By Uche Amunike
Former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Olumide Akpata, has relinquished his position as Senior Partner at the prominent Templars law firm, in a bid to pursue his political ambition of building the nation through governance.
He made this disclosure, through a statement signed by him which stated that he would take a bow from the firm, effective August 31, so as to make his own contributions to the Nigerian project of nation building.
His statement partly read: ‘It is therefore with mixed feelings, but with a great sense of pride and responsibility, that I announce my disengagement from Templars with effect from 31st August 2023.’
‘This decision, which is not one that was taken lightly, became inevitable in view of my recent foray into active politics with a view to contributing towards the critical task of nation-building.’
‘I wish to assure the lawyers and staff at TEMPLARS, our clients, the legal community in Nigeria, and the general public that this decision was a collective one, which accords with the Firm’s governance protocols that I signed up to.’
The outgoing Olumide Akpata, who was the 30th president of the NBA, also expressed his gratitude to the Managing Partner at Templars, Oghogho Akpata, for always showing him support and vouched that his life story will never be complete without citing the central role played by TEMPLARS.
He was however positive that his exit will not slow down the law firm in anyway. Hear him: ‘In my absence, our clientele will continue to be served by over 100 lawyers in TEMPLARS led by twenty other partners (across different practice areas) working out of the Firm’s offices in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Accra.’
Recall that Olumide Akpata, earlier in the year, joined the Labour Party, as confirmed in a post on his official Twitter handle, earlier this month. He tweeted: ‘Quite a number of people have called/messaged me to confirm the news, currently making the rounds, that I have joined a political party. Yes…I joined the @labourparty_ng in March this year and on Sunday I attended my first Ward Meeting at Oredo Ward 6, in Benin-City, where I was formally introduced to members of the Ward and presented with my Party membership card.’
According to him, his reason for joining the Labour Party was that he got tired of complaining about the things that are happening in the country. He posited, that he had to take the decision to become a part of the reason why those problems would be solved, rather than continuously complaining about the prevalent issues plaguing the country.
He described it as a major step which he also termed the beginning of a very important journey, praying that he would arrive his destination safely.
Note that Olumide Akpata hails from Edo State, where the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is the ruling party. The All Progressives Congress (APC) has a major influence on the Edo State political landscape. Notwithstanding, he chose to join the Labour Party which has made a bold statement in the country after Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra state became its 2023 presidential candidate.