Of The Falanas, JK Gadzama And NBA Presidency

Mr. Femi Falana (SAN)


-Dr Olukayode Ajulo

…..You need no money to endorse Gadzama

I find it imperative as a proud and active member of the Nigerian Bar Association to ventilate my thoughts about the insinuations making the rounds in the public space and within some quarters amongst our noble association, Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, that popular Nigerian rapper, Mr. Folarin Falana, Esq. known as Falz must have taken a huge some of money to hold an endorsement party show for the frontline candidate for the NBA President, Chief Joe-Kyari Gadzama, SAN.

Founder and Principal Partner of Castle of Law Chamber, Dr. Kayode Ajulo

Not only is this ridiculous to the hearing but it is as preposterous as it also depicts poverty of the imagination on the part of the peddlers of this tale. Perhaps these unlucky tattletales’ are ignorant of the family nay legacy represented by Folarin Falana, Esq. who is more popularly known and referred to as FALZ.

It behoves me therefore to remind these individuals that the musical artiste, Falz is the son of the popular and respected human right lawyer Femi Falana, SAN, and his recent gesture in hosting an event for the JK Gadzama, whom his father had recently endorsed at a public forum held in Lagos is a timely reaffirmation of an individual belief distilled from an enduring legacy of positive, principled and demonstrable conviction that has served this nation by always standing up to be counted when it mattered.

Falz is a successful young man I admire so much for his uncommon courage, purpose driven activism and his ability to be what the Falanas are- a family of warriors and human right activists.

In fact, the Falana family is one of the most consistent in standing for human rights in Nigeria. It’s insulting to think Falz took money to endorse JK Gadzama, SAN. Indeed, there is no doubt that Falz is intelligent enough to make his personal choices and it is also clear that he has not committed any offence with his decision to endorse his preferred candidate for the NBA top job.

Perhaps some need reminding that Falz is also a qualified lawyer and registered member of the NBA too. It is not out of place to point out at this juncture that Falz is an embodiment of that positive Nigerian energy and resourcefulness which is not lacking in the NBA. In 2018, Falz as an integral part of NBA, endorsed a candidate of his choice and it must be noted that other candidates in 2022 election has been falling over each other to get endorsements of colleagues and seniors.

As a consistent exemplar of courage and leadership, nary a whisper has ever been heard about how his admirable stances on topical national issues have ever been influenced by pecuniary gains. It is perhaps also necessary to hark back to the significant and laudable role that Falz played during the 2020 #EndSars protest that forced even the seat of power at Abuja to acknowledge his struggle which was undoubtedly a struggle for the peace and security of every Nigerian.

The same energetic young-man is currently working on a free concert to raise awareness for PVC collections and sensitize Nigerian youths about 2023 presidential election, and it is instructive to note that even on his own immediate turf in the entertainment industry, this young man remains one of the very few whose name has remained un-besmirched by scandal.

Personally, I have used Falz as a perfect example and point of reference when counselling the younger generation, speaking on the role of the youth in nation building in different for a or generally mentoring the emerging generation of leaders in the country.

Going on to the larger picture, is it not evident to the keen observer that the rate at which both the young and older generations of lawyers are identifying with, and rallying around JK Gadzama, SAN is a testament to his inspiring character and pedigree?

Since his declaration of interest in leading the practice as NBA President, endorsements have been pouring forth not surprisingly from different quarters. One of the most heart-warming and encouraging of those endorsements, at least to me, came from the revered Femi Falana, SAN. Is there any legal practitioner in Nigeria who knows the NBA more than Femi Falana? Would anyone infer that a personality like him also took this position for money, knowing his financial worth and pedigree?

Femi Falana, SAN is renowned for always speaking the truth boldly and loudly. Not one to suffer fools gladly, entertain frivolities or pander to anti-intellectual groupthink, Femi Falana, SAN belongs to that old brigade of the NBA nurtured by the late Alao Aka-Bashorun whose tenure witnessed the golden age of the Bar.

As a veteran of the NBA struggle and the anti-climax in Port Harcourt, calling him one of the custodians of NBA’s history is not an exaggeration and he has not derailed from delivering wise counsel in situations like this.

Femi Falana, SAN’s life and accomplishments as a lawyer are enough to guide the decision of many lawyers. Personally, he is one of those elder lawyers who have contributed to my accomplishments alongside other greats such as late Kanni Ishola-Oshobu, late Chief Gani Fawehinmi, SAN, late Chief G. O. K. Ajayi, Late Miskom Puppet, SAN, Chief Afe Babalola, SAN, Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN, Chief E. K. Clark, Asiwaju Gboyega Awomolo, SAN, Dr. Tunji Abayomi and other nobles.

If his guidance and style has influenced me to up to this today, then I shouldn’t doubt his wisdom on his preferred choice of who should become the next NBA President.

In conclusion, my personal endorsement of Chief JK Gadzama, SAN, OFR, MFR, the Bobajiro of Akure Kingdom as the next NBA President is beyond affinity. All the three leading candidates are those I have high regards and close relationship with but I have chosen to settle for unfeigned dedication, fervent competence and unrivaled experience.

JK Gadzama needs neither introduction nor re-introduction; his name and accomplishments have resounded in the public space for ages and his reputation is one of sterling quality.

To reiterate my position, the three candidates for the NBA President are known enough to me to form an objective opinion on and JK Gadzama, in this case, is primus inter pares and this contest, for me, is beyond personal gains.

There is no gainsaying the fact that the NBA cannot afford to have an absentee, unseasoned and accidental Barman at the helm of affairs at this time.

Knowing and respecting JK Gadzama, SAN as an experienced legal practitioner with versatile aptitude, my votes and that of well-meaning lawyers will also be for him.

Ajulo is Founder and Principal Partner of Castle of Law Chamber, Abuja

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