The Nigerian Bar Association has explained why singer, Habeeb Okikiola, popularly known as Portable, performed at the association’s 2023 Annual General Conference held on Thursday, August 31.
Some lawyers at the conference allegedly staged a walkout after the singer took the stage. Some argued that the singer should not have been invited to a gathering of ‘’learned fellows”. They also slammed the association for engaging his services at their conference.
However, in an interview with Punch, the National Publicity Secretary of the NBA, Akorede Lawal, said the singer was never paid but was brought in by one of the headline sponsors of the conference.
We did not pay a dime to Portable for the concert. It is the largest gathering of lawyers anywhere in the world and so to that extent, we always write to sponsors to finance every level of our events. We have partners from America, Chile, and a host of other countries who pride in what we do and take it upon themselves to get the programme financed annually.”he said
Speaking on whether lawyers staged a walkout on Portable at the event, the publicity secretary said;
No, they did not. The Friendship Centre is the customary place where all lawyers go to unwind, network and do all other social activities. So, the concert was meant to take place there but we later told the lawyers to move to the ‘Unbarred concert’ at the Velodrome of the National Stadium in Abuja because we don’t want two events at the same time given that that place (Friendship Centre) had been decorated already to promote their brands.
They were the headline sponsor of the centre and that’s where the DJs and every other social activities had been going on since the start of the event. So we closed the place down to have a unified event,” he said