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NBA adopts virtual option for annual conference

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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has said it will hold its Annual General Conference (AGC) slated for August virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

President of the association, Paul Usoro (SAN) said the decision became necessary following a meeting with the Technical Committee on Conference Planning (TCCP) led by Professor Konyinsola Ajayi (SAN), which held on May 12, 2020 where it was decided that the 2020 AGC would be held virtually, adding that canceling the conference was not an option.

In a statement he signed yesterday, Usoro said, “The decision to host the 2020 AGC virtually was informed by the well-known facts about COVID-19. First, we know that the disease is deadly and easily transmissible and it is already ravaging the country’s population.

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“Second, we know that no cure has so far been found against the pernicious disease and the earliest we may have a vaccine against it, according to medical scientists, would be in 2021.

“Based on these facts, countries of the world, including Nigeria, have essentially deployed safety measures to stem the spread of the virus including physical distancing and having gatherings of not more than 20 persons.

“In furtherance of these measures, governments have placed bans and restrictions on cultural, religious, business and social gatherings such as burials, celebration parties, companies’ general meetings and conferences, among others.”

He added that the prognosis did not suggest that COVID-19 would abate by August when the conference would hold and there was, therefore, no basis to believe or expect that restrictions should be lifted by then.

“We must also remember that our AGCs are always large gatherings of lawyers, judicial officers, justice sector stakeholders and members of the general public.

“The 2019 AGC recorded an attendance of over 12,000 delegates and we were expecting to have a higher number for the 2020 Conference given the fact that this year not only mark 60 years of Nigeria’s independence, but also 60 years of the NBA’s AGC,” he stated.

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