FROM THE NBA PRESIDENT’S DESK
19 March 2020
To: All Lawyers
Dear Distinguished Colleagues
1. Enrolled Lawyers’ Database
1.1 One of our commitments and promises at the beginning of our administration in August 2018 was the creation of an up-to-date, clean and reliable database of all lawyers who have been enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria. I am pleased to announce that we are in the cusp of realizing that ambitious project sequel to the unveiling of the revamped website of the Nigerian Bar Association (“NBA”) at the last NBA National Executive Committee (“NEC”) meeting held on 12 March 2020.
2. “Find a Lawyer”
2.1 As at date, it is possible, with the click of a button at the NBA website, to confirm if a named lawyer is a member of the profession and has been enrolled at the Supreme Court. All that you need do is visit the NBA website, go to the “Find a Lawyer” icon for your search.
3. Exclusive Portals for All Enrolled Lawyers
3.1 Beyond the “Find a Lawyer” database feature, we have created individual and personalized portals for all lawyers who are enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, similar to the feature and portal enjoyed by members of the International Bar Association (“IBA”) at the IBA website. Each of us now needs to take ownership of our respective portals, verify and confirm or correct the information and details contained therein and ensure that your portal which is exclusive to you, is password-protected at all times. No one can access your portal except you release your password to that person.
3.2 For the purposes of this verification exercise, the NBA has decided to waive any form of payment by lawyers. The exercise is entirely free and all you need do is follow the verification process that is outlined below and take full ownership of your personalized portal. For emphasis, please note that the need for verification and taking ownership of your personal portal applies and accrues to all lawyers who are enrolled at the Supreme Court of Nigeria.
4. Benefits of Personal Portals and Verification
4.1 The question may be asked, what do we, collectively and as individual lawyers gain by going through this verification process and taking ownership of our respective portals? First, our collective gain includes the fact that we are thereby creating a clean, comprehensive and reliable database of lawyers that would be the complementary handmaiden for research and planning. Sadly, we as a country are not very strong in those two areas, to wit, research and planning. Without a reliable, clean, comprehensive and accurate database that could be segmented for research purposes, proper planning and forecasting is impossible. As a profession, we must stand out and make the difference in those areas of proper planning and forecasting, based on accurate, clean and reliable data which we are now collating.
4.2 Second and beyond the communal gain, each of us stands to have the following non-exhaustive gains by going through this verification process and taking ownership of our respective portals:
i. Each of us would have our exclusive and dedicated portals (please, remember to post your picture/portrait at your portal);
ii. We can access all the NBA online services through our respective portals, and these include but are not limited to the following:
a. Place orders for stamps and seals (we would make a separate release on this shortly detailing the customized processes therefor);
b. Make all payments to NBA online including but not limited to Bar Practicing Fees payments;
c. Register and make payments for Annual General Conferences and other NBA conferences, seminars and workshops;
d. View your personal NBA payments history and print your receipts;
e. Submit complaints to the NBA;
f. Have interactive communication with NBA personnel to resolve challenges or issues that you may have;
g. Place orders and make payments for NBA tokens and materials;
h. Apply for Letter of Good Standing; and
i. View and tally your ICLE score data.
4.3 For emphasis, these benefits are non-exhaustive; they merely illustrate the gains that we all stand to have by and from participating in this verification exercise and taking ownership of our respective exclusive portals.
5. Verification Processes
5.1 It now remains for me to set out below the verification processes and invite and encourage all of you, my dear colleagues, to please join me in making this exercise a resounding success. Follow the steps below to get verified, please:
5.2 Previously Verified Lawyers
A. An email has been sent to the email address of verified lawyers only, which states that an account has been created for you. The email contains an activation code link to set up your password.
B. If the activation link sent to your email expires, please click on https://nigerianbar.org.ng/membership-portal enter your Supreme Court (SC) number and follow the instructions to reset your password.
C. Once password reset has been done successfully, kindly click on https://nigerianbar.org.ng/membership-portal to login to your account.
D. Upon successful login, kindly click on the menu tab to view the list of functionalities available. For Desktop users, the menu tab is located at the top, and for mobile users, it is located on the left side.
5.3 Unverified Lawyers
E. All unverified lawyers should visit https://nigerianbar.org.ng/membership-portal to begin the verification process. It is very easy and seamless.
5.5 If you didn’t receive an email or you are unable to do a password reset, please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
5.4 Please note that, verification is, for the purposes of this exercise entirely free and at no cost to lawyers.
6.1 I encourage you to, please, share your experience and/or observations on this exercise with me at email@example.com and ensure that you copy firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com respectively.
We thank you all, in advance, for your participation in the exercise and making it, prospectively, a resounding success. More importantly, we thank you for your consistent support and encouragements during our ongoing stewardship of the NBA.
Paul Usoro, SAN