Jiti Ogunye, Mr. Liborous Oshoma and Mallam Mahdi Shehu among others.

Furthermore, Ubani said “Among the Governors that have committed to attend the annual conference are the host Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde; Ondo State Governor, Mr. Rotimi Akeredolu (SAN) and his Bauchi State counterpart, Senator Bala Mohammed. Other speakers are Oyo State Chief Judge, Justice Munta Abimbola, and pioneer NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN) among others.

“The hybrid conference will host delegates at the expansive Jogor Centre in strict compliance with COVID-19 protocols while several sideline social events and a State Banquet have been planned to ensure that delegates experience the best that the ancient city of Ibadan can offer.

“It is recalled that Governor Makinde had during a courtesy visit by NBA-SPIDEL delegation assured that adequate security would be provided for the delegates throughout their stay in Ibadan.

“Curtains will be drawn on the conference with the election of a new leadership to take over from current NBA-SPIDEL Chairman, Prof. Paul Ananaba (SAN) following his outstanding revival of the once moribund but influential NBA section.

“I invite you all to attend this highly promising conference which will be followed by a policy document on governance challenges in Nigeria.”