FUNMILOLA OLUWATOSIN ADEOGUN, FIMC, FIMS (UK), MCIArb (UK), CMS, CMC
MANIFESTO FOR THE OFFICE OF A NATIONAL TREASURER OF THE NIGERIAN BAR ASSOCIATION
MY name is Funmilola Oluwatosin Adeogun. I am from the Western Region (South-West Zone). In 2004, I obtained my Bachelor of Laws’ Degree (LL.B) from the Lagos State University (LASU) with Second Class (Upper Division), and was called to the Nigerian Bar in 2005 with Supreme Court Number 048934.
Thereafter, I did my National Youth Service in Ringim Local Government, Jigawa State and I have been in a private legal practice since then.
I obtained my Master of Arts from Redeemers International Leadership Academy and also went to Knights Business School.
I am the Principal partner of Funmi Adeogun and Company and a partner in Gloria Chambers and practices law in Lagos State, on a full time basis.
I have applied knowledge and skills in Financial Accounting, Management Accounting, Financial Reporting, Performance Management, Financial Management and Audit and Assurance.
I was the pioneer Social Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, Epe Branch, from 2016 – 2018; and in 2020 I was elected the Vice –Chairman by virtue of which I am the Chairman of Human Rights Committee. I am also the Chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, Body of Vice Chairmen (NBA-BOVC), Treasurer, NBA-SPIDEL and a Governing Council Member of the NBA Human Rights Institute.
I was the Convener, of the NBA Epe, Probono Legal Clinic and Police Duty Solicitors Scheme.
I am passionately determined to contribute my time and energy to create positive and impactful changes in the NBA particularly as it relates to finance, the overall interest and welfare of her members.
I am a candidate for the position of a TREASURER.
Firstly, it is imperative to reproduce the Constitutional functions of the NBA Treasurer viz a viz Section 5(g) of the Constitution of the Nigerian Bar Association 2015 (as amended in 2021)
(g) The Treasurer:
i. shall receive, collect, and pay to the Association’s bankers all monies collected for the Association or paid to the Ass ociation from any source whatsoever and keep records of such receipts and payments;
ii shall carry out any decision or directive of the Annual General Meeting in matters relating to the budget or finances of the Association.
iii shall prepare or cause to be prepared and submitted to the last Quarterly Meeting of the National Executive Council in any Calendar Year, an annual budget containing the estimated revenue and expenditure of the Association for the succeeding Financial Year covering the period January to December of any Calendar Year;
iv shall be in constant touch with the Branches to ensure that all members of the Branches pay their annual practicing fees as and when due;
v. shall compile and circulate a list of members who have paid or are in default in respect of their practicing fees in each year and take steps to circulate such list at the Annual General Meeting, the meeting of the National Executive Council, the various Heads of Courts in the country, Corporate Affairs Commission and such statutory bodies as may be decided from time to time by the National Executive Council;
vi shall invest the monies of the Association in such securities as may be approved by the National Executive Council;
vii shall cause to be prepared and presented to the National Executive Council at its quarterly meetings the Management Report and accounts of the Association for the preceding quarter. The said Quarterly Management Report and Accounts shall be published and circulated to all members of the Association upon adoption by the National Executive Council.
viii shall circulate to every member of the National Executive Council the audited accounts and balance sheet for the preceding Financial Year.
ix shall submit an annual report to the Annual General Meeting to which shall be attached the audited accounts and balance sheet for the preceding Financial Year.
x. In respect of any Election Year, he/she shall, in addition to the audited financial statements for the preceding year, also present to the Annual General Meetings the following financial statements and reports;
1. Half-Year (January-June) Audited Financial Statements; and
2. Unaudited Management Report for the period ended one week to the Annual General Meeting;
xi. shall circulate to every member of the National Executive Council the financial statements and reports specified in sub-paragraph (vii) above prior to the Annual General Meeting;
xii shall be a member of the Secretariat Management Committee;
xiii shall perform all other duties as may be assigned to him/her by the President or the National Executive Council or the National Executive Committee or the Annual General Meeting.
From the above, it can be said that the Treasurer has the highest duties to perform and he/she is the General overseer of the NBA Finance and therefore must have the capability and capacity to discharge the onerous task.
He/she must therefore be:
i Able to manage or oversee the management of the financial affairs of the NBA, often including such basic tasks as selecting a bank, reconciling bank statements, and managing cash flow.
ii responsible for investing funds consistent with applicable laws.
iii be knowledgeable about who has access to the Association’s funds and any outstanding bills or debts owed.
iv. able to create and maintain systems for ensuring the Association’s ongoing solvency and oversee the development of the Association’s financial policies. Helpful policies to consider include check signing authority, expense reimbursement, credit card usage, and petty cash policies, if applicable.
v responsible for preparing, or facilitating the preparation of an annual budget, as well as regularly monitoring and comparing the actual revenues and expenses incurred against such budget. The development of a budget that supports the Association’s goals and drives decision-making is an important part of an Association’s success in effectuating its mission. The budget should be reviewed and approved by the NEC, however, the Treasurer should be prepared to explain and justify the document.
vi able to have thorough knowledge and understanding of the Association’s financial reports and important financial ratios. The Treasurer should keep the Association apprised of key financial events, trends, and concerns, and his/her assessments of the Association’s fiscal health.
vii skilled to be able to translate financial concepts and information for members who do not have financial backgrounds or substantial financial experience. The Treasurer should spend time learning the particulars of the Association’s finances and the applicable laws, which may include laws related to earned income, the unrelated business income tax, appropriate expenditures, and prudent investments. The Treasurer can be most effective when he/she is facilitating and encouraging strategic thinking about the short and long term financial vitality of the Association in relation to the advancement of the Association’s mission.
viii capable of handling figures and cash;
ix have an orderly mind and methodological way of thinking;
x have experience in dealing with large sums of money and budgets;
xi have experience of financial control and budgeting;
xii have an eye for detail;
xiii be available to be contacted for ad hoc advice;
xiv have a financial qualification or relevant experience
xv good communication and interpersonal skills
xvi show good time-keeping
xvii be experienced in other matters of the Association;
xviii being also versatile in other spheres of life and with fecundity of mind to generate ideas on how to grow the wealth of the Association for the President and inevitably for NEC to consider in a concerted effort by all to move the Association forward.
WHAT I INTEND TO DO BETTER AS A TREASURER
- Investment Schemes: to collaborate with the President on the investment of the NBA funds.
- To work closely with the welfare secretary to meet the welfare needs of our members.
- Ensure investment in assets that will generate funds to take care of the welfare of our members and advocate remittance to Branches to be increased to 40%
- To sustain and improve on the circulation of detailed financial reports to members using my applied knowledge and skills in financial reporting, advanced financial management, advanced audit and assurance, advanced taxation and advanced performance management.
- To ensure accounts are audited and not when desirable.
- To facilitate measures to ensure more lawyers especially in paid employment pay their professional fees.
- Raising funds transparently, and same accounted for accordingly and regularly to meet administrative and other needs of our Association rather than relying mainly on Bar Practicing, Conference and any other fees from members.
- Develop and enforce strong internal controls and financial management policies.
- Ensure accurate and complete financial reporting and proper maintenance of financial records and information/tax returns.
- Regularly assess risks and whether and how such risks should be mitigated
- Keep a calendar of filing requirements and deadlines and have clear assignments (with backups) to help ensure they are all met in a timely manner
- Using my position as treasurer to improve the welfare of our members:
- Compilation and circulation of list members as provided in section 5(g)(v) should be extended to publishing same on website: I have strongly advocated and will continue to advocate that website should have lists of lawyers who are dormant or inactive(not certified to practice), suspended or struck off the Roll of Advocates and therefore not allowed to practice and those who are active and certified to practice every year.
As a Treasurer, publishing names of lawyers who are eligible to practice every year on the website will help the Public at large not to fall into the hands of Quacks masquerading as advocates of the High Court having been to Kenya and Ethiopia. I have seen how the Law Societies are helping guarding against the public falling into the hands of fake ‘learned friends’ in corridors of justice.
SERVICE TO THE BAR
- As a Social Sectary of the NBA-Epe Branch, I convened the Legal Probono Clinic and Police Duty Solicitors Scheme. During these period, I employed lawyers for the purpose of representing the indigents in Epe community and we had over 50 indigents represented and concluded over thirty cases.
- Member, L.O.C NBA Annual General Conference under the Chairmanship of Lawal Pedro, SAN in 2017
- Member, L.O.C NBA Annual General Conference under the Chairmanship of Chukwuka Ikwuazon (now Senior Advocate of Nigeria) in 2019
- When I became the Vice Chairman, I brought together all the Vice Chairmen of other branches under what is now known as NBA-Body of Vice Chairmen (NBA-BOVC) which I am now the Chairman of the body under the supervision of the 1st Vice President.
- Above is the photograph taken at the first physical meeting held by the NBA-Body of Vice Chairmen at Porthacourt City on the
- As the Chairman of this body, I do organize monthly training for the Vice chairmen which had the likes of Femi Falana SAN, Dr. Babatunde Ajibade,SAN, J-K Gadzama, SAN, Chino Obiagwu, SAN et al who came to train the vice chairmen on various topics relating to Human Rights.
- Also, I was the Chairman of NBA-BOVC agitation, committee; our committee submitted a Memorandum on Further Amendment to the NBA Constitution of 2015(as amended) which result is evident as the Vice-Chairmen are now members of Advisory Committee of Branches and also certain positions at the National can now be contested for once you are not less than two years as a members of Executive Committee of a Branch or Section or Forum at the time of nomination as opposed being a NEC member alone hence, my ability to aspire for National office (Treasurer)
- I was appointed by the NBA National on the 17th of November, 2020 to coordinate the ‘Decriminalization and Declassification of Petty Offences Project in Lagos, Abia, Kano, Enugu and the Federal Capital Territory, a joint project of the NBA and PRAWA.
- As the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee, I organized programmes in celebration of the Human Rights day in December 10 of the year 2020 by sensitizing residents of Epe Community to explore our free legal services whenever their fundamental rights are trampled upon and 2021 by going to Odomola Secondary School with some seasoned career motivational speakers (Hon. Justice Adeniyi Adebayo (rtd), Dr. Abdulkareem Onakoya and Prof. Basirat Oladipupo) to give them lecture on bullying in schools; a human rights issue; teaching them the positive and negative effects of peer groups, problems that emerge when students are labeled in a particular way et al.
- We also donated 5 copies the Nigerian Constitution to the School as the students claimed not have ever seen the Nigerian Constitution.
- The Human Rights Committee under my leadership also participated fully in the EndSARS proceedings. The committee visited all the police stations within Epe Jurisdiction starting from the Maroko Divisional HQs Police Station, Ilasan Divisional Police Station, Langbasa Divisional Police Station, Ajiwe Division Police Station, Area ‘J’ Police Command, Epe Divisional Police Station and Noforija Police Station to access any damage done to the stations and facilitated the release of arrested inmates (protesters at EndSars) in their custody.
- I also coordinated the operations of Human Rights Committees of the 125 Branches of the NBA with the landmark visits to detainees in Police custody during the JUSUN strike.
- I was elected the Treasurer, NBA-SPIDEL in May, 2021 and I have been diligent in performing my duties without fear or favour to the satisfaction of the members, e.g. by giving monthly financial report, ensure that members pay their dues as and when due, advise on fundraising strategies, investment et al.
- In December, 2021 at the NEC meeting in Abeokuta, the NEC approved my nomination by the NBA President as a member of the Governing Council of the NBA Human Rights Institute and in a two-man committee assigned to draft the Bye-laws of the council.